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swimmermom3

Trying to be gracious about prom

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What a surprise, lol!

 

Why? Does it also bother you that golf clubs require certain attire to be acceptable? What about charity balls?

 

No one pitches a fit and says they will crash the ball or boycott the club. They either go appropriately or don't go and do their own thing.

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It seemed like all the couples at my school did the limo thing. It was a pain because the limo only got you there, so the guys had to deliver their car to the dance the day off. Then everyone left very early and drove around for a long time in order to use the minimum limo time they paid for. Dresses were big and pouffy, the limo was crowded, no one was comfy and the dresses wrinkled. My bf and I didn't do that, but he did rent a car. Same price as sharing a limo but much nicer and it was a dream car of mine.

 

I think part of the problem here is the mob mentality. If one wants to do it, then they all think it is a great idea.

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Why? Does it also bother you that golf clubs require certain attire to be acceptable? What about charity balls?

 

No one pitches a fit and says they will crash the ball or boycott the club. They either go appropriately or don't go and do their own thing.

 

Er, that was in response to you saying that the thread had really gone off the original path. I clipped that sentence, bolded it, and then posted 'what a surprise' directly underneath. Because we (collectively) are rather known for our ability to follow rabbit trails.

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My dress was $40 and it was free to enter. I think dinner cost $20 or less. That was 2001. I can't imagine spending that much or expecting my date to spend that much.

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Why? Does it also bother you that golf clubs require certain attire to be acceptable? What about charity balls?

 

No one pitches a fit and says they will crash the ball or boycott the club. They either go appropriately or don't go and do their own thing.

 

Except admittance to the prom doesn't require a limo or a fancy dinner beforehand, it is merely a preference to some. If I were going to a black tie event or country club that required certain attire then I'd dress appropriately, within my budget. Saying that those things are required are putting extra restrictions which don't exist. As to the tux itself I would guess that is different for different areas. My date to the prom wore a black suit, he couldn't have afforded a tux anyway. One can enjoy certain aspects of the event or celebration without having to do all the rest. Just as some like all the brouhaha surrounding marriages these days many don't. However the only requirement for a marriage is someone to perform the ceremony and the marriage certificate.

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I am puzzled by this statement. Yes, I agree that boys should learn to treat girls well, but I disagree that the artificial situation "prom" is any way to practice this or has any connection with the reality of man "treating a woman well".

 

When I think about ways my husband "treats me very well", respect, support, empathy, care, responsibility come to mind - but dressing up in fancy clothing and spending large amounts of money (large as in: out of proportion for our income) on an outing do not enter the picture.

 

I do not believe that spoiling a girl on prom night is any practice for "treating a girl very well".

 

 

My point, which I probably have not articulated well, is that it seems like a mistake to me to show up in a suit for a formal event that really does call for a tux. I think as a mother of boys, it is my job to explain to them how a girl might feel in that situation. If a tux isn't really called for (apparently this varies by school) then no problem. But I think is is bad form to show up for a prom when everyone else will be in a tux.

 

I think life affords a lot of opportunities to teach my sons how girls feel and how to have a grace and empathy for them. I teach them to be sweet to their grandmothers, thank the mom who volunteer at school, take a hostess gift when invited to dinner, to be fair and kind with everyone. I prod them to talk to the girl who is not being included and ask her to dance. A prom is just one of many opportunities for teaching these things, and not a necessary one. But if they want to go, I want them to understand how a girl might be thinking and feeling.

 

I was clear, I think, that the tickets seem over priced, that a home cooked meal with their friends would be lovely, and that the limo seems entire unnecessary. It was mostly the tux thing that I responded too. That, and just the in my opinion the girl isn't a brat for wanting to have dinner with their friends, though a cheaper restaurant or home affair seems fine. But in essence I certainly agree that proms are over rated. I barely remember my own prom. It certainly wasn't the high light of my youth, lol.

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Come on ladies. None of you have ever in the last TWELVE years bought a Coach purse? Went to an out of town wedding? Bought some new clothes and shoes? Bought a kitchen aid mixer? Nothing that was expensive and could have been avoided, but you didn't want to?

 

 

A Coach purse lasts a lot longer than one evening. :D

 

In the confines of my marriage, the last expensive thing I got just for myself that was not anywhere near a need was a 300.00 leather messenger bag that I will literally own the rest of my life. It was gift from dh, picked from a list of items I wanted.

 

Outside of marriage, I would pay my own way for extras and never suppose a young man should spend hundreds of dollars on me just because I "wanted" it.

 

Again, I don't get all the hype of prom, not even when I went. The word prom is not loaded with expectations for me.

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A Coach purse lasts a lot longer than one evening. :D

 

In the confines of my marriage, the last expensive thing I got just for myself that was not anywhere near a need was a 300.00 leather messenger bag that I will literally own the rest of my life. It was gift from dh, picked from a list of items I wanted.

