Countdown to prom night
For high school students, prom is supposed to be perfect.
Girls put weeks into selecting the perfect dress, hair and makeup. Guys put an hour OK, maybe two or three into scheming about creative ways to ask their dates, renting a tuxedo and planning the details of the night.
The only problem is, not everything always goes as planned. Two days before last year’s junior prom, Park City High School (PCHS) announced that the event would be postponed due to the infamous swine flu scare.
The delay caused some minor catastrophes. Corsages and boutineers wilted, manicures and pedicures chipped, and some students’ date arrangements went awry, causing a last-minute scramble for the dateless.
Mishaps aside, the prom went off without a hitch about a month later than originally planned. Students also learned a valuable lesson about the practicality of perfection. This year, they’re just looking to have a good time.
Prom will be held at the Utah State Capitol Building tonight, May 22.
For the past weeks, evidence of the Park City tradition of asking dates in a crafty way has been cropping up around town. Several cars in the PCHS parking lot received the prom treatment with everything from shaving cream to plastic wrap. Banners were displayed in local hangouts and athletes were surprised at sporting events.
Some students took more innovative routes. Dale Scudder’s date risked sunburn by taping the word "prom" on his back and tanning until it was stamped on his skin.
Nicole Rizika’s date left a trail of Hershey kisses in her house with the message, "Now that I’ve kissed the ground you walk on, will you go to prom with me?"
Sam Sisk typed up a faux assignment with the word "prom" embedded in the text and planted it in his date’s returned papers folder so that she would find it in class.
Once the couples pairings were solidified, prom-goers started thinking about more important things first and foremost, the cost. Tickets for the event are $150 for couples or $80 for singles. Those who wait until the last minute and pay at the door will pay a $20 surcharge.
"Handing over that money was traumatic," says Cash Knight, a senior. "That’s like 17 hours of work."
The tickets include a pre-party at the high school, complimentary bussing to and from the dance, dinner and ShutterBooth photo sessions. However, guys also have to rent a tuxedo, buy a corsage, and consider options such as renting a limo.
According to Knight, the total cost for the evening averages $400. Most guys lament forking over the cash, but maintain that it’s bad form to ask their dates to pitch in.
They might forget that the expenditures for girls attending prom typically add up to about the same amount. Many girls spend hundreds of dollars on a dress, shoes, accessories, manicures, pedicures, hair styling and professional makeup application.
Still, girls tend to write off the expenses as necessities in achieving the perfect prom look. After all, the act of getting ready is the best part of the night, says junior Abbey Winkelman. "It’s usually an all-day event," she adds.
Guys claim that getting ready for prom tacks on negligible time to their daily routines. Several seniors agreed that they planned to spend about half an hour primping before meeting their dates Saturday.
Knight estimated that he would top out at eight minutes. "Maybe that’s why I’m not getting the girls," he joked.
Sisk admitted that guys care about how they look at prom, too. He says he has specially purchased gold snakeskin shoes to go with his tux (and he claims his date is comfortable with that decision).
Some guys stress over meeting their dates’ expectations, while others say they don’t feel any pressure. "Girls definitely want it to be a perfect night," Knight says.
"I don’t really stress about that kind of stuff. It’s just fun," says senior Riley McCall.
Girls agreed that it’s best not to grasp onto the anticipation that prom will be the defining moment of their high school careers. "I feel like you could set yourself up for disappointment," says junior Natalia Caro.
"You just have to make it fun regardless of what happens," says Winkelman.
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