Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

swimmermom3

Trying to be gracious about prom

Recommended Posts

My oldest son is a senior and will be taking his girlfriend to prom. They are part of a group of ten friends that do a lot together. The group has decided to go out to dinner, take a limo, go to McDonald's afterwards and then hang out at the house two doors down from us. We do truly like ds' s girlfriend and they are about as serious as they can get for her being Mormon and he being non-Mormon. She has told ds that this night is second in her life only to getting married. My son, as a gentleman is expected to pick up the tab:

 

Tickets $110

Tux Rental 145

Dinner 80

McDonald's afterwards 10

Corsage 20

Limousine 86

Pictures 12

$463 Edited for new prices as he arranges things today

 

That is 43 hours of moving freight in a warehouse last summer for five hours of a "perfect evening." It is a term of textbooks.

 

He has told the group that he will drive down separately and spend the $12 for parking instead of the $86 for the limo. He has offered to cook dinner and his family will be the discreet waitstaff that will disappear. She's a bit unhappy.

 

What is a gracious way to say that in our family this is not an acceptable use of money? We want them to have a good time, but there are better uses for the money or at least half of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say it's time for her to pick up part of the bill if she wants those experiences for her prom night. :) He can still be a "gentleman" while she covers part of the tab. It is 2013, after all...

 

I do understand why she would want to do the dinner and limo ride - that's a big part of the shared social experience with a group of friends. But if he can't comfortably afford it, then that's the reality of it and plans must be adjusted accordingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is a gracious way to say that in our family this is not an acceptable use of money?

 

This is the only part that threw me off. Is the whole family taking her out or is your son? If he doesn't have the extra money to spend, then the alternatives he provided are, in my opinion, just fine. Maybe he can think of a more romantic alternative to eating in his house with his family being the wait staff (darn cute idea, though!). Maybe a picnic with lots of candles or Christmas lights in the town park gazebo or something where they can hang out without family. I mean, as cute as that idea is, family really does cramp yer style, kwim? ;)

 

If he has the money and doesn't mind spending it on her, why not let him? He'll work hard to make the income for a semester of books this summer. It's his big night out, too, and sometimes splurging on unnecessary things is good for the soul. Besides, he might come to the conclusion that a gal who is less maintenance is a better fit for a life-partner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lisa!

I saw your post on the "stream" and popped by! Dd went to prom last year, she was homeschooled, but went with a friend (not boyfriend) to his prom for the "experience." (And.... being very introverted, just had an ok time....).

 

She also had an offer to pay half with another friend. But half was a ridiculous amount, similar to yours. The group of girls got together and really ran up the tab..... a limo for the day, driving an hour away to go to a particular restaurant, and so dd was going to have to come up with $120 (I have a feeling that the guy was floating the entire tab her way...). Dd got on facebook with ds's friend (who is older) and he said it was a matter of principle, and not being cheap, and that he went into serious debt to take his girl to the prom. So basically the advice he gave (very southern culture) is that she was getting the short end of a bad deal. Dd didn't do it.

 

Back to the prom she went to. Being a gal, no tux rental was needed (but I would have paid for that), we got a nice dress for a very good deal. The guy picked up the restaurant and prom ticket. No limo. We also got a boutineer (sp?), entire night, under $100 and we paid since it was her senior year.

 

I'll just say what we did and you can take what you want from it. Maybe take into consideration how serious they are and what your ds wishes are. And maybe pay some as part of "senior expenses."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest son is a senior and will be taking his girlfriend to prom. They are part of a group of ten friends that do a lot together. The group has decided to go out to dinner, take a limo, go to McDonald's afterwards and then hang out at the house two doors down from us. We do truly like ds' s girlfriend and they are about as serious as they can get for her being Mormon and he being non-Mormon. She has told ds that this night is second in her life only to getting married. My son, as a gentleman is expected to pick up the tab:

 

Tickets $110

Tux Rental 125

Dinner 80

McDonald's afterwards 10

Corsage 8

Limousine 86

Pictures 12

$431

 

That is 43 hours of moving freight in a warehouse last summer for five hours of a "perfect evening." It is a term of textbooks.

 

He has told the group that he will drive down separately and spend the $12 for parking instead of the $86 for the limo. He has offered to cook dinner and his family will be the discreet waitstaff that will disappear. She's a bit unhappy.

 

What is a gracious way to say that in our family this is not an acceptable use of money? We want them to have a good time, but there are better uses for the money or at least half of it.

 

Yikes! My daughter's prom tickets are only $50 per COUPLE.

 

But yeah, if she wants the fancy extras like a limo (could they be sharing this charge with other couples?), she needs to pitch in or accept what he is offering.

