Prom Night in April

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Well it’s prom season where I am and of course, like everything else, it gets me thinking.

My oldest son’s girlfriend went to prom with a friend while he stayed home, which is somewhat of a trend these days and as a photographer I had one prom sitting, so I had a little bit of first hand experience in the affair. Beyond that, I perused mother and prom goer photos via social media late into the night.

What I saw was a little disheartening.

I saw a lot of young girls who seemed stressed, miserable, unable to see through their mascara or walk in their shoes. I saw preoccupation with windblown hair and out of place hem lines. I saw a lot of make-up and a lot of money. So I wondered if everyone had as much fun as prom is intended to be. I hoped.

I saw a lot of kids who clearly had some parent’s Mastercard bankrolling their evening. I saw other kids who looked like they had done a great job doing what they could with what they had and others still who chose their own unique flair and style regardless of the price tags involved.

Obviously prom is a tradition beyond compare that will likely never go away. I just wish, I wonder if the kids would enjoy it more, stress less and spend less if they could just find a way to let go of expectations and demand and imagine what they really want to wear, do and be!

I didn’t go to prom. Not because I was too cool or so evolved. I was pregnant and though I wasn’t showing, it just wasn’t on my list of priorities. 

All of these thoughts reminded me of my three weddings.

I had two expensive, fancy formal weddings. Neither marriage lasted. I was 20 and 29 when those marriages took place.  A couple weeks ago, at 38, I married for the last time, in a small ceremony, on our property, in clothes we already owned. I wasn’t nervous or stressed. I had a fun and carefree, meaningful day.

The young girl whose pictures I took for prom was fussing and fretting throughout our session, with her mother in tow. The comment was made that when she has a wedding it may kill them both. Her response was, “no, I’m having a Cherilyn style wedding.”  

Amen sister.