 

Outside of marriage, I would pay my own way for extras and never suppose a young man should spend hundreds of dollars on me just because I "wanted" it.

 

Again, I don't get all the hype of prom, not even when I went. The word prom is not loaded with expectations for me.

 

Sorry to Lisa--I know we are doing the bunny hop in this thread.

 

I do not see financial equivalence between how a 17 or 18 year old spends money for an evening's pleasure and that of a purchase made by an adult who is probably in different financial circumstances. I will say that we all have our financial priorities and will often fail to understand why one person spends X on something whereas we prefer to spend Y on something else. For example, I love to travel. I might spend $1000 on a trip which someone else will view as ridiculous. But these are adult decisions made by people who have (we hope) disposable income.

 

I suppose that we as adults can choose to fund our kids' proms. Some parents rent hotel rooms or beach houses for their high schoolers to allow the fun to continue after the prom. Frankly I think this is dangerous but perhaps I am just a fuddy duddy. The point is that "prom" is not just a dance and a meal. The modern prom entails the limo and the post dance party--more or less depending on community.

 

Returning to the OP, the young man was funding this evening out. This is not a matter of his Mom buying a Coach bag or paying for prom. The financial equivalence that I wanted to establish is that $500 will pay for a semester's worth of text books for a college student. What is more important in the long term (assuming that most of our kids are not trust fund babies)?

 

I have learned that for some people here on our boards the memory of that night is apparently worth the money spent. Then I suspect that they will guide their kids to save for this event as well as college or they will gladly pick up the tab since they see this as a rite of passage.

 

I fund airplane tickets for my kid. This is my priority. We all must choose how we wish to spend our disposable income. I think the point here was that the OP's son had selected how he was spending his money but his girlfriend did not see eye to eye nor offer to make up the difference.

 

Hey--maybe I bunny hopped us back to the starting point after all!

 

Jane

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Unfortunately OP's son is in a tough situation all around when the prom date is his girlfriend and the arrangement is with a group of his friends. If he is going to the prom with his girl and not in a group, that is easier since there is much less peer pressure. Honestly, if there are five best men and four wears a tux and one wears a suit, the poor guy would stick out like a sore thumb.

The girl might just be "daddy's little girl" and just because her dad may talk to her about money does not mean her parents don't bankroll her expenses. I don't expect high school girls to be matured either. While it is sad that she reacted that way, still it is a group prom outing. The limousine situation is already bad with it fitting only 8 out of 10. So one couple will already be left out of the limousine. I won't write her off as a terrible girlfriend based on going to the prom as a group.

The two proms I went to in the late 80s was easy as no one brought a date. Everyone was dressed to dance like "Footloose" and some actually did breakdance. So peer pressure was way down. Parents either drop off their kids at the hotel lobby or we took a cab there.

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I do not see financial equivalence between how a 17 or 18 year old spends money for an evening's pleasure and that of a purchase made by an adult who is probably in different financial circumstances.

 

I do see the equivalence clearly. If anything, it's much easier to be freer with money when he is 17/18 and has a job and no bills or debts than middle aged when he has those and more to take into consideration. It's his money that he worked for same as anyone else. I'd advise him to budget considering other upcoming expenses and then the choice is his.

 

Returning to the OP, the young man was funding this evening out. This is not a matter of his Mom buying a Coach bag or paying for prom. The financial equivalence that I wanted to establish is that $500 will pay for a semester's worth of text books for a college student. What is more important in the long term (assuming that most of our kids are not trust fund babies)?

 

I was not saying mom should forgo her coach purse to pay for prom.

I was saying that one major splurge in twelve years is really not all that horrific a thing for a normally responsible young man to do. Same as a woman who almost never splurges on things might buy a coach purse once in twelve years doesn't make her foolish either.

 

And I have said repeatedly that if he can't afford it, then he can't afford it and this entire discussion is moot. Unless he can fart extra money, then if he can't he can't. If he didn't budget for prom (it's not like it's suddenly arrived!) then that another issue. But no one is saying he should take money out of his college fund for prom. Certainly not me.

 

I think the point here was that the OP's son had selected how he was spending his money but his girlfriend did not see eye to eye nor offer to make up the difference.

 

Exactly. Which is why I think he'd be better served to either graciously adjust his opinion or his girl friend. :)

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Why? Does it also bother you that golf clubs require certain attire to be acceptable? What about charity balls?

 

No one pitches a fit and says they will crash the ball or boycott the club. They either go appropriately or don't go and do their own thing.

 

 

Around here I can't think of anything that requires a tux. Sure there are events that will put formal attire but there is always an option to wear business dress. I can't think of a male who can write big charitable checks who picks the tux. Maybe in NYC, but not here.

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Around here I can't think of anything that requires a tux. Sure there are events that will put formal attire but there is always an option to wear business dress. I can't think of a male who can write big charitable checks who picks the tux. Maybe in NYC, but not here.