 

I have a frugal son also, and I can't imagine him spending money like this...lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have a hard time coming up with an answer because the I find the whole idea that "this is the second biggest night of her life" a little ... well ... stupid. I can't imagine what her wedding is going to be like. Your son seems to have a good mind for money and value and he should stick to his guns. If she wants to have him be the perfect 50's style gentlemen and treat her to the evening then she'll have to go along with what he can afford. (Remember when guys didn't get married until they could afford to support a family?) However maybe she wants to be a little more modern and get a fancier evening that she'll help pay for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just looked out my window and down at the park there are several prom couples having their pictures made. I can see the bright pink and turquoise dresses quite clearly from a block or more away. My first thought was, "Are neon colors really coming back in style?" My first comment to ds (as he's scrounging food from the kitchen) was, "Look at the prom goers, girls who spend lots of money on dresses they'll never wear again."

 

I went to prom twice, I had a good time at one. I still don't get all the hype and need to fork out that much money. This isn't a wedding and as it was stated it's 2013. If she wants all this from a prom experience, she should chip in half. If he's being frugal and finding other ways to make the experience special, she should either agree or get another date, or chip in. Claiming this is the 2nd most important night of her life just puts your ds in a bad position, which isn't really fair to him. Also, on a highly debatable perspective it sets a girl up to expect to be treated like a princess by every man and every experience. I agree women/girls should be respected and treated like a lady, but that doesn't mean you get every darn thing you want. If it's really that important, her parents should handle some of the expense too. I mean, who really thinks 400.00+ for one evening is a good use of money, weddings excepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee I don't know! My son just left for prom and he paid for the tickets, the limo, corsage, and will pay for dinner as well. I don't mind the limo cost as I insist they not be driving around on prom night. Your prices look in line with ours but his tickets were only $70.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not grow up in this country and find the whole expensive prom thing ridiculous. These are kids for whom these expenses are completely out of proportion for their limited income. And this being the second most important night in a girl's life? Give me a break.

First, I do not see why the girl should not pay half. Second, I think your son's cost cutting suggestions are very sensible and sweet - I mean, how great is it if a guy is offering to cook?

This said, I would let your son decide whether he wants to spend his hard earned money on the prom to please this girl, or not. I think he is definitely aware that this is ridiculous, but s long as he is willing to pay with his own money, I would let him to whatever he decides. You can strongly support him in his thinking that this is ridiculous, but let him make the choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone else seeing "Trying to be gracious about P*RN"??? LOL

 

I went to my prom in a home made dress with my cousin. I don't think I"m prepared to answer this question adequately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate everyone's feedback. After the first couple of posts, dh and I talked it over and offered to spring for ds's portion of the limo. Traffic and parking downtown will be problematic and it can be guaranteed there will be drunk teens on the roads out where we live, so the limo was sounding better. However, ds pointed out that the limo holds 8 and there are ten of them so someone would still have to drive. He decided that it might as well be him. This means that dh's car will be washed, waxed, and detailed to the nth degree. Ds will be going downtown earlier in the day with two of the guys who will have to drop off their cars and leave them parked there until after the prom. If they held the limo through dinner and the dance itself, it would be $800. We'll reserve a $20 parking spot at the venue to save ds the headache of trying to find parking that night.

 

Where I struggle in this equation is that I am not sure that just because ds has the nearly $500 or that because we have the money, that it should be spent in this fashion. I don't mean to sound curmudgeonly, but how does one draw the line? As much as we all don't like to admit it, drawing the line is part of growing up and part of being financially responsible. Dh and I cover many many opportunities for our kids. We've provided showers and laundry facilities to kids who have had the water at their shared apartment turned off, retrieved dogs from the pound, and picked up kids from work who didn't have a ride home. None of those kids or dogs were ours. Proms and regular dances are an expense we do not cover, because It is difficult to gauge the emotional importance of such an event. The prom is not the second most important night of my son's life. He would probably rank getting his Billy Mitchell award a few feet ahead of the prom.

 

Anyway, what we have tried to teach our kids is that one seldom has the funds to do important things "perfectly," but with some creativity, one can still do those things well and have a very special time, with the right attitude. Maybe our oldest spoiled us. Her most expensive prom dress ever was $30 and she was pretty sure she had every bit as good a time as the girls that spent $200 more.

 

As far as dinner is concerned, we checked with our son and he is fairly adamant about dinner at home: small table in front of the fireplace if the weather isn't too hot, best crystal, china, and silverware, candlelight, flowers from the garden, and romantic music. He'll let dh, who is an excellent cook, do the dinner and then the family will leave. I'll make a decadent dessert that ds will serve and they'll leave the dishes for us.

 

Ds ordered the same wrist corsage my dd had her senior year and it is $20. My dd found a video and thinks we can make a better one that is more comfortable and just as lovely.

