by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Wait a minute, teenagers. Not so fast. Come back here with that fashion article printed in this very newspaper just two days ago, the one with the headline “PROM-ising Alternatives” that dealt with new ways to dress for your high school prom without looking traditional, which is to say, a dweeb.

Gimme that paper!

riiip . . . swiiip . . . shrshhh . . .

There now.

Have a seat. I’m afraid to say, teenagers, that while that article was very interesting and educational, it was, and we admit this with deep regret, A GIANT TYPO! That’s right. One big mistake. It’s quite embarrassing, really. Something must have gotten in our printing presses, I don’t know, maybe one of the shop guy’s tools, like a wrench or a bottle of Wild Turkey, and it wiggled around and, well, gosh, by some freak of nature, actually printed out an article that said, “When choosing your prom wardrobe, you should remain true to yourself. If you’ve never worn a tie in your life . . . don’t dig one up just for the prom. . . . If it’s stressful, don’t do it.”


You thought we meant that?

Kids. Come on. Do you believe Bart Simpson is a real person, too? Stress is the essence of a prom. Along with wearing bad ties, stupid dresses, and a flower that costs as much as your CD collection. The truth is, proms were invented years ago by nuclear scientists to create a 24-hour period of total panic and misery, so as to simulate something you will face very shortly, namely, the rest of your life.

Can we talk about clothes?

Dress like a lounge act

I know that in that previous article, you thought you read these words:
“Forget about what’s appropriate. Maybe the guys wear sequins and the girls wear combat boots. Think flowers, think love beads. . .”

Amazing what a little Wild Turkey will do, isn’t it?

No, teenagers, I’m sorry to say, you can’t think flowers or love beads when dressing or the prom. You can’t think combat boots, or sequins for guys, unless you attend Elton John’s old high school.

No. You must think — and please memorize these words — “miserable” and “uncomfortable” and “total dweebdom.” You will dress this way, because WE had to dress this way, and our PARENTS had to dress this way, and that’s ALL THERE IS TO IT!

Men — and I call you men, because after prom night, you’ll feel like men, once you finish throwing up — your dress is simple: a powder-blue tuxedo, powder-blue bow tie, ruffled white shirt and powder-blue shoes.

What’s that? Not cool? HAHAHA! Did you hear that, Irv? Sid? Morty? The kid said it’s . . . not cool! AWWWWWWWWWW!

Shut up and put it on.

Now, women — and I call you women because after prom night, you will feel like women, once you watch the guys throw up — your outfits are more varied. True, you must wear the traditional black velvet dress and a big corsage and high heels that make you walk like Pee-wee Herman doing his
“Tequila” dance — but, hey, you get an option!

With straps, or without.

OK. Who’s driving? You won’t feel good

This is a big part of the prom, because inevitably, there’s the tender moment where you and your date wave good-bye to your parents as you screech out of the driveway, and your mother sobs “There goes our baby” and your father sobs, “There goes my car.”

Once you arrive at the prom, however, be prepared for nontraditional things, such as finding the punch bowl, or trying to dance in a powder-blue tuxedo. (SAFETY NOTE: Men. Do not attempt any funky moves, no matter what the music. The only man alive who can dance funky in powder blue is James Brown, and he’s not doing proms anymore.)

As the night progresses, you will feel sweaty beneath your tuxedo, your tie will fall off, plus your toes will be killing you. And you women who chose strapless, you see why that was a mistake.

This is part of the tradition. So is running to the bathroom every five minutes to stare in the mirror (“I can’t believe it! I look like a dweeb!”) and doing the slow dance at the end of the night, after which, you and your friends drive into the moonlight, someplace at least an hour away, and engage in the ancient prom ritual of throwing up and passing out.

Then you come home.

Cheer up. This is the best part. Because now, you actually get to TAKE OFF THE CLOTHES, which feels slightly better than getting out of a Turkish prison. And you swear you will never dress like that again.

And — ta-da! — you can now relate to your parents. After you explain why their car is in a ditch. Also, you have learned this lesson: Never trust a prom article that contains the sentence “Be proud of your nose ring.”

And stay away from Wild Turkey.

What do you think they put in the punch?


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