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Your lifestyle, your quirk
It's that time of year for high schoolers to put on their fanciest attire, eat really good food, for girls to totter in too-tall heels, for guys to despair over what in the world a corsage is, much less pick the right one, for everybody to dance the night away, steal the limo, and generally cause a ruckus. Nothing brings out the high spirits of teenagers like prom does, which it’s been doing several decades now. Yep, decades! Prom as we know it today hasn't been around as long as one might think. In fact, modern "proms" really go back to the fifties. Of course, there have always been dances for young people, but they didn't carry quite the same connotations as today's formal event of the year for high school students do.
Promenades have been around for quite a while. In the 1800s, debutante balls were held for young girls "coming out" into dating society. These were mainly used for parents to find acceptable suitors for their daughters, but the middle class soon wanted in on the revelry too, and began holding their own versions of balls, which included dinner and the occasional dance. Since then, proms have evolved to take on the shape they hold today; the dances we think of became popular in the 1930s and 1940s, but really gained momentum after the war. Since the fifties, proms have included big dresses and spiked punch, the way we generally think of prom today.
Prom is often the main formal event that a high school has; as such, it gains an elevated status akin to that of the Oscars. Girls spend months preparing! (I will admit I've had my dress for quite a while now, and I know girls who get theirs up to a year in advance.) It's certainly been held in some cool places in its time; in 1975, President Ford's daughter held her prom at the ultimate venue: the White House itself. President Kennedy also famously rescheduled a fancy 1963 dinner where the plates cost a thousand dollars each, just because the two events were going to be held at the same time. (Somehow, I can't imagine Congressmen enjoying really loud music right next door.)
Hearing things like that makes me really jealous. We're having my prom at the gym. Hmph. But no matter where it's held, for how long, or who attends, prom night is full of crazy dancing, at least one or two disasters (I swear, you can't go in the bathroom without finding at least two girls bundled up in their dresses crying on the floor), and maybe a little something-something in the punch.
Ha, what? Nobody really does that.
At any rate, the tradition of prom isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so gear up in your best high heels or bowtie, and revel in the slightly uncontained chaos that is prom, because it's sure to gain you a lot of great memories, at the very least!