 

 

Okay. Then the question would be moot for your demographic wouldn't it? Because all the kids would be wearing suits and thus it'd look odd to wear a tux? Yes?

 

Idk where your "here" is, but there are plenty of high society functions in Tulsa or OKC wear a black tie would be expected and someone showing up in a suit would stick out. Weekly? Idk. But a few times a year? Absolutely.

 

To me, this is a "when in Rome" type scenario.

 

It's not that anyone is looking down their nose at someone for not wearing a tux. Not at all.

No one will have to because when everyone is wearing a tux and one lone dude or two are wearing blue suits, they are going to feel like they don't fit in. They just are.

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Around here I can't think of anything that requires a tux. Sure there are events that will put formal attire but there is always an option to wear business dress. I can't think of a male who can write big charitable checks who picks the tux. Maybe in NYC, but not here.

 

 

Well, I know for sure my DH has never in his life worn a tux. A suit he has worn three times (he corrected me; I thought it might be 4: our wedding, his thesis defense, his second thesis defense). I have never worn a ball gown.

 

It's not as if we live under a rock and never leave the house. We are both university professors and have been to conferences, awards ceremonies, job interviews, dinners, concerts, operas, weddings, have traveled in Europe... Somehow, in the 45 years of my life, I have never been asked to attend an event that would have necessitated more formal attire than a nice dress for women or a jacket for men, respectively. We must not move in the right circles.

(And no, it's not that I was oblivious and simply wore the wrong clothes: I have not attended any event where the other people wore tuxes and ball gowns either.)

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Am I the only one who really feels sorry for this boy and hopes her daughter brings home someone like him sometime? He seems to have such a wise head on his shoulders, and I really, really hope he doesn't spend all of that money (which isn't horrible in the grand scheme of things, but it sounds like he worked really hard to earn it, and it might mean he has trouble affording books for college or something like that), only to have the girl dump him after prom. I don't think she's necessarily wrong to want the same experience that her friends are having, but at the same time, she's not really being fair to the boy either, IMO.

 

I really think the guys should get together and decide what they're comfortable with.

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Which has nothing to do with anything. I've never worn a ball gown since prom unless you count my wedding dress. So what?

 

If you had to attend a social function where the expection of formal attire was norm in the community, would you get your knickers in a twist about it or simply decide to either not go or buy the appropriate attire?

 

I have no idea why everyone is rambling on in such a dither about how they have never needed to wear a tux or ball gown. Good for them. That has nothing to do with the fact that obviously in many places it IS the norm and has been for several or more generations and the poor guy who shows up in just his brown or blue Sunday suit is going to stick out.

 

Why are some acting like that basic social fact of life is something to mock and ridicule? *confused*

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I think the tux is the least of all the issues. Renting a tux isn't that much more than buying a suit (a lot of teenage boys do not even own suits.)

 

It is one thing for a boy to pay for his own attire. It is quite another to say that prom requires all the trappings and that the young man bears the sole responsibility of the expenses. Why does attending the prom have to mean more than attending the prom? I can't make the leap in logic from prom as just prom to requiring an expensive dinner out and a limo rental. (ETA: when a girl attends prom, she can control how much $$ she spends on the dress and whether she fixes her hair at home or pays for a beautician, etc.)

 

I also find it ironic that for the 2nd most important day in her life that it is a "group" event vs. a couple event.

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I don't find it ironic that an important event to her might include more than her boyfriend. *sooo confused* why would a group event automatically not be considered important as a couple event?

 

I get that you don't get that prom is very much more than just prom just like most weddings are more than getting married and walking out the door.

 

If it's possible for me to comprehend that some people can choose a wedding like that while understand that doesn't make it the expected norm to many many others, why can't some here comprehend that yes in many places its very common for prom to mean a tux and fancy dinner?

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I don't find it ironic that an important event to her might include more than her boyfriend. *sooo confused* why would a group event automatically not be considered important as a couple event?

 

I get that you don't get that prom is very much more than just prom just like most weddings are more than getting married and walking out the door.

 

If it's possible for me to comprehend that some people can choose a wedding like that while understand that doesn't make it the expected norm to many many others, why can't some here comprehend that yes in many places its very common for prom to mean a tux and fancy dinner?

 

The answer to first is simply that the girl is treating it like a **date**. The young man is responsible for all of the expenses. She is treating like only **her** expectations are important. Those seem like very much "couple" issues. Yet, the expectations are centered around the group and the other important person in the scenario, her date, is lost in the whole picture.

 

So, yes, I find it ironic that the one paying for everything is somehow not the focus and his needs are secondary.

 

 

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The answer to first is simply that the girl is treating it like a **date**. The young man is responsible for all of the expenses. She is treating like only **her** expectations are important. Those seem like very much "couple" issues. Yet, the expectations are centered around the group and the other important person in the scenario, her date, is lost in the whole picture.