 

I don't know. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all, but we know a lot of people in debt or marital trouble who have a difficult time saying no to a loved one when the financial decision doesn't suit anyone in the long run. Does that make sense about trying to find balance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your son is being perfectly reasonable, but it might be interesting to understand exactly why the girlfriend is upset. A lot of prom is hanging out with your friends, not just your date. Is she unhappy with his unwillingness to spend a ton of money, or is she just missing her friends? Would she be happier if one or two or three other couples were invited to the boys-cooking home-made dinner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get it Lisa! Dd's dress was $30, the shoes can be worn again. We tried to make a boutinier but it was a huge flop. But if you know someone who can, more power to you. Dh actually put one of the party's back together at pictures much better than it came from the store... Grocery store corsages were half the price of floral shops. And the guy picked a small restaurant that was nice, but only about $10 each to eat. Neither guy wore a tux, they just wore suits they already had. Pics from the prom showed that not many guys wore a tux, so get your ds to check on that. Dd's date wore a black suit, black shirt and white tie, it looked nice. And one of the guys washed his mom's nice car to use for four of them. Luckily no downtown, small town and everything is close. So close that the guy nicely ran dd home because she was tired and didn't want to bowl all night after the prom.

 

I can't believe all they do now, limo, very expensive restaurant, very expensive formal dresses, after activities, eeeks! I'm glad we are through with it! Best of luck figuring it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't know. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all, but we know a lot of people in debt or marital trouble who have a difficult time saying no to a loved one when the financial decision doesn't suit anyone in the long run. Does that make sense about trying to find balance?

 

This is a large life lesson. You can only split 5.00 or 500.00 in so many directions. When one party is willing to cut back and the other is not, it can create a lot of havoc. She may be seeing this as one night and why not, but it's not her money is it. It seems you are trying to keep proper perspective and balance. I'm sure she is a lovely person, but...At the high school age, it is not your ds's responsibility to support her hopes and dreams for the evening. If she is really set on the other experiences, her parents should help out, or if there wanted to be gentlemen's agreement, then her daddy could slip your ds some money to help make the evening special.

 

Oh dear, I'm not ready for my ds to date, ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And not to be too politically incorrect, but if the guy is supposed to spend $500 or more on prom, I hope that doesn't place certain expectations on the girl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your son is being perfectly reasonable, but it might be interesting to understand exactly why the girlfriend is upset. A lot of prom is hanging out with your friends, not just your date. Is she unhappy with his unwillingness to spend a ton of money, or is she just missing her friends? Would she be happier if one or two or three other couples were invited to the boys-cooking home-made dinner?

 

Friends of ours always had several couples come over to their house for the dinner. They planned with the other parents so their family didn't have to cook all of the food. For the record, these are some of the wealthiest people I know -- it wasn't a money issue. The parents wanted to make sure their kids behaved in an exemplary fashion (how many times do teens go to really nice restaurants and have to navigate the experience without an adult's help?), and not do something stupid like miscalculate a tip (easy to do in a big group at a restaurant).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And not to be too politically incorrect, but if the guy is supposed to spend $500 or more on prom, I hope that doesn't place certain expectations on the girl.

 

:D Not my son. His older sister would flay him alive, before his dad could even get to him.

 

But you do bring up an interesting point. When my dd starting going to dances and going on dates, we taught her to always be prepared to pay her way. I think that is because dh and I met in college and were both working students so we usually split the costs or whoever had more money that week paid. Money and power balance was just a non-issue with us. When my dd was a senior, she was dating someone one year older who was in the army. He had been raised to pay for everything and insisted on doing so with dd. It caused considerable tension, not so much for se@ual expectations, but for control issues. My dh may have split costs with me, but he is a gentleman. The father of the former boyfriend and the boyfriend who paid for everything? Not so much in the gentleman category. :tongue_smilie:

 

But I am curious. Why is the guy not allowed to have any expectations, but the girl has every right to expect a $400-$500 night? I am the mother of a daughter and I still don't get this idea of "You should pay out part of your college savings to fulfill my fantasy, because well, I am a girl?"

 

Oh and ds just informed me that it was the girls that decided on the limo so the five guys told the girls that they would have to pay their $43 portions each. The guys weren't willing to pay the full $86 per couple when the guys didn't want the limo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your son is being perfectly reasonable, but it might be interesting to understand exactly why the girlfriend is upset. A lot of prom is hanging out with your friends, not just your date. Is she unhappy with his unwillingness to spend a ton of money, or is she just missing her friends? Would she be happier if one or two or three other couples were invited to the boys-cooking home-made dinner?

 

Gah! He'll check with her again this evening. The guys are barbecuing for the girls over at our neighbor's house tonight.

 

If she wants to be with her friends for dinner, there will be ten dining here. The last dance was Morph where the girls ask the guys and we hosted a potluck here. That would be when one young lady brought a dish early in the day and then pulled it out at dinner time. Mmmm. Cold scalloped potatoes. :D It was really fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D Not my son. His older sister would flay him alive, before his dad could even get to him.

