The Cost Of Going To The Prom
It's Not Cheap – Not At All
Ah, being a high school kid nowadays – it seems to be very expensive, here in Easton, and just about everywhere else in the Good Old U.S. of A.
User fees for sports and other extracurricular activities, the pressure to wear the most fashionable shoes and clothes, driving the fancy ride – and then this spring, I mean, we've got ourselves Spring Break and the prom.
Oliver Ames High School has done something smart for its prom; it has moved the event out of a fancy hotel in Boston, and to the South Shore, to Lake Pearl Luciano’s, a nice and classy function facility in Wrentham.
Moving the prom to the South Shore saves money for the prom attendees.
But, still, what the OA kids face is what kids everywhere face with the prom. It costs a lot. The ticket per student for the OA prom is $75 – with some kids (or their parents) paying the $150 for themselves and for their dates.
Shoot, the purchase of a young lady’s formal dress for the big night runs anywhere from, what, $100 to $400? Hair and makeup and nails can cost $40 or $50 or $250.
The amount of money a couple or individual kicks in to the rental of limo can be $50 or $100.
On the girl’s side of things, she and/or her family can easily be looking at an $800 evening.
I totally agree with what OA mandates for those attending the prom – that they cannot drive, but rather have to be driven, either in a limo, or a school provided bus, or in another type of “chauffeured” arrangement.
You don’t want young people driving to and from their prom.
Okay, I’m throwing out numbers here, some of which I have taken from this highly informative story Average prom cost tops $1,000 per teen, which ran a week ago in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, about what families spend on proms on average in the our nation.
One of my Facebook friends – she graduated from OA in 1982 – posted yesterday about costs associated with today's high school formals.
Here is an excerpt (with a few minor copyedits) from the post:
How on earth are ... people with children affording this ritual? When I went to my first prom, I borrowed my sister’s dress that she … wore to her wedding. On my senior prom, my Mom and sister-in-law made my dress. My friend did my hair and I painted my own nails. I was picked up in my date’s family car, and not surprisingly I was home by 10 p.m. Today … The average price for a dress is $100-$300 … then the shoes and the accessories.
The elegance, dressing up and formality of the prom are certainly major components what make the prom special.
But there are more important components – that is being with friends, and girlfriends and boyfriends, significant others, and enjoying a special night – which, yes, is partly special because of formal dress and flowers and a sit-down plated dinner on tablecloths.
Just think – there was a time when many high school proms were held in the high school gymnasium.
Uncool, you say? Old School, and no class? Weak?
Au contraire – having the prom in the high school gym is heavy with tradition and nostalgia and so much of what makes high school fun, and which resonates and courses in our soul for all the years afterward.
When I was a student at OA, a young lady moved into Easton from a nearby community. I remember her telling us that in the town she came from, the high school there had its prom in the gym, and it was a wonderful event.
About eight or nine years ago, I was talking with a young lady who was working at my brother’s coffee-donut shop up at Five Corners in Easton. She was a senior at OA and very much part of the school’s “in” crowd.
I told her how in days of yore high school proms were held in the high school gymnasiums.
She said she thought it would be great to have the prom in the high school gym.
Then again, come to think of it, having the prom in the gym would not affect the price much of an OA prom ticket which goes for a fairly reasonable $75.
I'm just trying to brainstorm here a bit about possible cost savings on holding and going to the event.
Maybe I’m out of touch, totally. It has been 31 years since my high school prom. I went with a beautiful young woman – she was lovely all around –and I had a super time.
Experiencing the night with my friends made it special.
Not sure how much the prom cost my mom and dad back then.
I do understand that finery and formality can cost money.
But does it have to cost this much?