 

So, yes, I find it ironic that the one paying for everything is somehow not the focus and his needs are secondary.

 

 

This added bit helps me understand your POV and I share it. I was a little unsure of exactly what you were saying before.

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Why are some acting like that basic social fact of life is something to mock and ridicule? *confused*

 

 

Because they think it really IS ridiculous for teenagers who do not have incomes proportionate to the expense?

Or maybe because they find that any event where the attire is more important than what you actually do is ridiculous?

 

Just because something has been like this for decades does not make it sensible. Many ridiculous customs have lasted for centuries.

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Because it really IS ridiculous for teenagers who do not have incomes proportionate to the expense?

Or maybe because any event where the attire is more important than what you actually do is ridiculous?

 

Oh nonsense. It is what it is. Many people have noted that most people don't expect the teens to be paying for it, certainly not entirely. And it appears that 5 of the couples don't have a problem, so this is HIS problem, not a teen problem.

 

And the attire IS part of the event. This is basic social etiquette and everyone knows it. Is what someone wears more important than the job someone does? No. Is it often still expected that they dress appropriate for the job? Absolutely. This is no different.

 

We don't do them any service by pretending how they dress doesn't matter because IRL life we all know that is BS. Otherwise everyone would be saying he should just wear some low rise holey jeans and a tshirt. Yet no one is because everyone knows that woud not be appropriate to the occassion.

 

If the occassion calls for a tux, then the guy gets a tux or stays home.

It doesn't matter if he thinks it shouldn't call for a tux or his mom thinks prom is a silly waste of that of money.

If the girl he wants to take does not want to stand out like a sore thumb, then he wears a tux or decides on another girl.

 

This is not exactly some stunning new concept about how to choose clothing for an occassion.

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The tux isn't the big issue though, the boy is wearing a tux. It is the issue of it being expected to rent a limo and pay for a fancy meal that is somehow required for those attending prom. Martha you said if he a boy asks a girl to prom he should expect to pay for the limo and fancy dinner as that is expected but now it is just about the attire, which swimmerboy didn't have an issue with in the first place.

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And the attire IS part of the event. This is basic social etiquette and everyone knows it. Is what someone wears more important than the job someone does? No. Is it often still expected that they dress appropriate for the job? Absolutely. This is no different.

 

I enjoy watching "The changing of the guards" ceremony even though hubby dislikes it because he had to don the full ceremonial garb when he was on duty. Come to think of it, the ring bearer boys for all the church weddings I went to wore tuxedos. Maybe it was the norm at that time.

 

However I do feel bad for OP's son because it was "43 hours of moving freight in a warehouse last summer" for him to earn that money. Either parents are bankrolling expenses for the prom at OP's neighborhood or kids are spending a lot of their hard earned money.

 

ETA:

It work out to less than $11 per hour for OP's son. I realised how well paid I was 23 years ago for all my temp desk bound jobs.

 

ETA:

Our(general) debate about tux and ball gowns does not help OP either :(

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Martha you said if he a boy asks a girl to prom he should expect to pay for the limo and fancy dinner as that is expected but now it is just about the attire, which swimmerboy didn't have an issue with in the first place.

 

No I did not say that. Not even once.

I repeatedly said if he can't afford any of it, then he shouldn't do it. Either he can or he can't.

 

I also said I think 5 boys pitching in for a limo that only seats 4 of the coupled is nuts.

 

What I said was if this girl wants more than he is willing to give for prom, then he needs to either reconsider what he is willing to give or get another girl.

 

OTHER people started going off on how he should just wear a suit and I and others simply pointed out that if the norm is a tux, then it's advise that he get one to not be odd duck out.

 

OTHER people starting commenting that it's ridiculous to think prom includes a tux and fancy dinner. I and some others pointed out that no that's really isn't all that unusual or unreasonable an expectation in many areas. And I repeatedly said that I know most parents pick up all or most of the tab.

 

No where did I say the OPs boy should dip into college fund for prom. But neither do I think a single guy with a job spending less than $400 ONCE in twelve years to go all out for prom is ridiculous or irresponsible.

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But neither do I think a single guy with a job spending less than $400 ONCE in twelve years to go all out for prom is ridiculous or irresponsible.

 

I don't understand this quote. Once in 12 yrs? I would suspect that most guys aren't spending money on dates in 1st grade??

 

And with a job? Teens have part-time work with low wages. 43 hrs could be 2-3 weeks worth of wages out of around 10 weeks worth of summer employment. Proportionally, spending it on a single event, it is very expensive. I don't know what other kids manage, but 2-3 thousand dollars saved from part-time work before college is our kids avg. $400 is a huge amt to them.

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I never said it wasn't a huge amount to them. It is to me.

 

Once in 12, to spend a lot if they can afford it is not unreasonable or irresponsible. Whether they can afford it themselves or parents help.