 

Just to be perfectly clear, I wasn't trying to cast aspersions against your son, just talking about the general case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least you get to see your son all gussied up in fancy duds...my DS has decided that dating in high school isn't for him and told me not to get my hopes up of having him go to any of the dances. :crying: Since DD went to every dance while she was in high school, he is requesting the following compensation: $50 per dance that he chooses not to attend, payable upon high school graduation. :glare: He thinks DH and I are getting a bargain- no tickets, no tuxes, no shoes, no dinners, no corsages; a simple flat fee per skipped dance.

 

So far he has elected to miss two homecomings and two Valentine's formals. Total owed:$200

 

I have a hidden hope that he will change his mind within the next two years and decide to attend to his senior prom. :001_unsure:

 

In the meantime I will share that the best thing I have seen done to keep dinner expenses down. It was thought up by a group of families who attended the same local church. They booked one of the side rooms(a beautiful library) at the church, decorated it to match the prom theme (starry nights; it was creative and gorgeous), used the church kitchen for food prep, and had the dads serve as valets and waitstaff. The kids entered the church through the door closest to the room and went directly to the 'restaurant' where they were greeted by a host and a coatchecker. They never saw the kitchen or the cooks. The services were free, the food was provided by the families and the church was free. It was budget friendly and the kids all loved it.

 

I hope this idea helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:D Not my son. His older sister would flay him alive, before his dad could even get to him. But you do bring up an interesting point. When my dd starting going to dances and going on dates, we taught her to always be prepared to pay her way. I think that is because dh and I met in college and were both working students so we usually split the costs or whoever had more money that week paid. Money and power balance was just a non-issue with us. When my dd was a senior, she was dating someone one year older who was in the army. He had been raised to pay for everything and insisted on doing so with dd. It caused considerable tension, not so much for se@ual expectations, but for control issues. My dh may have split costs with me, but he is a gentleman. The father of the former boyfriend and the boyfriend who paid for everything? Not so much in the gentleman category. :tongue_smilie: But I am curious. Why is the guy not allowed to have any expectations, but the girl has every right to expect a $400-$500 night? I am the mother of a daughter and I still don't get this idea of "You should pay out part of your college savings to fulfill my fantasy, because well, I am a girl?" Oh and ds just informed me that it was the girls that decided on the limo so the five guys told the girls that they would have to pay their $43 portions each. The guys weren't willing to pay the full $86 per couple when the guys didn't want the limo.

 

If it makes you feel any better, most of the girls I know end up spending $400-500 on their dress, shoes, make-up, and hair.. Not that that makes any sense to me, but the expenditures for boy and girl seem to be fairly equivalent when you look at it that way. I'm just glad mine don't have a prom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:D Not my son. His older sister would flay him alive, before his dad could even get to him. But you do bring up an interesting point. When my dd starting going to dances and going on dates, we taught her to always be prepared to pay her way. I think that is because dh and I met in college and were both working students so we usually split the costs or whoever had more money that week paid. Money and power balance was just a non-issue with us. When my dd was a senior, she was dating someone one year older who was in the army. He had been raised to pay for everything and insisted on doing so with dd. It caused considerable tension, not so much for se@ual expectations, but for control issues. My dh may have split costs with me, but he is a gentleman. The father of the former boyfriend and the boyfriend who paid for everything? Not so much in the gentleman category. :tongue_smilie: But I am curious. Why is the guy not allowed to have any expectations, but the girl has every right to expect a $400-$500 night? I am the mother of a daughter and I still don't get this idea of "You should pay out part of your college savings to fulfill my fantasy, because well, I am a girl?" Oh and ds just informed me that it was the girls that decided on the limo so the five guys told the girls that they would have to pay their $43 portions each. The guys weren't willing to pay the full $86 per couple when the guys didn't want the limo.

 

If it makes you feel any better, most of the girls I know end up spending $400-500 minimum on their dress, shoes, make-up, and hair.. Not that that makes any sense to me, but the expenditures for boy and girl seem to be fairly equivalent when you look at it that way. I'm just glad mine don't have a prom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the fifth couple have to still pay for the limo?

 

And btw, dd said loved your ds's idea of eating in (rather than a restaurant), in fact, she said "how about pizza so I can eat before I get ready?" How is that for economical? And she won't let the guy pay much (if at all), she doesn't feel like its fair, they work hard for their money, and its never a "date."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot fathom how teens about to leave for college with its associated expenses would be pushed to consider such financial insanity as the modern prom (says Jane the pragmatist).

 

I hope your son's girlfriend realizes how charming the proposed more economical course might prove to be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it makes you feel any better, most of the girls I know end up spending $400-500 minimum on their dress, shoes, make-up, and hair.. Not that that makes any sense to me, but the expenditures for boy and girl seem to be fairly equivalent when you look at it that way. I'm just glad mine don't have a prom!

 

 

Playing devil's advocate here - I see the difference being that the girls voluntarily choose to do this. The boy isn't requiring the girl to spend that much money. I have never met a boy who tells a girl to get a mani-pedi, get an updo, get a facial and buy shoes, jewelry and a bag to match her dress. These are all things girls do of their own accord.

