Sunday, June 22, 2008
This strange ritual, prom (short for promenade). Teens still undergo the excitement, heartache, confusion that has distracted youth from their studies for generations. Who to ask, who to go with, how to afford the attendant costs, gown or tux, rent or own? tickets. hair. nails. dinner. limo. after parties.
And the photo shoots, nervous preened teens meet at some splendid setting and the parents mistily capture it on film. Possibly for the first time, dressed to the nines, they dutifully pose in couples, groups, lined along stairwells, like a wedding, photographer's checklist, "get one with just the girls".
And the flowers, don't forget the to order the flowers, "what color is your date's vest?"....they did this during Eisenhower's term, exchange the flowers. The girls get a wrist corsage, the boys get their lapels clumsily pinned with a boutonnieres (now pronounced boo-ton-YAY), another photo favorite.
The NYTimes has a sweet story of foreign students at International High School at Prospect Heights, experiencing this prom business for the first time.
For now, there is no reason not to continue this rite of passage, right up there with Christenings and Wakes.