 

If the you young man can't afford it then he can't. If the parents can't or won't help then that's just the way it is.

I'm just saying the boy has employmeny and is single, 17, not a husband or a father - spending less than $400 ONCE is not going to ruin him for life IF that's what he wants to do with his money and IF the funds are available.

 

If not, then he needs to tell her it's simply not going to happen and stop asking her how to spend his own money.

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Come on ladies. None of you have ever in the last TWELVE years bought a Coach purse? Went to an out of town wedding? Bought some new clothes and shoes? Bought a kitchen aid mixer? Nothing that was expensive and could have been avoided, but you didn't want to?

 

No. I do not even know what a coach purse is. I buy refurbished or used appliances, only when needed. My clothes are used and I have been wearing the same shirts for 6 years. I have bought pants but I wait for steep sales and use a coupon as well to buy the jeans that fit. I have 3 pair. My shoes are practical and I have 1 pair.

 

There is nothing I can think of worth having that is not a need that would cost that much.

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I don't think $400 is unreasonable for prom. Obviously the OP's son needs to decide what to spend his money on, but if he chooses to spend it this way, that's totally fine. If it were my son, I would offer to pay half of his costs. The girlfriend sounds like a typical teen girl, maybe a little bit dramatic, maybe a bit superficial, but pretty normal for her age and this culture. I wouldn't brand her a money-hungry goldigger just based on what's been shared here.

 

I went to four proms, two in limos and two in parent's cars. All involved me, my date, and a group of friends. Grown up me sees the charm of the dinner at home with family serving, but teenage me would have been pretty horrified.

 

I would suggest two possible cost-cutting measures if your son is looking to save money... (1) buy a tux on ebay or craigslist, then re-sell it afterward. (2) find a fun but less expensive restaurant, like Old Spaghetti Factory if you have one near you.

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I have two thoughts to throw out there that may put the limo thing in some perspective.

 

The first is more frivolous, but I'll say again that prom is a social event. I remember quite clearly from my own high school years that it was the time spent with friends that made experiences precious. I have extremely fond memories, for example, of the hours I would spend at home with friends before big events getting dressed and primping together, doing each other's hair and make-up, playing our music far too loudly while we ran from room to room trading items of clothing and laughing together . . . The actual "dance" portion of prom night is relatively brief. I completely understand the desire to stretch out that special time together by travelling in a group, something that can be done only in a vehicle, such as a limo, that is large enough to hold a group. It's an "extra," but not, I think, an unreasonable choice, especially if it is common practice in your area.

 

The second thought is, from a parental point of view, more significant. The cold, hard truth is that there is bound to be some reckless behavior before, during and after prom. Even if your own kids don't engage is said recklessness, they will be sharing the roads with kids who have. Personally, I'd much prefer to have my own children and any kids who might have indulged in any kind of substance -- or who are just distracted and excited by the evening's events -- chauffered by sober, professional, adult drivers instead of out there scooting around on their own. I'd be perfectly happy to kick in the $80-whatever to make that happen, since I believe it would contribute to my kid's safety.

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Okay. Then the question would be moot for your demographic wouldn't it? Because all the kids would be wearing suits and thus it'd look odd to wear a tux? Yes?

 

Idk where your "here" is, but there are plenty of high society functions in Tulsa or OKC wear a black tie would be expected and someone showing up in a suit would stick out. Weekly? Idk. But a few times a year? Absolutely.

 

To me, this is a "when in Rome" type scenario.

 

It's not that anyone is looking down their nose at someone for not wearing a tux. Not at all.

No one will have to because when everyone is wearing a tux and one lone dude or two are wearing blue suits, they are going to feel like they don't fit in. They just are.

 

 

Actually I suspect high school students wear tux to prom around here to, it's the adults who don't.

 

And we've had two folks who gave enough money to presidential campaigns to be appointed ambassadors so I think that's pretty well heeled. I can't imagine either husband in a tux at anything local. One of the two I can't imagine him in a tux even when his wife was the ambassador. He did tell us a story about ice fishing with some Russian; I don't think he wore a tux.

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. Even if your own kids don't engage is said recklessness, they will be sharing the roads with kids who have. Personally, I'd much prefer to have my own children and any kids who might have indulged in any kind of substance -- or who are just distracted and excited by the evening's events -- chauffered by sober, professional, adult drivers instead of out there scooting around on their own. I'd be perfectly happy to kick in the $80-whatever to make that happen, since I believe it would contribute to my kid's safety.

 

 

This is the second time in this thread that someone has said this, I keep thinking Princess Diane! Am I the only who remembers?

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This is the second time in this thread that someone has said this, I keep thinking Princess Diane! Am I the only who remembers?

 

 

Ha! I know, right?

 

Dh said there's nothing like riding in DAD's car to make a guy get and keep his head on his shoulders. Because no guy wants to ever tell dad he wrecked or even scratched up dad's car.

