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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


So here we are.
Have you heard? Prom is coming! Lord & Taylor told me so! Their weekend sale email said it all: OH MY PROM!*
*Seriously. I didn’t make that up. I’m not that funny.
Disney knows it too! They’re bombarding me with promos and trailers for their new movie, Prom. And just to show you that it’s serious, the funnnews* arm of the Disney machine, Good Morning America, recently produced an “Extreme Proms” segment about outrageous - dare I say “extreme?” -  prom spending. 
*I did just coin “funnnews.” It’s not just news, it’s FUNnnews! The extra “n” is for “nutty!” 
...I told you, I’m not that funny.
Yes, Prom Fever is the very best kind of fever, not to be confused with Actual Prom Fever, wherein someone without a date for the prom pretends to be home sick with a fever. Or Real Actual Prom Fever, where someone really is home sick with a fever and misses prom. Or Unfortunate Real Actual Prom Fever, where someone is sick with a fever but goes to prom anyway. That one is the one that ends the least well. 

Ah, prom. It makes you forget about everything that’s actually important in the world and laser-focuses all of your energies onto one magical night of passive aggression in date-and-dress form with a group of classmates that you can’t stand but are somehow already nostalgic for. (Not that I’d know. I had a small case of Actual Prom Fever.)
But you don’t have to be a chicken to recognize an egg, and you don’t have to have gone to prom to know that it’s a night of self-important superficiality to the nth degree; and as such, it’s the ultimate distraction from reality in every way.
Which is why I’m surprised that prom has not been co-opted by the sideshows and carnival barkers and Congress. I can see it now: National Prom Night. Everybody in the whole country finds a date, or a friend, or a group of fellow stag-goers and gets dolled up and spends way too much money on limos and dinner and tiny handbags. Then they either rent out a beach house and get drunk and have sex, or go to National After-Prom where they’re locked in a building until dawn with wholesome games and pancakes.
There will be variations on the theme, of course: the National Paper-Bag Prom, for those who rebel against the purchasing of fancy duds... the National Charity Prom, which looks and feels like every other benefit only with more nervous dancing to Spandau Ballet’s True... the National Office Prom, where Corporate America basically hosts a more pastel Christmas party... and of course, the National John Hughes Prom, replete with quirky love-starved characters, relationship drama, and homemade dresses worn by beautiful people who think they’re ugly.
Think of the incredible, albeit temporary, economic stimulus that will result of the one-night demands for bad cover bands, corsages, chair rentals, balloon arches, and mylar streamers! Think of all the holiday Prom Babies nine months later! Think of the funnnews coverage!
Best of all, think of the election of the National Prom King and Queen! That’ll raise the country out of its malaise... unless it’s too close to call in Ohio. But then we’ll just have co-kings and co-queens!! We can spring for an extra tiara, right?
One might say that we already have a National Prom Night in New Year’s Eve and/or Valentine’s Day, but one would be wrong. Valentine’s Day, with its focus on romance, is aimed at couples only, whereas National Prom Night encourages the more desperate “find a date, any date” mentality. And on New Year’s Eve, all of those dresses are covered up with heavy winter coats. Does that sound like a prom to you? No way, cousin.
It’ll be a national holiday so that we can get our hair and nails done that afternoon. It may even inspire other countries to do the same thing, and then it’ll be World Prom Night, where all wars and battles and injustices will cease, because who has time for firefights and ethnic cleansing when you’re trying to press a pleated shirt, or while you’re in a tanning booth?
Sure, it won’t be a perfect night. There will be outbreaks of Actual, Real Actual, and Unfortunate Real Actual fevers. There will be festering disagreements over the theme. There will be cat-fights when multiple people show up in the same dress. And there will be much, much vomiting.
But one night of world peace? OH MY PROM!!!
Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

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