Saturday, May 2, 2015

musings of a prom chaperone

Funny to worry about what to wear to prom at my age. I voted for comfort with footwear (boots) paired with my Sunday best (tunic and leggings), it seemed a little tacky to wear jeans when most of the crowd opts for formal wear.

Even funnier to ask Mr. D, "Can I borrow your car to go to prom tonight?"

Pit stop at coffee shot for a double shot of espresso. Prom lasts until midnight and chaperones must stay alert!

At a Country Club! Fancy-schmancy! Just the staircase up to the dance floor makes for some impressive photo backdrop.

And in they come...awkward couples. Nervous. Excited. Not exactly sure of the etiquette.

Resisting the urge to walk around straightening collars and ties. It's so hard because I want these sweet boys to look their best.

Loving the princess dresses. Sure, they ALL look alike--tight strapless bodice, huge poufy skirt, smatterings of glitter and bedazzlement. Full-length skirts means those girls can get away with comfy shoes--I see Chuck Taylors and Crocs and all nature of footwear peeking out beneath those skirts.

And the COLOR! Back at my prom there were two colors: pink and white. These young ladies are a RAINBOW! Teal! Orange! Coral! Hot Pink! Bright Pink! Green! Yellow! Purple! Eggplant! Really glorious stuff!

Plus these are romantic dresses, not the slutty dresses from a few years ago. I can totally get behind this style for teenaged girls.

The energy level coming out of the ballroom is almost frantic. These kids are so amped up the giddiness is palpable.

Funny thing, when I was in high school all the girls danced and the boys mostly held up the walls. Now it almost looks like more boys are dancing than girls. In fact, when the DJ plays the first slow song after almost an hour, the floor clears out and only a few couples remain. Everyone else is getting a drink or posing at the photo booth.

Certain songs really draw a crowd.  "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and the "Macarena" have amazing staying power. But some of the stuff they're excited to hear the DJ play is new to me. I must live under a rock.

And there's always that one boy about three beats behind on the Macarena. Yep.  Everyone shifts aaaaand yes. There he goes. Heh.

Apparently shedding your dress shirt and going skin beneath your vest is a thing. Almost 3/4 of the boys have done it by 10:00. We chaperones agree to leave them be, but no shirtless kids will be tolerated.

It's a bit disconcerting how the entire floor moves as they jump around and dance. I imagine this is a bit what an earthquake feels like. Am questioning the structural integrity of this building...

What? Fix your updo with bobby pins? Ummmm, you know I have three sons and the only business I know about hair is a buzz cut with a razor kit, right?  Okay, I'll give it a go here, sweetie...

Uh, yeah. That dude in the middle of the dance floor is shirtless. Suspenders are NOT the same as a vest. Draw the short straw and head into the fray to confront him.  Excuse me? Yeah, this is a nipple-free zone, dude. I'm going to have to ask you to put your shirt back on. I don't make the rules, I just enforce them. Yeah. Sorry, man.

Getting back off the dance floor is no easy trick. End up going around the entire perimeter, but that's okay. I check everybody and see no tears, no unseemly behavior. All is well at Prom 2015.  Eat some of the Hershey's Kisses decorating the tables.

Check my phone. Almost an hour to go. DJ walks over and mentions his concern over shaking building.

Have long talk with one of my seniors whose girlfriend is off doing important prom stuff with her friends.

Check my phone. Forty-eight minutes left. Chat with fellow chaperones.

Am very amused by dancers.

Am very amused by dance moves.

Am very amused by how boys and girls cluster in segregated groupings to jump around on dance floor.

Check my phone. Twelve minutes left.  Tell fellow chaperones that's only like four more songs.

Four songs later I check my phone. Five minutes left. Apparently prom is some sort of time warp.

Midnight strikes, but DJ announces TWO more songs!  Sigh and lean back in chair. Almost done.

Slow song. Couples resign themselves to staying on dance floor because they hope the next song will be a fast one. How times have changed!  Used to be the other way around back in my day...

And this is it!  Exit ballroom to make sure post-prom party chaperones are in place. DJ switches to radio station. Couples begin flooding the bar area to hydrate and I raise my eyebrows at the Chief Chaperone. Are we good to go?

By 12:10 I'm recovering during my a palate-cleansing ride home, listening to alternative rock on radio because the crap kids listen to these days about makes my ears bleed.

(Can I hear a "harumph," people?)


  1. Whew! I don't think I could have made it through the evening as a prom chaperone.

    The Macarena is still a thing?

  2. You deserve a gold star on the calendar for being a chaperone.

  3. The jumping floor scares me a little, as does being asked to help with anything girly (all male household here, too). I don't envy you the job of chaperoning but I am glad you shared your front-row seat view of a Wisconsin prom night!

  4. Harumph!

    I'm glad you were able to cleanse your palate on the ride home. :)

  5. You survived! It makes me feel better to hear that a boy was spoken to for showing too much skin as it is usually the girls who get in trouble for that. My son came home from college today and is just heading off to a friend's house for Anti-Prom, a pizza party at a friend's house.

  6. Now I feel prepared if I get wrapped into doing this in eight years. Glad you survived!

  7. My prom, i kid you not, at my tiny K-12 school was pizza in the gym. And since the drinking age was still 18, keggers in the parking lot...I don't remember anybody dressing up though.....wait, NOT TRUE! This was just after the Animal House movie and there were some togas.... kids these days ;)

  8. That must have been some experience, interesting read!

  9. You ARE a good sport. I'd NEVER.

  10. My girls won't allow me to chaperone dances. Oh darn. :-)

  11. You hit it square on the head! I've chaperoned all but 1 prom in my career---Melanie was due the next weekend, so I skipped that one---and at every one, there's dudes with no shirts, crying girls, and drooping updo's. I love the excitement and nerves and good times!!!

  12. Can you imagine if those last two bonus songs had been the Steve Miller Band and Boston? Blood from your ears!

    When the DJ is worried about the shaking building, um, so am I.

  13. Oh my, it must have been so difficult to confront the shirtless guy!

  14. I'm glad you survived, and really, I think it was awfully nice of you. I have also been really happy to see the dresses in the various FB photos I've seen --they are so much nicer than those slutty ones that were so prevalent a few years ago.

    I think I should get an automatic pass on ever chaperoning a prom, since I never actually attended one :-)

  15. The music these kids listen today is awful!

  16. Too funny... I have been putting on dance music while my fifth graders are waiting for busses to be called. I told them that by the time they get to middle school they will know all the line dances. The boys are better than the girls.

  17. This actually sounds like a good time to me . . . the more things change, the more they stay the same--prom is nerve-wracking and hopeful and always bittersweet.

  18. Memories - my dad was a teacher at the junior high school I attended. He hated chaperoning dances - until I got there. He would patrol the halls until a slow song came on and then slip into the cafeteria to see who might be dancing with me. AAAAAUGH!


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