The Cost of Prom

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The Cost of Prom

Madeline Watson, Writer

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Prom. Prom prom promitty prom. The most important night of your high school career, possibly the most important night of your life! You mark the date in your calendar, buy the dress, return the dress, buy a different dress, buy a backup dress, tailor both of them, make a hair appointment, make a makeup appointment, talk about every last detail with your friends, repeat the same information daily, just in case they forgot that you made the decision to NOT wear a headband. But at the end of the day, prom is just one night. It doesn’t affect the rest of your life, only your bank account. Dresses cost upwards of $100, hair appointments vary between about $40 and $70, shoes, clutches, jewelry, all add to the growing list of expenses that deduct from your babysitting money and lawn mowing cash. Not to mention there are limos to pay for and organize, food and drinks to provide at your exclusive pre-prom bash, and the emotional payment of added stress on top of the tragedy of being a teenager. Pooling together my birthday money, spare change, and taking from the bank account that I’ve been vigorously putting paychecks into since I turned 15, I managed to pay for a night of mediocre music and slightly awkward dancing. The dress: $410 plus shipping and handling, the hair: $60 and a $15 tip, the makeup: $26 for a Bobbi Brown mascara, out of courtesy, the limo: $86.50 per person, the shoes, jewelry, and clutch: all borrowed from my mom, being at prom with all of my friends: priceless. Just kidding. I would’ve been perfectly happy with a dress that cost 75% less than an arm and a leg.

So now that the hair you meticulously planned to fall perfectly over one shoulder now looks like a few small animals could live in it, your feet are aching from 4 inch heels, your dress is torn, and your face hurts from smiling for so many cameras, the night is over. And you wonder, with all the expense and the pressure, why do we still stress every last detail building up to prom? Because it’s PROM! Your parents did it, you’ve seen it in every movie, it was one of the most important scenes in Mean Girls. Prom is still a vital night of senior year. It marks the beginning of the end, followed with a whirlwind of banquets, the baccalaureate, graduation parties, and graduation itself. It’s one of the last times you’re all together as a class. So who cares what you spent?

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