I would like to apologize to the girls who accompanied me to homecoming dances in high school.
More accurately, I’d like to apologize to those girls’ parents.
I had absolutely no idea what havoc I caused by asking your daughters to those events.
Now I do.
I suspect things weren’t quite so stressful on families 30 years ago. The boys wore shirts and ties to the dance, and the girls wore dresses, just like they do today. But I’m pretty sure those outfits were just pretty dresses they had in their closets. At a minimum, they could’ve worn them again to a wedding or an anniversary reception.
Most of all, I suspect they didn’t think about it until about two weeks before the homecoming dance.
That’s not so true nowadays. We now have two daughters in high school at the same time, a freshman and a sophomore, and it doubled the stress in our household. For the past several weeks, all we’ve heard about is the stress to find the perfect dress for this high school dance, which isn’t scheduled until the beginning of October.
The demands aren’t quite as crazy as they are for prom season, but it’s getting there. People are comparing their dresses via social media. No one wants to get caught wearing something too similar to what you have.
The store where my wife eventually found their dresses goes a step further. When they sell a particular dress, they keep track of which school dances you’re going to attend. Apparently, my sophomore isn’t allowed to go to Liberty-Benton’s dance, since someone already bought one with plans of being the belle of that ball. The good news is my daughter doesn’t seem to know anyone much less date anyone at Liberty-Benton.
It’s all a bit much to comprehend as a dad. For my money, all of the dresses could benefit from having twice as much material, with much of it going closer to the ground and some of it covering the neckline. I’d really love to see some of the Victorian styles come back into fashion, where modesty was the prim and proper way to attract a boy.
Sadly, that isn’t how the world sees it right now. The world thinks less fabric is more appealing. That’s a thought for another day, likely followed up with the rallying cry of a grumpy old man, “Get off my lawn!”
For now, there’s relative peace in our home. Each daughter found a dress she likes. Each feels like the dress flatters her form. Each had their mother’s approval, even if it does make her feel sad to see them look so grown-up in their pretty dresses.
For now, we’re done talking about finding the perfect dress for a school dance that doesn’t even happen for two more months.
Now we just have to find matching shoes and handbags.
David Trinko is editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.