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Phelan: Lots of planning goes into high school prom

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

I’ve talked a lot about graduation recently, and that’s probably because graduating high school is a momentous event that I’ve been building up to for years. But there is another event that’s looming toward us, coming faster and faster, the subject of so many conversations and over-dramatic tweets – prom.

This year’s prom is May 4, but it’s already taking Geneva High School by storm. See, you can’t just decide to go to prom on the 3rd and mosey on in to the Museum of Science and Industry the next day. You need tickets. You need a group for pictures. You need to get on a bus with your friends. You need to have after-prom plans.

Some people say that you need a date, but you really don’t. I talked to a girl from my French class who went solo last year, and she said that she still had the time of her life, and doesn’t want to be weighed down by someone else again this year. Plus, a date brings drama. I had a very lengthy, late-night discussion with a friend of mine who was debating whether or not she should let her potential date’s friend tell her that it was OK to ask her. The issue is that she really doesn’t like the guy, but he’s nice and she would feel bad saying no. If this situation seems ridiculous, it’s not the most ridiculous that I’ve heard. One boy wanted to ask a girl, but she was asked by someone else before him, so he set his sights on her sister, only to be disappointed by the fact that she was a freshman.

Fortunately, I had a very-drama free prom proposal. My friend Luca asked me to prom via an adorable YouTube video, which he linked to my Facebook, and I watched on my phone in the Gander Mountain parking lot. Luca is a very good friend of mine and I trust him, so I’m glad that I have a date that won’t ditch me, or try to convince me to go out drinking afterward.

I don’t have my dress yet, but that could be a whole extra three columns. I generally don’t like strapless because of my swimmer’s shoulders and their tendency to fall down, but at the same time, I don’t want to look like I’m attending my grandmother’s prom. I’m a big fan of sparkles and glitter, but those make dresses expensive. I’m also a big fan of ball gown-style dresses, because if I’m going to shell out about $100 for tickets, I better look like a princess. (For the record, I’m refusing to let my date pay for me. I am an independent young woman.)

I’m sure that I’ll find a dress somehow, with all the department stores, boutiques, prom dress websites, and fashion designers in Paris and Milan reading this column.

The school’s main concern, of course, is safety. They’ve seen the movies, heard the stories, and – of course – went to their own prom. I urge anyone reading this to think about their prom night decisions and rethink them if they could end in life-altering consequences. Everyone has put a lot of thought and work into having the perfect night, so make it perfect by making it out alive.

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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