 

A limo is an excuse to get in trouble to my dh's mind.

 

 

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No. I do not even know what a coach purse is. I buy refurbished or used appliances, only when needed. My clothes are used and I have been wearing the same shirts for 6 years. I have bought pants but I wait for steep sales and use a coupon as well to buy the jeans that fit. I have 3 pair. My shoes are practical and I have 1 pair.

 

There is nothing I can think of worth having that is not a need that would cost that much.

 

I currently have one pair of jeans that fit, and most of my clothes are a decade old. I have a pair of sneakers, and a pair of $1 Old Navy sandals. I don't own a single purse.

 

Somehow, I managed to survive spending money on a prom to evolve into a suitably "more frugal than thou" adult. ;)

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This is what we did:

 

Tickets to the Opera - nosebleed seats so they picked from my collection of opera glasses (I know, I know...I'm a classical music nerd) - used Dh's company discount - $18.00 each (thankfully, he got a big discount) and invited my sister and her fiance as chaperones (drivers needed since Detroit proper at night is, well, somewhat scary if you don't know where you are going), so four people - $72.00. Dinner at a very nice restaurant on the river - $110.00. Boy wore his best suit. My mom made dd an exquisite evening gown - better than any prom dress I've ever seen. A dear friend did dd's hair in a pretty updo and another friend did her make-up. Sis's fiance wore his military dress uniform which means he looked like a million bucks and sis wore one of her tea length vintage 1950's chiffon dresses. They all looked great. Dh took pics that were better than anyone's prom picks that I've ever seen. We provided the gas money...they drove in my parents' mini-van. Dh was tempted to put a decal on the side that said, "Family Limo" but refrained. :D Yes, they were the best dressed patrons at the opera that night and you know what? They received a lot of very positive comments and attention because of it too. The restaurant threw in dessert for free just because the manager thought it was such a great idea!

 

They had the most wonderful evening! Our cost, $202.00 dollars since my mother-in-law was determined to contribute and provided small corsages and boutenierres. They saw either Cosi Fan Tutti or La Boheme (can't remember which one), ate excellent food...much better than the prom...danced at the restaurant, etc. DD loved it and given that it was a meaningful, cultural evening, we didn't mind the money outlay so much.

 

Faith

 

My husband and I were just talking about this the other day, after I shared with him the information I found on average costs for prom. I mentioned that I'd had something similar in mind for my son, since he's the only one of his friends still homeschooling and we'll need to find a way to provide some kind of special experience once his buddies start talking up the whole prom thing.

 

We started doing some mental calculations.

 

Our situation is complicated by the fact that attending the opera wouldn't be a big deal for our kid. He's not only been to several but has performed in even more. Ditto with the ballet. In years when we can afford it, we've had season tickets for those kinds of things, in pretty decent seats. So, seats in the nosebleed section simply wouldn't read as "special" here. A single ticket for the first couple of rows of the balcony, the minimum that might be acceptable for this kind of occasion, is $25 for the opera, $40 for the ballet. Our best bet for a special occasion for him and a group, though, would probably be a touring Broadway production. The least expensive tickets that exist for those is also $40.

 

In order to make this a viable alternative to prom for this kid, we'd have to allow him to invite his regular group of close friends, which expands and contracts slightly with each year but at the moment is him plus four. So, we'd be at $200 just for the tickets.

 

He'd need something to wear, since that would also be a big part of the event for him. (This is the kid who wears dress pants, and Oxford shirt and vest and tie to go to a theme park.) He's hard to fit and can't buy cheap. We rented him a tux when he escorted his big sister to the Tony Awards a couple of years ago, and I know that ran well over $100. He'd much prefer to buy a nice suit, though, since his growth is finally slowing down and he'd be able to wear it for at least the next few years. From the casual research I've started on that front, I'm guesstimating that would be minimum of $200.

 

Even a modest dinner at somewhere unexciting like Olive Garden, with beverages and tip, is a mininum of another $100 (and that assumes no one orders appetizers or dessert).

 

Let's assume they drive themselves in my Scion, the only vehicle we own that would hold the five of them. And let's not worry about gas money, since the performing arts complex is local for us.

 

They would have to pay to park, $15 - 20 for these kinds of cultural events.

 

I'd take photos with my digital camera.

 

We'll further assume that none of the group is dating and that they are attending as friends, despite the fact that it's a mixed-gender group. This means we're not worried about corsages or flowers of any kind.

 

And, finally, let's assume they don't stop anywhere after the show for snacks or any kind of equivalent "after party" and simply come back to our house to hang out as usual.

 

This event, to which no one got to take a date and they had mediocre tickets and an undistinguished meal and which involved no adult supervision or involvement beyond an opportunity for us to snap a few photos before they drove off in my car would still cost us almost $100 more than than the OP's son is being asked to spend on doing prom the way his girlfriend wishes.

