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A peek into the author's trials and tribulations of sending her daughter to the prom.

I’m starting a support group. It’s for mothers of teenage daughters going to the prom. The first topic of discussion will be shopping for the dress. My daughter, Gabby, insisted we go to Estelle’s Dressy Dresses, along with the rest of the south shore teenage population. It was jammed with girls and their mothers all grabbing wildly for the same tacky dresses. Nobody told me I was going to need armor. But like soldiers in battle Gabby and I kept our heads down and plowed on through until we had at least a dozen dresses to try on.

 We waited 20 minutes just to get into the dressing room. When we finally got in, it was sheer mania; hoards of hysterical girls shrieking and crying like at a Justin Bieber concert.  After navigating the mounds of dresses and hangers on the floor, we were lucky enough to find a dressing room with a semblance of a curtain.  My modest daughter had me hold the fabric tightly together so that not a crack of light could be seen through it. She didn’t want anybody seeing her get changed yet she didn’t mind coming out in a dress that exposed 90% of her body.  Naturally, every time I liked a dress I got the “Ma, are you kidding me” look. But eventually we managed to find a dress we both liked that didn’t have a pull or snag in it. For that reason alone we had to buy it.

  Next, it’s all about the hair and make-up. The appointments are set, as are the mani/pedi and eyebrows. We are still in negotiations over the spray tan.  These can all be topics for future support group sessions.  The mothers out there who have been through this before know exactly what I am talking about.  After all the pampering and primping, there’s no guarantee she’s actually going to like it. The up-do may have a strand out of place, the make-up may be a shade off, there may be a stray eyebrow hair or a dangling cuticle. Any of these can lead to an international incidence.

But that’s not all, there is more to plan for.  It seems that after the prom, the new tradition is to go to a “Prom House”.  Apparently there is security and a chaperone (probably someone’s 22 year old brother and sister).  No one is allowed out, no outsiders are allowed in. No alcohol is permitted. There is a pool but no life, guard.  There are about 30 kids and they reside there for two nights. Somehow I was convinced that since they stay in one place, this is a “safer” alternative. I MUST HAVE BEEN DRUGGED!

 Yes, I have completely LOST MY MIND and am allowing my daughter to stay two nights at a house in Sag Harbor with her boyfriend. The truth is, she’s been dating this boy for quite a while and he is a very reasonable, mature young man.  I trust the two of them to make responsible choices.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!?

I think I gave in partly because I am living vicariously.  I think back to my own prom, MHS 1980. I wore the same gown I wore to my sister’s wedding. I did my own hair and for make-up, my sister put eye shadow on me. I polished my own nails. What’s a pedicure? My date was “just a friend”. Is it any wonder I’m looking forward to my (I mean Gabby’s) prom?

But the truth is that my prom date and I have remained dear friends till this day. We went our separate ways romantically (no he’s not gay) but our friendship has lasted more than 3 decades. Come to think of it, Gabby should only have the enduring relationship with her prom date that I had with mine.  So, to Gabby and Danny, have a wonderful, magical time.  And remember, I AM TRUSTING YOU TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS!!!

Hopefully Gabby and Danny won’t be drinking any alcohol, but I can assure you, I will be having plenty!










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