Shopping for Prom at Doomingdale’s

It happens to upper class high school girls at least once each spring, and for some, it can be a day more dreaded than finals day. Prom dress shopping day is, for those of us who weren’t blessed with model-like builds, possibly as painful as getting six teeth pulled.

To many, shopping for a Prom dress may seem like such an innocent task. Passing by the dress section of a department store, one would never guess that over the blaring of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” and amongst the racks of these “fashionable” gowns that shopping for this special day could be so difficult. Yet, I’ve found it to be all a cover.

No one ever sees the girl desperately screaming at her mom to get her the same chiffon gown in eight different colors, or the fathers, brothers, or boyfriends who lay spewed out on the hard Bloomingdale’s floor impatiently waiting as their daughter tries on every gown on the floor, twice. It’s almost entertaining to watch a mother practically pass out as her daughter tries on a dress even Britney Spears would consider scandalous, or that pleather green gown that you think is the ugliest thing since sliced bread suddenly being tried on and bought by the girl in the neighboring changing room.

Then there are the sales clerks who never cease to ask, “So when’s the special day?” almost as if a four hour night at a high school dance was like preparing for a wedding. The store seems to have similar thoughts because if they put up one more poster saying something like “Prom 2008—A Night to Shine!” or “Make all your Dreams Come True @ Prom 08!” I think I might be forced to burn one of those tacky, hoop-skirted gowns that trails teal sequins all over the floor.

Dress after dress, hour by hour, the whole process really starts to get to you. The mirror turns into an enemy, subtly sneering at your love handles and making you feel guilty for eating that last gusher at lunch. Suddenly those poofy wedding style dresses that you secretly try on for laughs with your friends start to seem appealing; that’s when you know you need to get your bottom out of Bloomingdale’s.

Yet, in the end, when the day of Prom comes, and you’re looking pretty fly in the soft pink strapless your sister lent you, it’s possible to look back and laugh at last week’s horrific shopping trip…especially when your best friend comes walking up to you in that green pleather gown you pitied just days earlier.

Sarah Koller, staff writer