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The Voice of the Black Community


Prom is expensive, but worth the effort
Formal affair brings out best in everyone
Published Thursday, May 3, 2012 11:30 am
by Flare Brown

Flare Brown ready for prom.

This is the latest installment in a series of columns by Garinger High School senior Flare Brown, 17, on her final year on campus leading up to graduation day.

Prom, to me, is overrated and overpriced.  After I saw the movie “Grease” in the sixth grade I thought all proms and dances in general were special, sacred, and a must-go. But my experiences at prom my sophomore and junior of high school year showed me otherwise, there was nothing exciting about it.

It seemed like a huge get together full of over dressy people who barely associate, in one room with borderline cha-cha slide music and unfavorable food. It made me say, “What was all the hype?”

I debated for a while whether or not to go to prom due to financial instability. First off, the price of tickets – $50 each – seemed beyond my means at the time. Garinger, in a low-socioeconomic area, enhanced my idea that other students would find tickets unaffordable as well.

However, once I learned the higher ticket cost at other schools, I began to appreciate the generous discount. Yet I still imagined where the rest of the money for prom essentials would come from. It went from tickets to my dress, hair, make-up, shoes, and accessories.

The thought of my date paying for a rental tux or suit, tickets, food and car did not sit right with me. It all seemed like too much for one night, yet prom is every senior’s rite of passage.

My date and I have decided I’ll go solo to save money. He’s already graduated and experienced prom and would not miss anything. However he will be my driver and we plan to go out before and after the event.

Before prom madness began, I had my eye on this crème, lacey, form-fitting short dress for months. Some day in early April after work at Abercrombie Kids I visited Nordstrom since I was already in the mall. I spotted the dress and tried it on. It fit perfectly! It felt as if it were made just for me and at the moment of looking in the mirror of the dressing room I became conscious I had to go to prom. I admit my dress is untraditional, but I love that I did not meet the standards of a typical long gown.

My chemistry teacher Ms. Stevie-Jay Stapler helped me tremendously by purchasing my prom shoes for me. I spend a lot of time with her after school in our club WAKE UP! When I told her I about my money uncertainty she did not hesitate helping me out. Teachers across campus have been making sure students have what they need for prom by letting girls get dresses that have been gently worn and even going half on tickets.

Now that I have almost everything for prom May 5 I am genuinely excited about it. I credit completing my senior exit on Monday and earning a perfect score. Life as a senior feels at ease finally. I am also running for prom queen so we shall see who wins.

All that is left is figuring out the extras: hair, nails, and makeup. I am a practical girl and used to doing things myself since it’ll save money. My mind is clear when I go the less expensive route. I’m simply not used to spending money since I do not have it and not planning to go beyond my means. As long as I have some fun Saturday and win prom queen I’ll be satisfied.


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