Prom: The payback has begun

By Doris Goodwin | Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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I received a phone call from my favorite (and only) daughter this week, telling me she and her 16-year-old daughter had just been shopping for a prom dress. I had a flashback of that same experience. I remembered when my darling daughter was invited to her first prom.

Does anyone realize how much chaos this creates? At least a month or so before the affair, most girls have determined who they hope will invite them and have begun their battle plan. The first detour occurred when her chosen young swain invited her best friend. Prom week does a lot to enliven school spirit.

Once the phone call was received and she was issued an invitation by an acceptable escort, our troubles really began. She was considered a reasonably pretty girl, but overnight, her hair turned to straw, she was too fat and besides, she didn’t have a thing to wear.

A quick trip to the beautician assured her that her tresses were salvageable. Two weeks of dieting satisfied her urge to resemble a starving war orphan. That was the easy part.

Shopping for her prom dress could only be compared to ancient Chinese water torture. Tiny drops of agitation continued until sanity slipped away. She was determined to see every dress available. Do you know how many dress shops are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

Have you considered how many things could be wrong with a garment? I’ve heard them all. “It makes me look fat.” “Mother, not ruffles, I look 12 years old.” “I look putrid in puce.” “It’s too tight.” “It’s too loose.”

After what seemed like days, the magic yardage of chiffon slipped over her head. It settled in soft waves around her slender form. I held my breath. “Mom, it’s beautiful,” she said. That battle was won.

I have a lot more thoughts about raising a teenage girl, but for now, I’ll just continue taking my nerve medicine and wish my daughter the very best.

Doris Goodwin

One Response to “Prom: The payback has begun”

  1. Jim Popp says:


    From one grandparent to another, just sit back, relax, and wait for the phone calls from your daughter that are bound to come. I can hear one now, “Mother, she is driving me crazy with this prom thing. I was never like this with my prom.” You’ll be able to reassure her that this too will pass and all will live through it eventually. Then you can remind her, “Afterall, you and I lived through your prom preparations, didn’t we?” At that point you can tell her the story you just told us and laugh about those memories with her. Oh, and know my wife and I are laughing with you in a good way.


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