 

Girls could easily reduce their expenses. Many boys cannot because of what is expected. It's a double standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone else seeing "Trying to be gracious about P*RN"??? LOL

 

I went to my prom in a home made dress with my cousin. I don't think I"m prepared to answer this question adequately.

 

yeah. I went to prom with a friend in one of my grandmother's dresses (that stayed in my closet for a long time afterward) I HOPE he didn't rent a tux! He did take me out to a really nice restaurant. I think I bought a rose for myself and he bought whatever flower he wanted for himself. But I don't remember exactly.

 

I don't remember there being tickets for the prom. so if so he picked up that cost. We didn't do the limo thing. Wouldn't have wanted to. But we weren't going in a social group either. The pictures were taken by my dad at the door/outside the house. It was fun but would NOT have been fun if I'd have been worried about the money aspect!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

yeah. I went to prom with a friend in one of my grandmother's dresses (that stayed in my closet for a long time afterward) I HOPE he didn't rent a tux! He did take me out to a really nice restaurant. I think I bought a rose for myself and he bought whatever flower he wanted for himself. But I don't remember exactly.

 

I don't remember there being tickets for the prom. so if so he picked up that cost. We didn't do the limo thing. Wouldn't have wanted to. But we weren't going in a social group either. The pictures were taken by my dad at the door/outside the house. It was fun but would NOT have been fun if I'd have been worried about the money aspect!

 

This was my experience as well. My cousin drove my Dad's car, we ate at home before hand, and the tickets were 75 for the couple. We got one picture free at the dance and we took pictures at home. We had a great time and I have to say, if I had been out with a boy as a date, I wouldn't have had as much fun. NO PRESSURE!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest son is a senior and will be taking his girlfriend to prom. They are part of a group of ten friends that do a lot together. The group has decided to go out to dinner, take a limo, go to McDonald's afterwards and then hang out at the house two doors down from us. We do truly like ds' s girlfriend and they are about as serious as they can get for her being Mormon and he being non-Mormon. She has told ds that this night is second in her life only to getting married. My son, as a gentleman is expected to pick up the tab:

 

Tickets $110

Tux Rental 145

Dinner 80

McDonald's afterwards 10

Corsage 20

Limousine 86

Pictures 12

$463 Edited for new prices as he arranges things today

 

That is 43 hours of moving freight in a warehouse last summer for five hours of a "perfect evening." It is a term of textbooks.

 

He has told the group that he will drive down separately and spend the $12 for parking instead of the $86 for the limo. He has offered to cook dinner and his family will be the discreet waitstaff that will disappear. She's a bit unhappy.

 

What is a gracious way to say that in our family this is not an acceptable use of money? We want them to have a good time, but there are better uses for the money or at least half of it.

You don't have to explain that it is not an acceptable use of money. You can just say no. To put it another way, there is no way to be gracious at the same time you're telling someone that your family is better than hers, which is what the other parents would be hearing.

 

I think your ds made a great counter offer. I hope he sticks to it. If the young woman won't accept it, well, maybe your ds will see that she is not the right girl for him, KWIM?

 

Oh, and FTR, a young man can still be a gentleman even if he doesn't allow people to guilt him into paying for outrageous prom expenses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least you get to see your son all gussied up in fancy duds...my DS has decided that dating in high school isn't for him and told me not to get my hopes up of having him go to any of the dances. :crying: Since DD went to every dance while she was in high school, he is requesting the following compensation: $50 per dance that he chooses not to attend, payable upon high school graduation. :glare: He thinks DH and I are getting a bargain- no tickets, no tuxes, no shoes, no dinners, no corsages; a simple flat fee per skipped dance.

 

So far he has elected to miss two homecomings and two Valentine's formals. Total owed:$200

 

Our high school doesn't even have dances. Well, they try to put them on, but the kids boycott them because the school outlawed grinding, and then they get cancelled. My dd has signed up for a couple, but she's one of only a handful of kids. They do have prom, and I think that's well attended, but my dds are only freshmen. Considering all you hear about "what about dances?" for kids who homeschool for high school, I'm finding this very ironic. :lol: My girls have been going to dances put on by the Mormons all year - we're not Mormon, but we have a bunch of friends who are and invited them, and most of their old homeschooling friends are going, and ironically now some of their new school friends are interested in going, seeing as there are no school dances. And no grinding there for sure. ;)

 

I can't even begin to weigh in on the prom expense thing. I'm also very frugal. And I never went to my own prom and never missed it. Second most important day in a girl's life - yeesh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get it. I regularly discuss my sons' finances. Thy are young and need encouragement and guidance and reality checks. It's a constant balance between them being entirely solo and yet keeping in mind that all money spends like water when they aren't keeping goals in mind.

 

I would have told my son to budget what he thinks is reasonable BEFORE discussing plans with his friend. It helps when one starts the convo with, "hey guys, I don't know what we should do, but I know I can't afford more than X."

