Now that your kid is in high school, I hate to break it to you: gone are the simple days when you drop your child off at an elementary event run by friends of yours on the PTA.
Back then, you told your kid to grab his shoes and $2 and dropped him off at the skating rink. Or a “dance” that included a DJ that no one danced to in favor of roaming the gym with his friends while wearing glow in the dark bracelets and wristbands.
High school dances and proms are no joke. And they aren’t cheap, either. And, when my son’s high school held the first dance my son could attend, I don’t mind telling you that I had a steep learning curve.
Learn from me. I can’t be the only parent who dropped her kid off at a school dance and wondered how exactly it costs hundreds of dollars for her kid to attend a dance in his own high school gym.
Here’s how to send your high school son to a school dance in 50 easy steps:
1). In early September, ask your son the date of the school dance.
2). Receive shoulder shrug and a “No idea.” answer. Sigh loudly as he rolls eyes his back at you.
3). Attempt to check school calendar and realize you missed Back to School night. Whoops.
4). Find the date: October 12th. Score! Enter date in calendar. Set reminder (remember what happened with Back to School night?)
5). Tell your son the date. Receive blank stare as he goes back to texting his friends.
6). A week later, ask your son if he’s decided to go to the school dance. Wait as he removes ear buds and says, “What dance?”
7). Bang head on wall.
8). Decide to change tactics: casually mention your Homecoming Dance in 1993.
9). Roll eyes and cross arms as son giggles and says, “Wait, they had dances back in the olden days? Did you take horse drawn carriages to dance in the barn?”
10). Dig out high school yearbook to prove that Homecoming 1993 was not, in fact, in a barn.
11). Turn to Homecoming section in yearbook and immediately regret this decision.
12). “Mom, is that you? What’s with your hair? Did you stick it in an electrical socket?”
13). Try to push through comments about your jacked to Jesus hair but even you are no match for your date’s red shirt and skinny black tie. I mean, seriously, what were we thinking?
14). Reminisce about high school dances and try to convey how much fun you had in your high school gym.
15). Belt out “This Is The Time” by Billy Joel for good measure, much to son’s annoyance.
16). Point to crepe paper decorations and proudly tell son that you were the head of the decorating committee. Realize this does not help your argument.
17). Switch gears and turn the yearbook pages to find the Prom section.
18). Oh dear. So many sequins.
19). Ask self if you really were that skinny. And wonder who let you buy a dress with teal sequins. And white taffeta.
20). Close yearbook as your son hysterically laughs on couch and declares you the worst dressed at prom. Assure him your dress was “the style back then.”
21). Immediately realize you’ve become your mother.
22). Two weeks before dance, ask son if he’s decided to go to the dance.
23). Resist urge to yell “THE ONE I’VE BEEN TELLING YOU ABOUT FOR TWO WEEKS” when he says “What dance?”
24). Bang head on wall. Again.
25). After some discussion, determine that son is, in fact, attending the school dance.
26). Breathe sigh of relief. Now we are getting somewhere.
27). Casually ask son if he’s taking a date to the dance.
28). With a tone reserved for the Village Idiot, your son says, “Mah, kids don’t date anymore. It’s not like that. I’m going with friends. Slow your roll.”
29). Attempt to slow roll. Fail miserably five minutes later by suggesting a dance attire shopping outing.
30). Bribe son with lunch if he agrees to go shopping with minimal complaints.
31). Take son to local department store and try to convince him to wear something other than a hoodie. And sneakers. Suggest a three-piece suit.
32). Realize your son is now the size of the Incredible Hulk. Relocate to the men’s department.
33). Realize your son has grown out of every pair of pants he owns. And his shoes are too small. Have minor economic meltdown in middle of Macy’s.
34). Leave Macy’s with far more clothing than intended. At least he’s not wearing a hoodie to the dance. You hope.
35). One week before dance, ask son what his plans are.
36). With a smirk, he says, “What dance?” And then immediately tells you to “chill out.”
37). On the day of the dance, start reminding him immediately after school that fancy clothes look better when the person wearing them is freshly showered.
38). One hour before the dance, politely ask son to start getting ready. Because his mother has earned photographic evidence of this blessed event.
39). 25 minutes before dance, bellow “WOULD YOU JUST HURRY UP AND GET READY FOR GOD’S SAKES?” from the bottom of the stairs.
40). 15 minutes before dance, hear shower running. Breathe sigh of relief.
41). As you are banging your head on the wall, you hear your son say, “Hey, Mah, I’m ready” from the top of the stairs.
42). You look up and take in his freshly brushed hair, his starched button down and wonder when exactly he grew into a handsome young man.
43). Immediately start crying.
44). Wipe away tears, and demand photos out by the tree where you do Back to School pictures.
45). Cry again.
46). Drive son and friends to dance and play “This Is The Time” on full blast. Smirk in driver’s seat.
47). Slip your son an extra $20 as he heads out of the car. Tell him to have a wonderful time.
48). When he turns and looks back at you, smiles and says, “I will, Mah, don’t wait up,” hold the ugly cry back until he walks through the high school gym doors.
49). Drive away and wonder how it is you got here. Wasn’t 1993 just yesterday?
50). Realize you have to do it all over next year. Only this time with your daughter. Wonder out loud to yourself if she’d be interested in wearing a dress with teal green sequins.