Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The prom

This is ridiculous. I stop blogging to brood on the end of my moderation career at PC (I won't get into it until I get the reinstatement review back), and something lands on my desk like a football. It's in a tiny, cute embroidered envelope and takes the form of a decorated card (printed with printer ink, albeit). I read it and it says the promenade is scheduled for 1 June.

Wait, what?

The prom. Are you going or not?

Do you have to squeeze every lurid detail out of me, man?

Life was better, as we know, when I was in middle school. Too young to work a job, and your parents could easily pay into a big function such as a church dance. If only that were the case in this day and age. True, my own parents, for starters, said they'd pay for me to attend the prom (my father never did), but even if they're paying, $60 for admission compounded with $70 for a tuxedo, $20 for a corsage, and prices for drinks varying are nothing to sneer at — and you can double the admission and corsage if you're paired. And in the extreme case — this is from the men's point of view — in which you end up footing your pair's dress, you can add upward of $250, more than twice the cost of admission and grave considering whether that dress will ever see use again.

Middle school was slightly different — at the very least for us men. Now, I had been dragged kicking and screaming into the dances at the beginning of seventh grade and ended up attending both of the promenades held in the cafeteria as long as I was eligible. They were called 'semi-formals' — the admission was a mere $14 per person, drinks were free, and formality was restricted as per the guidelines. There were no corsages, and limousines were prohibited. For the men, it was easy to get away with the bare-bones minimum, but when you look at what most of the girls were wearing (some others were more conservative), you'd expect it to be a full-blown prom upon stumbling into the arena.

Now, though, it's a different matter. Gone are the days of hushed activity. You're about to spend nearly $300 — individually — perhaps once each of the two years — for one night on the town, and you're a junior or senior. (The figure can be nearly double if you're a female, and triple or so when paired.) Although this cost situation is relatively the same, and probably could be negotiable if it were applied to a suburban high school, there are further causes for my own inhibition. Firstly, my school, a charter school operated by the county, has a very small body, so selection is rather limited. Secondly, as I explained before, the school is remote. Although it's perfectly possible to rent a limo, you still have the fact that not many people can drive out and carpool. Thirdly, it's still a situation in which you have the rap blasting, as could be seen from the youth summit earlier this year, and not much decent (I mean sans shaking the ass and grinding) dancing is likely to get done.

So no, I'm not going. Unless, of course, one of the girls at the table (all but one are juniors) approaches the subject....