 

And truth is, I bet most of the others have parents who are floating all or most of it. :/

 

I would pay up to $200 of it for my son IF I could afford it. Likely tickets and tux?

 

I would be willing to gift my son a fancy dinner and dance night once in 17-19 years to celebrate their last year of high school. Thank goodness neither want to bother. I hated prom. I went to dh's and did not want to attend mine the next year. A nice dinner, some quiet dancing and conversation? I'm happy. Loud people, loud music, lots of strobe and sparkling lights? Kinda makes me want to puke.

 

We are old school. If it is his prom, then he should pay it all the way (edit as in: prom ticket, tux, flowers, dinner that he can afford). If it is her prom, then I think he should cover dinner. If its prom for the same school and they are both graduatin? He should do what he can afford and she should either be okay with that or find another guy to mine.

 

I have no idea what the allure of a limo is. Don't people know it's just stretched out taxi?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have no idea what the allure of a limo is. Don't people know it's just stretched out taxi?

 

Unless it's something way kewl, like a stretch Hummer, or a stretch VW. Beetle :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And her parents think it is reasonable for him to spend that much money on their daughter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am from a very conservative religious background so I have no experience with any school dances, but I did read Miss Manners Guide to Raising Perfect Children where she does mention school dances. Miss Manners actually does not believe that boys should be wearing tuxedos at high school dances because of the financial strain on the students. She considers it perfectly acceptable for a boy to go to a school dance dressed in a suit.

 

Your son's date is being very unreasonable in my thinking! Yes, she has a fantasy, but if she is old enough to go to the prom, she is old enough to learn that financial realities do trump what you may want ideally. What will happen when she wants X or Y at her wedding and her parents cannot afford to provide it? Will they have to go into debt for that? Part of growing up is realizing that you do what you can afford graciously. If she is going to sulk with your son's alternative prom arrangements, perhaps he should graciously say, "well this is what I can do. Perhaps you would like to find another date for the prom". Oh, I know, he will not want to do that (obviously!). But putting this bug in his ear of how if she really liked you she would not be forcing you to spend money you need for other expenses might make him think that that such a materialistic girl is not for him. Maybe this is her way of rejecting your son, in any case. That's a painful reality (no rejection is pain-free), but this may be this girl's way of saying I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have strong feelings about prom one way or the other, but you are going to find it difficult not to come across as judgmental and ungracious because you are, well, judgmental. There is a difference between not being able to afford something (not judgmental) and not thinking it is worth the money (judgmental), and you seem to come down squarely in the latter camp. There is nothing wrong with that--I am not saying I disagree at all. But if you truly do not want to be ungracious, and you can afford the expense, just repeat to yourself the mantra we adopt when we go to Disney: "That's just what it costs." Relax and repeat. If your son can talk them into a more economical option, yea! If not, let him go and spend the money. The girl will grow up eventually and realize that prom is not really the second most important thing she will ever do.

 

As for how to actually economize, my only suggestion might be to rent a party van and have one of the dads drive--it would be cheaper, more fun and would fit everyone. The moms could provide cute snacks and ginger ale for the van ride?

 

Terri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And her parents think it is reasonable for him to spend that much money on their daughter?

 

 

This is what I was thinking. I'll be sure to have a conversation with my dds in the near future about this stuff. I'll be upset if either of them think this is ok or normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why they are renting a limo if only 8 of the 10 can use it. I certainly think it completely unreasonable to expect all 10 to contribute $ when they don't all get to use it. That's nuts. It's literally paying for someone else's taxi. Smh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to explain that it is not an acceptable use of money. You can just say no. To put it another way, there is no way to be gracious at the same time you're telling someone that your family is better than hers, which is what the other parents would be hearing.

 

I think your ds made a great counter offer. I hope he sticks to it. If the young woman won't accept it, well, maybe your ds will see that she is not the right girl for him, KWIM?

 

Oh, and FTR, a young man can still be a gentleman even if he doesn't allow people to guilt him into paying for outrageous prom expenses.

 

 

Oh Ellie, I would never tell this young lady that our family is better than her family, because I don't believe that. I guess I did not phrase my question well at all.

 

It is a delicate dance because if ds does not spend that kind of money, then he can be seen as cheap and uncaring and he is neither. He wants his girlfriend to have a wonderful evening and will work hard to make that happen. It may not look exactly like how she envisioned it, but I think he can pull it off. I hope. Gulp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a delicate dance because if ds does not spend that kind of money, then he can be seen as cheap and uncaring and he is neither.

 

 

*hugs* It is a delicate dance indeed. The next one might be the cost of an engagement ring. The amount my ex-collegues spent were high by my "cheapskate" standard. Hubby bought cheap rings and spend his money on paying for our first home which I don't mind :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it makes you feel any better, most of the girls I know end up spending $400-500 minimum on their dress, shoes, make-up, and hair.. Not that that makes any sense to me, but the expenditures for boy and girl seem to be fairly equivalent when you look at it that way. I'm just glad mine don't have a prom!

