De-Lurking to Vent About Prom Drama...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-1999
De-Lurking to Vent About Prom Drama...
Sat, 05-04-2013 - 2:16pm

Hi, all.  I have been lurking on this board for a while.  I need a reality check and I hope you ladies can help me out.  Today is my DD's Junior prom.  It is not the first prom she attended--she went to her BF's Junior prom last year.  Unfortunately, I was at a weekend-long church meeting last year in a town 1.5 hours from here.  I drove back to attend grand march and get a couple of pictures, but I felt awful that I was not there to help her get ready.  I was really looking forward to being here this year and told DD that I wanted to help her get ready.  Unfortunately, we have had several differences of opinion.  She has spent all of her money on a dress, jewelry, alterations (where they quoted her one price and charged her another, which I could have done for free),  flowers, garter, a salon hair coloring job, tanning sessions (which I disapproved of but she did anyway), and then a horrible, blotchy orange "professional" spray tan, when the tanning bed didn't take (she and I are very fair skinned and do not tan, no matter what).  The only thing I actively disapproved of was the tanning bed.  For the rest, since she works and she spent her money, I kept my mouth shut.  Even when she'd overextended herself to the point that she couldn't afford gas to get to work.  Then, yesterday morning she informed me that not only would she not be getting ready here at the house, but she'd made plans for a co-ed sleepover with a bunch of other kids at a male friend's house.  I posted about this on another board, and as I said in that post, I know the boy, I know his parents.  I like them very much.  But the whole co-ed sleepover thing was just too much for me to handle and I put my foot down. A shouting match ensued.  We got it worked out, but now I am sitting here all by myself and my kids are getting ready for this big event elsewhere (DS is going also) and I am so hurt and wondering what I did wrong.  Yes, I know it is healthy for my kids to want to be independent, and I am proud of them for being able to handle things.  But I checked my FB and all these other moms that I know are with their daughters as they are getting their hair done, getting dressed, etc., and I am really sad that I'm not the one taking DD for her hair appointment and I won't be the one lacing her into her dress.  So anyway, I guess I am wondering, am I being ridiculous for being hurt and feeling cheated out of sharing this day with DD?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 12:47am

It’s tempting for me to tell you that I have no clue about what you are talking about because our daughters were perfect, but that would be a lie I could burn in hell for. LOL

As someone else posted on a different thread a few years ago: “Welcome to the teen drama queen years. What took you so long to get here? LOL

Seriously, as you may have already noticed, these can be very awkward and difficult years and darned stressful to boot. As well as pimples, TEEN-ITES IS IN FULL BLOOM, and like the flu and colds the only known cure is time.

What can make it worse is, if you are a middle class family and living in one of those areas where the rich kids can outspend your kid 10 to 1. We live in an area with low income to the rich kids. There is a life lesson in this also about being grateful for what we have and not envious of others.

I was stunned the other day when the news pegged the AVERAGE cost of PROM, senior prom I guess, at a mere $1,100 per couple. I guess that is tickets, dress, tux, limo, hair, flowers, a pre meal, after prom party, condoms (joking about this item), etcetera. Kimmy is defiantly out of touch with reality.

I’m sure that cost excludes lots of low income kids from going to prom and thus the average is skewed upwards. Fortunately, our local district does everything it can to encourage all kids to be able to attend. The parents group has dresses from prior proms for those who need it and collects money for tux rentals for the guys in need, and ticket help. Our daughters gave their dresses to that closet and the two couples still give to that fund and they all granulated in 2010. And yeah the rich kids show up riding in the limo, wearing several thousand dollar designer rags. I always think of that Ray Stevens song from the late eighties, WOULD JESUS WEAR A ROLEX? LOL

As for the alteration price cheater, that is a good life lesson, painful, but still a good lesson about getting everything in writing, etcetera. It happens a lot around major events that you are in no position to go elsewhere, like prom, weddings, funerals, etcetera. BTDT

Another good life lesson is about letting your daughter spend her money as she wants and working for it. Most of those above mentioned 10 to 1 rich kids have no value system as to the linkage of work and spending. Nice, but not so good when they marry some poor bumpster who doesn’t earn like daddy did.

Ah, the orange look. I’ve seen it and its truly very interesting indeed. I would say nothing. As for the tanning bed, it probably shortened her life by 10 or 15 minutes, maybe 20 or 30 minutes. LOL Seriously, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As one of my co-workers says, “Your girls are trying to get dark and mine are trying to get light. Ain’t something messed up here?” LOL Seriously, this is just your daughter trying to look like somebody else, maybe an olive skinned movie star or a friend at school, who can get a tan in the moonlight. Part of humanity is always wanting to be something we can’t. I’d like to look 19 again, or 29, or even 39. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN IN THIS LIFE, but hopefully 49, 59, 69 79, 89 . . . are still available.

As for the sleepover, if you feel uncomfortable about anything, follow your gut feeling. Following your gut is a parental prerogative. For one thing, she gave you toooooo short of notice to give you time to think about things, talk to the parents who would be there to make sure that they are on the same page as you about . . . . dare I say . . . sex, drugs, and alcohol. For another you have no clue as to whether or not it is going to be well supervised when she drops the bomb on you like she did. Maybe the parents you trust are going to be out of town and some dude named bubba is bringing the keg. This should have been discussed a week or more earlier. However, it could be that she did not know until yesterday, but either way the timing was not your fault. She has a vehicle, she can leave at midnight like Cinderella and return at seven or eight the next morning without missing much and chalk it up to a mean old mother—one like mine. LOL (I was 21 when I began to figure out who the IDIOT was and it was me.)

