Formal Dances – part 1

prom title

So my oldest son just attended his last formal dance. It's been fun watching him - ask the girl, figure out: the Day Date, what to wear (yes, boys worry about what their going to wear) who's driving, go by yourself or with friends?, where to eat etc. . . .

He has been lucky to have a lot of really GREAT friends. So there ends up being a lot of couples in his group. Sometimes, it can get tricky with a lot of people in one group.  Too many ideas, and not one person wanting to be the boss of the group for fear it would land them responsible for all the work. So here are a few things that I have learned over the few years with my kids - for both sides - Boy choice, Girl choice.

Asking to the Dance:

1) Doesn't have to cost much or anything!! For an example . . . my son made a song and got his friends to help him ask his date. He found out where she was, and asked her. Now of course she danced - and there was never a good time, that she wasn't in dance. We got permission for the owner to come in and surprise her.

2) Don't ask too early - even if you want to get to the date of your choice.  I've seen too many times, kids ask a girl they like in February for Prom in April?  By April rolls around they no longer like each other and it made the date awkward for everyone in their group.

3) Don't wait too long either - Don't be afraid to ask the date of your choice.  If you don't ask, you'll never know.

4) Manners - communicate details for formal dance.  especially if you're a guy, don't assume the details don't matter.  One date my son's group planned paint ball.  Dirty clothes will need to be changed afterwards if you don't want them to ride in your car on the ride home.  Those details need to be presented to the date.  Girls worry how they look, they need to be prepared for extra hair, clothing change, make-up etc. . . It's just how it is.  Parents of the date will want to know details if there ends up being clothing change situation - just to be upfront.  You never know who is uncomfortable with this.  Or who may have strong issues against guns - even if is paint ball.  Just be aware of possible problems.

5) Answer your date - if your date went to the effort to ask you in a fun & creative way, respond fun & creative.  Texting them back that "you're in" is not enough.  A plate of donuts with a post-it note YES, shows the same detail in return.  Don't take weeks to answer, especially if the date is more formal.  Arrangements are being made, and if it turns out they you are not going with them, they need ample time to ask another person. 

Can you say no??  As the mother of a girl - I want to say YES!  My daughter was asked by a boy who had a bad rep.  However, we gave him the benefit of doubt & she went.  He was disrespectful on the day date & dance.  He barely opened doors, had crude humor, talked with other girls, took off with the "Bros",  spent a lot of time texting, got mad at her if she left to talk with her friends . . . and most of all was offended when it didn't end with a kiss/ make-out.  His friends after the fact, said "she was rude because he $spent$ so much on her."  Mama bear says - dinner does not pay for that kind of intimacy.  We found out someone else didn't go, would have loved to have gone with her.  In hind sight - she should have felt OK saying No.  Even if it takes being honest with him.  If he has a rep for this kind of treatment - then what does he expect?

Waiting for a better offer?  Poor taste.  My son had a friend who asked a girl that had a long distance boyfriend.  They were pretty good friends.  She spent time texting him, he came into town, she was in a hurry to get dance over with to be with him.  The guy pays for everything - hmmmm, didn't I just say paying for dinner doesn't deserve intimacy??? YES - but you can show respect for their efforts by engaging in a conversation and enjoy the entire evening.  common courtesy.  So basically the message is talk to your date - have fun!

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