Monday, May 4, 2009


This weekend was our school district's prom. We rented my son a tuxedo, bought flowers, and hosted an after-prom sleepover for seven boys. It was a blast. I probably had more fun than my son did because there was no pressure on me. I was able to sit back and relax and not worry about whether I was making the most of a memory that would follow me for the rest of my life. Prom can be fun, but there's huge pressure, too, because we have such high expectations for fun and excitement and a perfect evening. In some ways it's like our wedding day, only no one gives us little envelopes full of cash. And girls can wear lots of cool colors that they'd never get away with at a wedding.

There was a bit of a conspiracy surrounding this year's prom, and I didn't find out about it until the day before. Apparently, our high school invites parents to show up at the banquet hall at the very beginning of the dance so we can line the red carpet and take pictures of our kids going in. We never had anything like that 5000 years ago when I was in high school, so it never occurred to me to ask. The school had sent home fliers with the kids about the red carpet, but many kids must have been worried that their parents would go overboard and humiliate them (who me?), so those fliers mysteriously never reached many parents' hands. Anyway, many of us did eventually find out, thanks to some kids who either were honest or who wanted to get some photos taken on the red carpet.

On Saturday night, the hallway leading into prom was packed with parents clutching cameras, video cameras, camera phones, and anything else that might capture a rare image of their son or daughter with combed hair. The kids were like Hollywood stars on their way into the Academy Awards, and parents were the paparazzi. Only we didn't chase the kids' limos through the streets at high speeds after prom in order to get more photos. Or at least most of us didn't. There were a few overly enthusiastic parents whose actions I can't account for. Anyway, it was awesome, and I don't think the kids even minded too much that we were there. The fact that they were walking very slowly down the carpet while posing and smiling made me suspicious that they might be enjoying the attention.

I hope everyone has some good memories of their prom night. No, it might not be the perfect experience that we had dreamed about, but then what is? Whether you went with the love of your life and had a beautiful, romantic night or you skipped prom and sat around in sweats with your best friend, eating ice cream and talking about how the boys at your school didn't know what they were missing, I hope you enjoyed yourself. And I hope you indulged your family when they took so many pictures that you were still seeing spots when the Prom King and Queen had their first dance. Of course, it's entirely possible that your photo-snapping parents enjoyed your prom more than you did. They got all the joy without having to wear high heels or a tux. Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Peace and happy memories,
Kim Garland


Magdalena Scott said...

I love the red carpet idea! Sounds like you made the most of your son's prom. I imagine he appreciate it--and might even tell you so in a few years.


Kimberly Garland said...

We'd all benefit from more chances to walk the red carpet! I'm thinking about installing one leading up to my washing machine and kitchen sink. It might make those chores a little more exciting. :)

Magdalena Scott said...

Hey, whatever works for you! I think it would take more than red carpet (that requires vacuuming) to make me excited about housework.

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