 

I am not sure if it makes me feel better, but dd did remind me of the young woman with the $2000 prom dress when dd was a senior.

 

My dd is taking the day off from work on prom day and doing the five girls' hair and make-up. She has done this for every dance this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My dd is taking the day off from work on prom day and doing the five girls' hair and make-up. She has done this for every dance this year.

 

Wow! What a nice sister! With all the money your dd is saving them, your son shouldn't have to pay anything.

 

My daughter attended a modest prom at the LDS church here last night. The cost of dinner was included in the tickets ($10 each?). He wore his Sunday suit and dd made her own dress. I did pay for the fabric/dress and his boutonniere. DD wore shoes that she already owned. His parents drove them to the dance. The young man (or his parents?) paid for the tickets, a corsage, and a matching tie. Oh, and he brought ME a bouquet of flowers.

 

THE shocking expense was the hair, nails, and makeup. I guess my oldest daughter felt slighted as a teen and decided that her sister should have the works. Older sister paid for the trip to the salon. I nearly choked when I heard the total ($120?). It was super nice but I'm sure 17yo would have been okay without it. I'll admit that it was a very special gift.

 

Last night was dd's first ever date and the only time she has attended a formal with a date. I didn't mind forking out the money for the dress, but I am glad they kept the costs reasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is another thing. What was your own experience with Prom? I grew up on Long Island. First they were NEVER held at the school like they are here. Second, everyone had a limo. Sounds odd but they just did. I guess based on my own past I assumed all of these things for my kids. Having said that, I don't get the allure of "prom" in general. It is one of the biggest reasons I get against homeschooling HS. "But what Prom???????" Here they take it to the highest degree with a 6 hour afterprom party where there are moonbounces, games like a money booth, and they give away a new car to one senior who is there all night in the final drawing. It really is an insane amount of work but they want the kids there and not out drinking.

I also wanted to say that last night as they were on the way back they witnessed a terrible accident where a car flipped the median and rolled several times. I hate to think that could have been my kid driving right next to that or IN that situation last night. Ugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am from a very conservative religious background so I have no experience with any school dances, but I did read Miss Manners Guide to Raising Perfect Children where she does mention school dances. Miss Manners actually does not believe that boys should be wearing tuxedos at high school dances because of the financial strain on the students. She considers it perfectly acceptable for a boy to go to a school dance dressed in a suit.

 

Your son's date is being very unreasonable in my thinking! Yes, she has a fantasy, but if she is old enough to go to the prom, she is old enough to learn that financial realities do trump what you may want ideally.

 

Huzzah to Miss Manners!

 

Her comment and Shifra's both raise the big question on the issue: why create the artifice? This is not helping you with your situation, Lisa, so I apologize for the rabbit trail. But I think prom plays into something that we as parents must contend with on the kinds of experiences we want our kids to have.

 

I am not saying that our kids can neither have nice meals out nor dress up and dance. I am just wondering how some things--like prom--have become larger than life and why parents continue to show support.

 

The expectation that young people place on a single event like this. Is this viewed as a rite of passage for some, a step into adulthood? I for one don't have limo rides in my everyday life--nor would I want this form of transportation.

 

Lisa, I think your daughter is wonderful to do the hair and make-up of some of the girls. This is special. Your son rocks as well. Bravo.

 

Jane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Huzzah to Miss Manners!

 

Her comment and Shifra's both raise the big question on the issue: why create the artifice? This is not helping you with your situation, Lisa, so I apologize for the rabbit trail. But I think prom plays into something that we as parents must contend with on the kinds of experiences we want our kids to have.

 

I am not saying that our kids can neither have nice meals out nor dress up and dance. I am just wondering how some things--like prom--have become larger than life and why parents continue to show support.

 

The expectation that young people place on a single event like this. Is this viewed as a rite of passage for some, a step into adulthood? I for one don't have limo rides in my everyday life--nor would I want this form of transportation.

 

Lisa, I think your daughter is wonderful to do the hair and make-up of some of the girls. This is special. Your son rocks as well. Bravo.

 

Jane

 

This is an excellent question. There has been a decided push to ultra glamorize the experience. One trend that disturbs me is the over the top invitation where the boy does something outrageous and public (and often videotaped) to ask the girl to prom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least you get to see your son all gussied up in fancy duds...my DS has decided that dating in high school isn't for him and told me not to get my hopes up of having him go to any of the dances. :crying: Since DD went to every dance while she was in high school, he is requesting the following compensation: $50 per dance that he chooses not to attend, payable upon high school graduation. :glare: He thinks DH and I are getting a bargain- no tickets, no tuxes, no shoes, no dinners, no corsages; a simple flat fee per skipped dance.