 

I still think it's a lovely idea and one we'll continue to explore and will likely propose to our son when the time comes. But a cost-cutting measure it ain't.

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Lolol. Me too. I know that one event in life can make a person, but I don't think it's prom or based on how much they spent on prom. :)

 

I currently have one pair of jeans that fit, and most of my clothes are a decade old. I have a pair of sneakers, and a pair of $1 Old Navy sandals. I don't own a single purse.

 

Somehow, I managed to survive spending money on a prom to evolve into a suitably "more frugal than thou" adult. ;)

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This is the second time in this thread that someone has said this, I keep thinking Princess Diane! Am I the only who remembers?

 

Ummm . . . while my son is known in certain circles, I hardly think he and his friends are in danger of being chased around the city by crazed paparazzi.

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I don't feel sorry for him at all. As a member of the ugly/nerdy/geeky clique, I was not invited to dances, dates, or parties. I just bet there is some other girl who would love to accompany this guy to the prom, but she just isn't pretty enough for him. I think if he spends the money his girlfriend demands, then they deserve each other.

 

Or maybe I'm just bitter? :glare:

 

Now, this is just mean. You're making a judgment on Lisa's son based upon your experience. We know nothing of either individual except what has been given in this thread. There is no logic in assuming her ds is dating this girl for her looks or money.

 

I'm sorry you had a poor experience, I was never part of the "in" crowd either. Rejection hurts, but there is not need to jump to assumptions of character.

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Dh said there's nothing like riding in DAD's car to make a guy get and keep his head on his shoulders. Because no guy wants to ever tell dad he wrecked or even scratched up dad's car.

 

That must by why the statistics on teenaged male drivers are so good.

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... prom is something they will both look back on as unique for the rest of their lives.

 

I attended several proms when I was in high school, and I didn't view them as having been particularly unique or special in my life. It was prom time. Someone asked you to go, so you went. I wouldn't exactly think of the prom as being one of Life's Very Special Events; for us, proms were just an excuse to buy new dresses and have a nice night out. And I can't even imagine the girls who were very sentimental about them thinking back on them after all these years, and ranking them as being incredibly important in their lives. It's a formal dance, not a wedding or a birth.

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I don't feel sorry for him at all. As a member of the ugly/nerdy/geeky clique, I was not invited to dances, dates, or parties. I just bet there is some other girl who would love to accompany this guy to the prom, but she just isn't pretty enough for him. I think if he spends the money his girlfriend demands, then they deserve each other.

 

Or maybe I'm just bitter? :glare:

 

 

You're just bitter.

 

Seriously.

 

Really, really bitter.

 

Not for anything, but we have never once heard a single comment about what the boy's girlfriend looks like. Why would you assume that he would only go out with her if she was pretty? We have never heard even the slightest thing about him that would make me think he was at all shallow -- or that he was anything but an incredibly kind, thoughtful young man.

 

If you're judging this boy, I think you're letting your own past experiences color your opinion, because I can't imagine how you reached that conclusion about him, and quite frankly, I think your post was way out of line.

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Around here I can't think of anything that requires a tux. Sure there are events that will put formal attire but there is always an option to wear business dress. I can't think of a male who can write big charitable checks who picks the tux. Maybe in NYC, but not here.

 

 

Wow. My dh and ds both own tuxes, and all of the necessary accessories that go along with them. It would never occur to us that they wouldn't have them. When ds outgrows one, we get him another one.

 

There are really no black tie or white tie events where you live? :confused: That's so unusual to me, because formal wear is required for many of the events and parties we attend -- even a good number of our family parties are black tie. I can't imagine any of the men or boys showing up in regular suits.

 

Personally, I think the guys are lucky. They always know exactly what to wear. The women have to keep shopping for new dresses and gowns. :glare:

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I think a lot of the tension in this particular situation is that there may not have been an invitation, since the op's ds and the girl are dating. If I had a steady boyfriend in high school, I would have assumed that we were attending school dances together or not at all. Having said that, I think that it's not thoughtful or courteous to mandate that someone spend a lot of money on you because only that will make you happy. While dh dresses up to take me out to high scale restaurants, we've also done birthdays and anniversaries at Chinese and Mexican restaurants, reset several birthdays by a month because we weren't in a position to celebrate, and done with just a phone call (and counted ourselves lucky to have that).

 

I feel for both kids. The end of senior year has a double scoop of angst. It is pretty tough to tell your girl that what she wants isn't what you want (especially if it would also mean sticking out within your group of friends). I went to my senior prom solo, because no one asked me. My parents and grandmother dropped me off in the family econoline van. Going alone was not a normal thing in my high school in Texas. (But then this was also a milieu where the homecoming mums were a signal of how much your boyfriend or parents cared for you.)

