How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Prom

Besides, ludicrous or not, the whole month had been kind of a stressful nightmare for my daughter, the whole week had been extra tough, the whole day was super taxing, and she hadn’t even made it to: (1) the pictures at our house with her boyfriend giving her the corsage I had fetched; (2) the pictures at his house with his parents; (3) the pictures at the park with 20 or 30 of their closest friends; (4) the dinner with 12 friends at a restaurant in town; (5) the actual prom; (6) the post-prom pre-party, where you change out of your formal wear and into jean shorts; (7) the post-prom party where you gawk at some rich kid’s “barn” full of ping pong tables and high-end stainless steel appliances; (8) the post-prom post-party where you hide in the woods behind said “barn” because the cops are interrogating teenagers in the driveway; (9) the Uber to the kid’s house where you’ll spend the night, separated by gender into different rooms because everyone is pretending that this very high-maintenance, Christian-Girl-Spring prom extravaganza is nevertheless a chaste and sober affair and isn’t about macking on your date or any other type of depraved teen shenanigans the likes of which get you killed in every horror movie ever made.

So I dropped my daughter off at the Get Ready for Prom party, then wandered around a botanical garden nearby. Local teens were clomping through the garden in high heels and dress shoes, fluffing their hair and adjusting their ties while their mothers stood by with heavy cameras around their necks, looking tired.

One hour later, on the drive home, my daughter’s boyfriend texted her where are u, which was understandable, since being late for one event could have a domino effect that would ruin the whole night.

“He’s stressing me out!”

“Text him and say, ‘Look, I know I’m late, but I need you to be soothing right now because I’m starting to lose it.”

She texted the teen-morse-code version of this, and it must’ve worked, because by the time we showed up, her boyfriend looked calm and cheerful. Then again, I think he’s always like that — or that’s the impression I get from the smiling baby pictures of him in my daughter’s phone that were probably taken a few days ago.

So then we took photos of the happy couple, smiling and looking incredible, and they drove off into the sunset.

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