Prom: the final frontier

Rachel Guthall

In fifty or sixty-some years, when you’re looking back on your life, what will stick out to you? Some think it will be your wedding day, the birth of your first child, the death of a loved one, but they’re wrong. It’ll be prom. Definitely prom. Some people say it’s the highlight of your high school experience, but I would go as far as to say the highlight of your entire menial existence. I cannot express with more urgency how much you should be preparing for the most monumental event of your lifetime – I mean Valentine’s Day was like 2 weeks ago, what are you, stupid?

For girls, it will start with picking out the dress of your dreams, somewhere within the range of more expensive than an AP test and less expensive than your first semester of college. It is critical that you take a picture of this dress from probably every single angle possible, it’s important that everyone knows that the front, back, sides, straps, neckline, and trim of your dress are exclusively for you. And if anyone on Facebook begs to differ, you know where the caps lock button is.

Now, my recommendation would be against matching your prom dress to your crushes’ eyes, because you probably won’t be going with him – he’s either already asked some private school girl or is faking an injury or is on his way to Canada because he already knows you’re on the prowl. Yes, some people’s dreams will come true and they’ll get a banner or a blimp or a full-scale mosaic on the side of the school asking them to prom, but unless you’re the head cheerleader, you’d better adjust your standards. The typical prom date comes through a grapevine of people, going through an ancient ritual – your best friend says something along the lines of “Soooo…Rachel Guthall? MmmmhmhMMMm?” and if they make some kind of positive sound, then you’re in! Congratulations! Chances are, it’s a boy you haven’t seen since he sat in front of you in enrichment in the 9th grade, but he likes your butt, so that’s good! Sure, he’ll probably ask you by means of a text message that says “So are you sure I’m taller than you?”, but the fact that you both find each other mutually not-repulsive means you already have so much in common!

There is an endless list of small details you must arrange for your perfect night – nails, cumberbundts, corsages, boutonnieres – but the most important of these is soaking in every moment because they will get you through the rest of your life. You will always remember the four-hour game of “who do I make eye contact with” in a crowded, sweaty room. You will always remember trying to fall asleep on the way home in the back of a party bus while your date attempts to pole dance to “I’m Different”. You will always remember the food you didn’t eat because of #PromDiet2013, and the countless souvenirs that you would’ve rather not been included in your $70 ticket fee. But whether it’s in fondness, or in a certain off-brand post traumatic stress disorder – you will always remember Prom 2013, so make it count.