I'm not a big fan of prom season. This time of year students don't focus well in class because they'd rather be talking about their dresses and how much the dresses cost. I hate to see my female students turn orange and for the life of me can't understand why they don't see how unnatural and unattractive it looks. Fake-and-bake tans abound. Acrylic nails appear on the fingertips of girls who normally snack on them during tests. Boys aren’t nearly as preoccupied with the prom as the girls, but in general it upsets me that such a premium value is placed on a day that really will mean very little to them decades from now. Moms and Dads are happy to pay more for a dress than a season of pay-to-play or the tax increase they refused to take which equates to a fraction of pay-to-play usually, minuscule in comparison to the hundreds they drop on prom. This is how I feel as an educator.
But last night, my nephew went to his prom, and I was there at his house at four o'clock—along with my parents and his cousins—to see him in his tuxedo and take pictures and meet his date. He looked handsome of course, and his date was very pretty (and her dress was elegant and tasteful). As an aunt, I was proud of him and excited for him. I could tell he was excited, that he and his date and his friends would have a great time and talk about it for some time—not for decades, necessarily, but long enough for it to be an important night in his life. So instead of rolling my eyes back in my head I shielded them with my sunglasses so that he couldn’t tell I was a little emotional about how grown up he’s become and about seeing him off on his prom night.