Prom in a Nutshell


Julie West

BSM Seniors took photos on the football field at prom.

This past weekend, our upperclassmen enjoyed a night of many festivities and an equal amount of questionable traditions. Let’s talk about prom.

I would like to start off by addressing the culture behind prom, something I will quite frankly never understand. What was originally created to be a fun, laid-back school dance event has since become the Met Gala of every suburban high school in America. To begin, I can’t quite wrap my head around the whole sign thing. Whoever came up with the phrase “chivalry is dead” was clearly unfamiliar with promposals. Never in my life did I think I’d be spending $35 on a teddy bear and decorating a massive poster board with quite possibly the cheesiest pickup line out there, but here we are. To the guys who didn’t need your sister’s help making your sign, I truly envy and respect your artistic ability; and to everyone else, you’re not alone my friend.

Next, I don’t understand the formal dress code of prom. For the past month, girls have been sacrificing work time in class, stressfully scavenging the web to pick out 15 different dresses, just to end up ever just wearing one of them. Us guys are left with either a hand-me-down from your dad or brother that barely fits, a mind-numbing trip to Macy’s with your mom, or renting a tuxedo that was likely last worn by one a degenerate best man at a wedding. The expected attire seems beyond overelaborate to me, considering that at the end of the night, it will likely boast the remnants of a spilled Shirley temple and the sweat you accumulated jumping around aimlessly to a music playlist comparable to the one you made in the second grade. Doesn’t exactly scream “fancy” to me.

Last, but most certainly not least, spray tans. This one is pretty much completely directed toward my female audience, but what’s with the spray tans? Why is it that in the week leading up to prom, many of you magically become orange? Anybody that decided to tour BSM from May 1st to May 5th must have figured we had just gotten back from a class trip to Miami. I understand that it’s been a long winter and the tan lines from spring break have likely faded, but showing up to prom resembling our country’s 45th president seems like a bit of a stretch. I certainly respect the dedication though.

Depending on what audience you associate with, the time is either a quarter after 2 or 3:47 pm. You begin to get ready. For my female audience, it seems that getting ready for prom is just as much of a commitment as the dance itself. I can’t say that I have the context necessary to speak for myself, but from what I’ve heard, you’re likely having quite the bonding experience with your friends. Nothing screams friendship development like listening to Lana Del Ray and collectively scrambling to choose between the 17 different dresses you ordered. I imagine this to be a girl’s equivalent of anxiously screaming over the best parlays to place, as you demolish your last Honey Barbecue wing in preparation for seven consecutive hours of football at your local B-Dubs. As you put the final touches on your hair and makeup, your date likely pauses the South Park episode he is pirating on Tik Tok, rolls out of bed, and decides to begin getting ready himself. Getting ready as a guy is rather simple. You take a quick shower, browse YouTube for tutorials on how to tie a tie, and throw on a few too many sprays of the Dior Sauvage that your aunt got you for Christmas. You toss on the dress shoes that you’ve worn a total of nine times throughout your life, shuffle My Turn (Deluxe), and make your way to your buddy’s house, who is also probably running late. After a few minutes of questionable comments about how good your boys are looking, you head to take pictures.

Pictures make for quite the experience too. Your mom meets you there with the corsage that you didn’t even realize she ordered, and you awkwardly put it on your date’s wrist while pretending to ignore the crowd of parents taking pictures of you for their Facebook profiles. You then grab some photos with your friends, after a brief debate on whether or not to smile, which will most likely remain untouched in your camera roll until you need a private story post for your buddy’s birthday. After you get together with your whole group and squeeze out the most obviously forced smile of all time, while simultaneously trying to figure out which of the 22 different cameras to look at, you finally head to the Grand March. The Grand March is pretty much the same thing as pictures with your date, but with the added factor of walking down a red carpet in front of an entire auditorium of parents. It was still a great experience though.

Next up is the actual dance. You arrive in a car with far more passengers than seats and scavenge for a parking spot, all while trying to have a conversation with the person next to you as 42 Dugg tests the limits of the driver’s speaker system. You stroll into the dance, already becoming uncomfortable in either your rented tuxedo or high heels that are far too elaborate, and sign in; bonus points if you get breathalyzed. You finally reach your table and try to make small talk with your friend’s date whom you’ve never met before. In this year’s case, this continues for hours. The time is now 8:17 and you’ve grown hungrier than Matthew McConaughey in preparation for the shooting of Dallas Buyers Club. You place a mental bet on which you think will come out first – the food or GTA 6 – and against all odds, the food ends up winning. I thought it was a bit of a gamble choosing the salmon this year, but it was actually really good. After another Shirley Temple and your 36th conversation about college of the night, you decide it’s time to dance.

The actual dance, which is supposed to be the main attraction of the night, ends up being rather short-lived. You peruse the outside of the mosh pit for a few minutes until your overly extroverted friend pulls you in. For some reason, the student body collectively sweating profusely and screaming the lyrics to Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” is the pinnacle of school spirit. However, after twelve minutes have gone by and far too many people have stepped on your toes, you give your buddy the look that suggests calling it a night.

The time is now roughly 10 pm and you finally get to change out of your suit that now smells of grenadine and other peoples’ BO. You toss on some sweats and once again pack your friend’s car to its limits en route to an afterparty. This drive, however, is much more exciting. Energy is at an all-time high and that one buddy of yours who genuinely thinks he’s the next David Guetta plays his obscure EDM playlist from Soundcloud on AUX. The afterparty is the highlight of the night for many, and for good reason. It is essentially just an unmonitored version of the dance, with a bit smaller crowd. For the sake of this article getting published, I’ll leave out a few details from the afterparties, but know that they were a great time. Somewhere between the hours of 1 and 2 am, you begin to ponder how comfy your bed sounds and finally decide to drop an absurd amount of money on an Uber home. What a night.

All in all, though some of prom’s traditions seem a bit unorthodox to me, it is truly a great night. It encapsulates the school spirit that makes BSM such a great place like none other, and is something I’m sure that I’ll remember fondly. I sincerely hope that everyone who attended prom had a great night, because I sure did.