‘Prama’: Putting the drama in the prom; how do you know it’s worth it? - Ocean City Sentinel: Student Journalism

‘Prama’: Putting the drama in the prom; how do you know it’s worth it?

By SARAH OLANDT Student Journalist | Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 10:47 am

OCEAN CITY – For American teenagers, spring means prom. And prom means so much more ... most of which is drama. Prom season brings with it a lot of stress, for everyone from the students themselves, to parents, teachers, and the whole community. Students become obsessed with prom sometimes months in advance, buying their dresses, arranging their dates and talking nonstop about their plans weeks before permission slips or tickets even become available. And all that causes needless prama (prom drama).

Kids go crazy over prom ... and by kids, I mostly mean girls. You can’t have the same dress as anyone, and that’s a super strict rule. So what if you find the perfect dress? You’d better check social media, because they have whole pages where only girls from a specific high school can post a picture of their dress guaranteeing that no one will wear “their” dress. But then the price; who has a $500 to spend on a dress that she’s going to wear for one night? Add another $100 for the shoes that you’ll take off as soon as you’ve gotten inside. Then hair, nail, and makeup appointments and you’re easily pushing a thousand dollars. And that’s not including the flowers and chipping in for the transportation.

Guys have it pretty easy in comparison. They spend a hundred or so dollars on a tux that they aren’t stuck with for the next zillion years and then just the flowers and the ride. Simple. They don’t need hours to get ready before prom. Instead, they need weeks to get ready ... for the promposal. These get so elaborate that they make celebrity marriage proposals seem trivial, and if the girls says “yes” it’s all worth it. But then there’s all the pressure. Guys have to come up with the “perfect” way to ask and they have to make sure that it’s something that the girl would like: nothing too showy if she’s shy, something big if she’s popular, that sort of thing. And on the other side, the girl being asked feels the pressure as well, if she’s asked in front of everyone at lunch, can she say “no”? Most people expect that if a guy’s going to ask, he’s almost certain that the girl’s going to agree, but if it doesn’t pan out that way ... more prama and a whole bunch of tears.

Find an elaborate promposal, don’t say “no” if you’re asked, don’t buy the same dress as someone else, make sure you arrive to the red carpet in style, make big plans for after the after prom, schedule hair, nail, and makeup appointments in the proper order, do this, don’t do that. By the time prom packets are handed out with all the permission slips, the prama has been in full swing for weeks. And from here, it just gets worse. The mountain of paperwork that you have to go through if your date goes to another school is ridiculous, but from the administration’s standpoint, necessary. The rules, which one teacher summed up to “no drinking, no drugs, no sex” make sense, but no one wants to sit and listen to them for 45 minutes. Everyone is just thinking about the party that’s going to happen afterwards. And that starts more drama.

If your date is going to party, you feel like you have to go, even if you don’t want to go. Or maybe parties aren’t really your thing, but you do want to go. But then, you have to be invited and some parties are for seniors only and if your date is a junior you’re uninvited and it all gets so confusing. You hear everyone talking about which party they’re going to and which one to avoid because the cops already know about it. And if you’re not already thinking it, you begin to question the whole prom thing. 

Is all this drama and money really worth it for one night? But that’s the question. If you don’t go, you may never find out what it could have been like. If you do go, you could waste all money and have a miserable time. Or you could stay and miss the hour-long dinner line and overcrowded dance floor. You could go walk down the red carpet and spend the night with your friends, experiencing a very special night. It’s a gamble that every students takes as they make their decision about prom. Deal with the prama and the whole in your wallet to have that special night, or step back from it all and let prom go by while you watch. Luckily that choice only comes around a few times in a lifetime.