 

 

That sounds like an excellent plan. Tell him there will be a bonus (payable immediately) if he cleans the oven instead. :w00t:

 

(Can anyone guess what chore I'm facing this week? :tongue_smilie:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is another thing. What was your own experience with Prom? I grew up on Long Island. First they were NEVER held at the school like they are here. Second, everyone had a limo. Sounds odd but they just did. I guess based on my own past I assumed all of these things for my kids. Having said that, I don't get the allure of "prom" in general. It is one of the biggest reasons I get against homeschooling HS. "But what Prom???????" Here they take it to the highest degree with a 6 hour afterprom party where there are moonbounces, games like a money booth, and they give away a new car to one senior who is there all night in the final drawing. It really is an insane amount of work but they want the kids there and not out drinking.

I also wanted to say that last night as they were on the way back they witnessed a terrible accident where a car flipped the median and rolled several times. I hate to think that could have been my kid driving right next to that or IN that situation last night. Ugh

 

This was my experience also. My school had a junior prom and a senior ball. I skipped the senior ball because it was the same day as the state track meet. Dinner was normally included at the venue, which was actually the same place my aunt had her wedding reception.

 

This was a little more than a decade ago. I spent $100 on a dress, and my grandmother altered it for me. That was a lot less than most of my classmates. Maybe $20 on shoes? I had a hair appointment the day of, and my aunt took me out a couple days earlier to get my nails done. Combined that was about $100. Limo was $100 per person, but my family paid for my date also because I had invited him. A couple kids drove their father's classic car or rented a nice car, but nearly everyone went in a limo. Tickets were around $120 or so for both of us, but that did include dinner. I don't remember what we did for a corsage. We went to about a dozen homes meeting people to take pictures, and bought pictures at the prom also. There were activities at the school after that.

 

In contrast, I wore clothes I already owned for my wedding, we had a civil ceremony with a couple people there, and we might have stopped for McDonalds on the drive home before my husband had to go to work. The cost was a fraction of my prom.

 

Yes, the whole thing is a waste of money. There are lots of other things people waste money on too. If you choose to waste money on this, it doesn't guarantee that you'll spend the rest of your life burning money. No one ever died because they didn't get the perfect prom either though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up on Long Island.

 

But what Prom???????

 

I grew up on Long Island, too... did you have your prom at the Galaxy like I did, LOL?

 

I had to laugh about the "What about Prom?" question. I brought my kids home when they were 8, 6, and 3. Don't you know the first thing out of my grandmother's mouth was, "But they won't get to go to the prom!" Huh? I am ambivalent about the prom.... I just don't see the point, especially when we are saving like crazy for college. But lo and behold dd#1 is going... to someone else's prom. (So there, grandma.) Luckily, she's more fugal than I am. She said to me.... "I'm giving myself a $50 budget for the night!" LOL. We'll see if that's possible.

 

 

Why create the artifice? But I think prom plays into something that we as parents must contend with on the kinds of experiences we want our kids to have.

 

I am not saying that our kids can neither have nice meals out nor dress up and dance. I am just wondering how some things--like prom--have become larger than life and why parents continue to show support.

 

The expectation that young people place on a single event like this. Is this viewed as a rite of passage for some, a step into adulthood? I for one don't have limo rides in my everyday life--nor would I want this form of transportation.

 

This. Exactly.

 

My dd is taking the day off from work on prom day and doing the five girls' hair and make-up. She has done this for every dance this year.

 

That's very sweet! Is she free on May 18?? :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me preface this by saying that I think prom has, in general, gotten out of hand. I would have trouble not rolling my eyes and/or smirking at a kid who told me this was the "second biggest night of her life." And I think the idea that the guy has to be responsible for so much of the expense is not fair. (Although, do keep in mind that her dress probably cost at least as much as his tux rental and that she has other expenses for things like shoes and accessories and make-up . . .)

 

However, I don't really see any way for your son to cut corners here without leaving the girlfriend disappointed and sad. Prom is a social experience, and opting out of the limo ride and dinner with friends in a restaurant where his date gets to show off her dress and feel part of the group undercuts a huge aspect of the evening.

 

I think, in an ideal world, your son and his date would be part of a group who shared your family's convictions about appropriate use of money and/or were willing to work as a group to find compromises that would be more comfortable for you and your son. But neither of those things seem to be the case.

 

You can certainly insist that he stand on one side of this line you're drawing, but it won't leave his girlfriend with happy, warm fuzzy memories of her prom experience.

 

Honestly, from what I read elsewhere, the plan these kids have come up with and the associated costs are pretty frugal. According to this article, the average last year was over $1,000:

 

http://usatoday30.us...ding/54224068/1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, from what I read elsewhere, the plan these kids have come up with and the associated costs are pretty frugal. According to this article, the average last year was over $1,000:

 

http://usatoday30.us...ding/54224068/1

 

Where is the emoticon with the dropping jaw?

 

What I want to know is how many of these kids are borrowing money for college. One would think that they could have a grand time on $100 and put the rest toward their educations. $1000 won't pay for a semester of college but $1000 less debt is a good thing.

 

Jane the Curmudeon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...