 

I don't think the boy and the girl in this case are speaking the same love language. It seems like the girl is saying, "If you cared about me, you'd find a way of making this the prom I've dreamed of." The boy seems to be thinking, "This is a lot of hours of work for something that I don't care about." If the boy says no, is he saying he doesn't care about the girl's dreams? If the girl says that it's dream event or nothing, does that mean she doesn't really care about the guy? Or are they both showing signs of being teenagers without a mature long view? Hard to say?

 

I think these are wonderful insights. I went to high school in Texas too. The mums. The MUMS! :lol:

 

I agree that swimmermom's DS sounds like an awesome kid. He is going to make some woman very lucky one day, with such a sensible and and kind-hearted head on his shoulders. If nothing else, this will be a learning experience. I don't think there was a perfect answer for him in the absence of his girlfriend showing any willingness to bend. Where I went to high school, prom was commonly "done" in the same way as this one (tux/gowns, limos, fancy dinners, $$$), and that is...what it is. I get/got the social norm. I guess I am bothered because I pair Sebastian's response above with my very cranky feelings about the girlfriend pouting and putting her own wishes and dreams over her boyfriend's concerns and feelings. Not merely her date. Her boyfriend. I get that it is a typical prom night in lots of places and that her expectations were high for a reason but, in the end, if she was considerate and really cared for him (properly, IMHO), she would have been willing to make compromises so that the evening had any shot of being half as special for him as she dreams it will be for her. She sounds very selfish and self-centered, not necessarily for wanting the dream experience, but for continuing to want it, without compromise or an offer to split costs, to the detriment of her boyfriend's happiness and comfort.

 

Do people really?

(I would not know, not having grown up as part of this culture.)

 

Much as I hate to admit it here, I was the prom queen. (For the record, prom was the only dance of the year for which you did not "run" for a spot on the court, because that was not something I would ever have done. :lol:) Do I look back on prom fondly? Sure. But at the same time, I have been kind of chuckling throughout this thread. I kind of want to visit with the girl in person and tell her that, yes, prom is fun! But firmly into my middle-age years, that day isn't even in the running for the top 50ish most special days of my life. I mean, really, God forbid if it was in my top 2! Those are some low goals for life satisfaction! ;) It wouldn't matter though. She probably wouldn't even hear it. She has no real basis for comparison yet. I think we can agree that swimmermom's DS is showing impressive reasoning and maturity for his age. His girlfriend is showing some fairly typical, kind of age-appropriate immaturity.

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Much as I hate to admit it here, I was the prom queen.

 

 

You know we're waiting for the pictures, right? :toetap05:

 

 

 

;) ;) ;) ;)

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You know we're waiting for the pictures, right? :toetap05:

 

 

 

;) ;) ;) ;)

 

LOL Not gonna happen! I will say that after falling in love with a $400 designer dress (obviously outside the budget, especially in 1990 :lol:), a good friend made me an incredible knock-off for less than $50. I still have that dress in a box somewhere. It is truly a work of art!

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You're just bitter.

 

Seriously.

 

Really, really bitter.

 

 

 

You're right. You can add pathetic, too. I suppose that's the real reason I was never asked out, LOL!

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You're right. You can add pathetic, too. I suppose that's the real reason I was never asked out, LOL!

 

Don't be so hard on yourself!!! You've called yourself ugly, nerdy, geeky, and pathetic -- and I am sure you are none of those things (unless you're nerdy or geeky in a cool way!) :grouphug:

 

I just felt badly that you were being hard on Lisa's son, because he sounds sweet, and it seems like his girlfriend has him wrapped around her little finger, and it was really bugging me that the girl was acting like such a spoiled brat.

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LOL Not gonna happen! I will say that after falling in love with a $400 designer dress (obviously outside the budget, especially in 1990 :lol:), a good friend made me an incredible knock-off for less than $50. I still have that dress in a box somewhere. It is truly a work of art!

 

You're not posting because of the Big Hair, right?

 

Come on. You can tell us.......... :tongue_smilie:

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You're not posting because of the Big Hair, right?

 

Come on. You can tell us.......... :tongue_smilie:

 

I was an anomaly in 1990 and went with a tight chignon. To be fair, this was because of the prom debacle of 1989. The day before, I went in for a body wave and came out looking like Shirley Temple. Went home and cried for a few hours, then went back and got it relaxed. (I am sure this was my mom's mostest favoritest day of parenting ever. :tongue_smilie:) It was a perfect body wave...for about a week. After that, I was always an updo gal. :lol:

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I was an anomaly in 1990 and went with a tight chignon. To be fair, this was because of the prom debacle of 1989. The day before, I went in for a body wave and came out looking like Shirley Temple. Went home and cried for a few hours, then went back and got it relaxed. (I am sure this was my mom's mostest favoritest day of parenting ever. :tongue_smilie:) It was a perfect body wave...for about a week. After that, I was always an updo gal. :lol:

 

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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