Senior Prom 2.0: Farewell to Being a Teen.
by Kristy Campbell
Senior Prom 2010 is a far cry from my Gunne Sax dress and dinner at The Ramada Inn. Of course, San Francisco is quite a distance from the middle of Pennsylvania, but I sense that all across the county, Senior Proms have amped up the crepe paper and punch bowls. Prom 2.0 is in full swing this spring. And, it’s more than just a dance.
This past weekend, my husband and I hosted 52 prom dates and their parents for appetizers and pictures before the luxury party bus arrived to take them to the dock for their cruise in the San Francisco Bay. When my daughter told me Prom would be a harbor cruise, I remembered that the only time I’d been on a harbor cruise was for a wedding reception. When my daughter showed me the Facebook page where all the girls were posting pictures of their dresses, I remarked that it seemed so Oscar-like. I still wasn’t quite clued in when my daughter asked if kids could come before the Prom for pictures. I immediately agreed. How bad could it be? 5 or 6 couples, their parents, some pictures, some cheese and wine…how fun. Only after I said yes and the invitation was posted on Facebook, did my daughter let me in on the fact that it would be a few thousand people descending upon our home. Thankfully, my daughter’s step-dad is a saint and wholeheartedly agreed to transform our house into a pre-Prom photo spot.
As the parents and kids started to arrive, I was really moved to see all these kids dressed up with corsages and boutonnières honoring the time-old tradition of Senior Prom. Of course, the dresses were more Red Carpet than off-the-rack mall wear. Bright colors, beautiful fabrics, plunging necklines with ample cleavage (yep, there are her parents…guess they know she is wearing that). The boys were very handsomely dressed in tuxes with vests and ties. There wasn’t a frilly shirt in the bunch or a wacky bowtie. Not even a pastel suit. All the kids were elegant and made every parent proud.
It’s a strange sight to watch these can’t-keep-their-room-clean teenagers morph into young adults, all of them using manners and cocktail napkins. They have had other formal dances before in their high school career, but you could tell that the enormity of this being their last dance together as a class had them all behaving reverently. My daughter admitted that she was excited and nervous but kind of sad about her Prom since when it’s over, it will be over. I knew what she meant, and as I scanned the group of kids, I could tell she wasn’t the only one feeling that way.
The families watched as the kids loaded on the bus and pulled away to the thump of the bass…ah, loud music…the great teenage universal. Some of the parents came back to the house so we could process together what had just happened. Many of us commented on how grown up these kids all seemed that night.