The Prom: I Don’t think I Missed Much
I never had any interest in school dances. Least of all the prom. Yet, somehow I got asked to go every year of high school and wormed my way out of going each year. My excuses were pathetic and paper-thin every year. One year I told the girl who asked me that I was going fishing that day. And I remember thinking that was a pretty slick excuse, bulletproof. Looking back on it I should have just told the truth – I don’t like dancing or dressing up or otherwise pretending to be something I’m not. I knew, even then, that a bunch of high schoolers pretending to be debonair and riding in limos was the height of silly. But, I’m in the minority. Most high schoolers have loads of fun at dances and actually seem to see the prom as an end of high school rite of passage. That’s fine for them I guess; I don’t see any reason to rain on their parade even if I think it’s pointless. The prom was orginally intended to be a courting ritual, but it’s been turned into pointless, middle class extravagance these days.
History of Prom:
Prom began as nothing more than a middle class version of an upper class débutante ball. Parents wanted their kids to experience the thrill of a ball like the rich kids had. As simple as that – prom. It became standard practice in high schools sometime in the 1930′s but seems to have its roots in the late 1800′s in some North Eastern colleges. There’s a rather interesting history of it here for anybody who cares. It’s an interesting history but somewhat irrelevant to us today because any way you want to slice it our society has changed and the original intent of the prom is currently lost behind a veneer of confetti and after-dance debauchery. Whatever semi-innocent meat parade it started as is now and always gone.
So Which is it?
What do kids see in the prom? Is it as I suspect – an excuse for pimply high schoolers to act stupid and ride in a limo? Or is it something more that I’m missing? I’m not blind to the fact that I’m unusual. I don’t even like weddings and birthday parties. What makes me happiest is hanging out at home doing hobbies, not jumping around to a techno beat dressed in an ill fitting rented tuxedo and plotting how to get laid after the dance. Is there any use to the prom anymore? Is it a sign of rotting values? I have my opinion, but I’m just one guy.