Joanne Goldstein estimates spending $1,500 on her oldest daughter's senior prom in 2004. She cringes at that figure, saying that in many parts of the Lower Hudson Valley the amount of money spent on the prom is out of control.
That is higher than the national average. This year prom-going couples will spend between $1,000 and $1,200, according to promspot.com, an offshoot of the wedding site theknot.com.
In terms of its importance and cost, the prom has taken on the air of a wedding rather than a simple teenage right of passage. Like a bride, many girls go for hair consultations to test their chosen style. Some dye their shoes to perfectly replicate the color of their dresses — something most bridesmaids only grudglingly agree to. (Goldstein's daughter did it to match her bright blue dress.)
"(The) prom was very important to my daughter but (spending that much money) would not have been my choice," says Goldstein, of Armonk. "I sincerely believe as parents that we go overboard. It's part of the culture of where we live. All of the girls feed off of each other."
As another blogger aptly put it, this must have been what Rome looked like towards the end. If these things are so valuable to these girls, I fear for my children.
One other pet peeve of mine: it is the prom, not simply prom. Ones says "I am looking forward to the prom, " not "I am looking forward to prom." Just my two cents.