D2 will be celebrating her prom/grad soon (here, they don’t have ‘proms’ they have grads. D1 informed me of this when she graduated a couple of years ago. The grads around these parts are what I imagine to be similar to the American version of a prom, but the kids here cringe at the word ‘prom’. I don’t know either, just go with it) In preparation for such an auspicious event, I have prepared a guideline for the parent (particularly the mommy )in surviving the broo-ha-ha that seems to follow impending graduate every step her painted toes take her. A mother of the graduate needs to take precautions lest she fall into the unending abyss of distant high school memories of her own and drunken exclamations of ‘when I was your age, we didn’t have this fancy shmanzy stuff. We had a diploma thrust into our hands and a ‘get on with it kid’. You kids today with your video games and Snookie…blah, blah, blah..’’ Yeah, let’s try to avoid the self-loathing and guilt laden lectures, shall we?
Part 1- The Dress
Okay, so a lot of preparation and many woman hours manning a computer searching endless data bases of ‘prom dresses’ the internet has to offer, has left you cross eyed and vomiting pink frills. No worries, the end of this nightmarish search is nigh. The girls these days are so overflowing with social media that their cousins best friend’s former next door neighbor has already secured the one dress your darling desperately needs to make all her grad dreams come true and has splashed that picture all over Facebook before you can say, ‘but that’s not a dress, that’s a shower curtain’. Have no fear. Get daughter to revisit some of her favourite websites that hopefully occupy this hemisphere, with her three top choices. Among top choices, check for price, availability and the ever important ‘covers-her-ass’. Darling should look lovely, not a cheap hooker for the visiting Senator.
Once the top three are chosen and you inspect the website and assure that it does not emanate North Korean phrases like ‘you buy dress, we not take over your army and cyber warrior your ass’, then you are almost ready for the big buy out! Get out your credit card, mommy dearest ‘cause baby’s buyin’ her first car?! No! That’s the price of the dress, silly!
Daughter should take friends trying on different styles of dresses before settling on the ONE style she thinks best suits her frame…and covers all her assets. I can’t say this enough.
Our excursion to the formal dress salon was important just so I could see if the dress D2 selected was flattering for her…it was, she did a lovely job. I was left out of the whole ‘let’s try on a gagillion dresses to see which one I like’ which was probs a good idea. My idea of shopping is getting into the store, getting a dress that won’t fall off or make me suck in my stomach too much and getting the hell outta there.
If you visit the salon, they will actually order the dress for you! Had I known this little tidbit two years ago, I would have done that instead of ordering it myself off the internet and waiting anxiously for two months wondering if the dress would actually show up. To avoid this, GET THE NICE PEOPLE AT THE STORE TO ORDER IT FOR YOU. That way, if it doesn’t come in, you can build up a good rant and blame the disaster on them. You are free from responsibility…a phrase you have been waiting 18 years to hear.
Of course , the next step is the alterations. Get the store to refer you to reputable local talent who can hem a dress faster than a dip like me could thread a needle. Ain’t nobody got time for that! We were introduced to a nice lady who had been hemming dresses for 18 years. Tip: If your daughter has severe allergies to cats, it’s probably wise to inquire whether said seamstress has four Persian cats living in her house and occupy every possible living space like the kitchen counters…because when you walk in and see them staring at you ominously, it’s a little creepy. Not to mention a tad life-threatening for darling. Not that it’s ever happened to me personally…okay, yes! But we’re still here! We rock.
So, we have the dress, the shoes, the accessories…what’s left? Really? Did you just ask me that?!! Uhhh….THE DATE, maybe?!!! AND…. Tickets, the flowers, the cards, the present, the makeup, the hair, the nails, the inhaler, ( allergies, remember?) the pictures with mommy and daddy and nanny and the neighbour’s cat…. Then there’s the grad dinner, the father-daughter dance, the all-night grad party, safe grad, breakfast….*sigh* …a bit exhausting.
Part 2- The Party
Once the dress has been secured, it fits, it’s not laden with cat hair, the wrinkles have been steamed and darling has managed to secure its location away from the teeth of the dog, tickets are in her hand, appointments have been made, wine has been purchased (for mommy of course) it’s time to make sure mommy has some moments during the next hectic 24 hours. Here is my time table for this event:
Happy hour with Bestie and neighbours to ensure mommy is in a great mood for the next day and prepped for all that is to ensue. Ensure D2 is getting to bed early and not out partying it up with friends too much the night before, lest she be the spawn of satan the next morning. Darling needs her rest so she can remain her pleasant and effervescent self and mommy needs her wine. Both are important aspects for a smooth day. Trust me, on this one.
6am: Take out dog for walk
6:15- 8:30 Down copious quantities of coffee, eat breakfast, clean floors, send Hubby out with son to Canadian tire. THEY NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE…’cause they’re boys and they’re messy. It’s a well known fact.
9am: See if D2 is awake, ask her to make it to the kitchen without touching the floors. (what? Her first test of the day. Let’s see if she can do it!)
9:20: Calm down D2 and assure her I will not be piggy-backing her to the kitchen nor force feeding her food.
9:30: Tell daughter to get into shower before mommy decides to get in there and drain the hot water tank. Nothing sends teenage girls into a tizzy more than NO HOT WATER!! hehehehe
10:00 Get Bestie over to have some more coffee, and start on D2’s hair. Ensure the shellac is close by as that ‘do can’t move for the next 10 hours!
11:00 It’s five o’clock somewhere…nip of wine while darling is on the phone and getting her makeup done. What? No judging, people. I will gladly have a glass ready for you when it’s your turn….
12:00 officially lunch time. Get Hubby to run to Subway, feed all the darlings and myself and drain that first glass of wine. Yeah, this is shaping up to be a great day.
1:00 What do you mean, you want me to go with you while you’re getting your nails done?! Okay! Sit and get nails done while D2 gets hers done. Have second glass of wine while waiting for that stuff to dry. I fucking love grad day!
1:30 Get darling in her dress, meet the date (the most exciting part as Hubby interrogates the boy) take pictures, avoid the dog photobombing by licking herself in front of the photo, have some wine while the friends wander around the house and eat, make sure son hasn’t escaped to Nurse Betty’s house to hang out with friend, make sure neighbor girls come by to see the pretty dresses and show their mommies what’s to come, smile profusely knowing that it’s almost over, share some wine with DH ladies and show off those nails! We rock.
2:00- 6:00 stay home and fidget while D2 is off with friends getting pictures at their houses with their parents and their dogs photo bombing the pictures, have some more wine, order some food for supper, get ready for meet and greet. By this time, the first bottle of Merlot is gone and you are well on your way to making a great impression at the meet and greet with the other parents and graduates.
6:25 attend meet and greet after Hubby swears profusely about the lack of parking, D1 complains her grad was better and son is itchy in his tie. Stumble into the centre to see D2 with her friends, take awkward pictures with people you don’t know, have awkward conversations with parents you don’t WANT to know and send darling on her way to the dinner. Get Hubby back into the car to drive home and wait until we are summoned back to the grad to dance with D2. Open second bottle of Merlot while waiting…
8:00 Go back to the centre, plough our way to see daughter, take more pictures, watch Hubby and D2 dance, cry like a baby, take more pictures, give D2 kiss and see her at home, cry like a baby, get in car and go home to cry like a baby and finish off that bottle of merlot.
10:00 Wait in front room for D2 to come home only to change, and leave for the rest of the night.
Midnight: Pace the floor, worry about D2 and her friends, text to see if she’s okay, go to bed.
5am: Open door for D2 give her a big hug and send her to bed
5:05: Back in bed and smile that you have survived grad night. Only one more to go…..