As for the getting ready part, it may be that she did not fully understand that this is something that is important to you and that you wanted to be part of it. People can just be dumb about such things. When things get back to normal, let her know that you would like to be a part of that next year. Let her know that you want to be like the other mothers and watch her get her hair done, make-up on, lace her up, etcetra. In a few decades she will want the same with her daughter.

And no you’re not being ridiculous about your feelings. If they hurt, they hurt and that is not ridiculous. Part of being a parent sometimes requires RHINO SKIN to protect your own feelings.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 1:21pm

Sorry that you're having these problems. They're the teen version of a toddler striving for a bit of independence. Like Kimmy said, you're not ridiculous for feeling hurt. Of course you want to experience the milestones with your dd. And she sees them as opportunities to move apart, as our kids are supposed to do as they age----just not while we want to be sharing with them!! I hope she had a wonderful time and tells you about the highlights.

As for the sleepover, what did you decide?

The big problems I see here are lack of communication, and timing. The timing may have been on purpose, meaning your dd told you about her various plans at the last minute in hopes that you would just agree without time to think about it, or time to talk about it. For your part, did you express to her in advance that you wanted to be involved? That you needed to know the plans in advance?

My dd was a bit of a problem child (that's putting it mildly) so I learned early on that I had to know the plans with plenty of notice so I could do some "due diligence", whether that meant thinking about it or talking it over with dh, or talking to another parent, or some other kind of research. As a parent you can require 24 hr notice (or longer) and the teen will learn that less notice usually results in a "no, because I don't have enough time to think about it", and she learns to comply. Obviously there are things that come up at the last minute but I'm talking big stuff like prom night sleepovers that the kids are planning in advance.

For Senior Prom I suggest talking to her in advance and telling her that you want to be involved in some way. Its common that they want to get ready in a group but there are some things that are done in advance where you could be included. The best way is to offer to pay for it and/or do it together--maybe you both get your nails done as your treat. Then you have some little part of it. But they do tend to want to move in a pack at that age so I would accept that you won't be involved in the getting dressed part, unless you suggest that the group dresses at your house. You could ask that the group stops by your house on the way so you can take some you know her friends well enough that they would be comfortable with that?

My last suggestion is that when your dd is excluding you, stay off of FB. If its making you feel bad to hear other people brag (and that's what a lot of stuff on FB is) then don't expose yourself to it while you're already feeling down.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 3:10pm

I don't have anything to add elc and kimmy's posts. Just wanted to send you a cyber-hug. I don't blame you for being hurt. Only having boys proms weren't quite the same as far as all the preparations that girls go through. I did want to say that we didn't allow coed sleepovers in high school either and both boys survived so your dd will, too. Hang in there - these teens do come around eventually!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 9:17pm

No, you are not being ridiculous at all for feeling as you do.  I know I would feel exactly the same in your shoes.

If it is any comfort to you, my parents were not with me when I was getting ready for my wedding.  Not because we had a falling out - not at all!  It was because my sister was lounging around in her hotel room, where my parents were, taking all the time in the world with her kids.  She dilly-dallied so long that the photographer was done taking pictures of me with my ILs at their house, where I was getting ready, by the time my parents arrived.  My mother didn't tell me until long after that the reason she didn't order any of my pre-wedding portraits was that it pained her so much that she wasn't there for them.  I was her only daughter to get married in a Catholic church, to a guy my own age, in a white dress that Mom helped me shop for - basically the only one who'd come close to what she had envisioned for all of us - and not being there before the wedding was something she could never get back. (God bless her, she never breathed a word of this to anyone for months afterward, and never let it spoil the wedding!)

At least this is only junior prom.  There's still senior prom. 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 9:30am

Hugs Wendy!  I know you and DD have had a lot of drama the last several months!  It is harder and harder as they grow up and want to be more independent and you are missing out on things you always assumed you'd be a part of.   Kimmy had a great post.  Sometimes at this age its all about communication.  A nice talk after things have settled down would be a good idea, let her know that while you understand her wanting to do things with her friends, you two also only have so much time left before she leaves for college and you'd like a few of those times to be memories worth remembering, not constant bickering. I know i was a bit surprised that I was the only other mom that went to take pictures of the entire group of kids before dinner, except for the mom of the girl that most of the girls went to get ready at. Jordyn got ready on her own at home as her BFF had some issues with her date and work, etc.  The other mom's camera ran out of batteries after about 3 group shots and I was the mom going "wait, wait, can I have a picture of just the guys, and just the girls, and this group of friends, etc.  I didn't participate in any other part of the prep, she got her hair done at the salon and did her make up in her room on her own, but I made it very clear ahead of time that even if she was going over to get ready with friends or whatever, I had better be notified where to show up for group pictures, even with little ones in tow because this was her senior prom, her one and only one, and I would be there, no buts about it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 05-06-2013 - 8:18pm

My DD is 24 now so it was a few years ago that she went to her proms.  I am surprised that you said the girls got ready at one house cause when DD went to the proms, she dressed up at home (hair was done earlier in a salon), the boy picked her up here and then a group would get together at someone's house to take pics.  Esp. for the senior prom, one boy had a nice house with a gazebo in the back yard and they planned to take pics there--then right as we got to his house, it started pouring rain, so the poor parents (wonder if they even knew this ahead of time) had at least 30 kids in the house with a bunch of parents all taking pics.  Now I worked all day so it was enough to be able to get home from work in time to see her dressed--but I did want to meet the boy of course and take pictures.  I wonder why, even if you couldn't help her get ready, didn't you go to the house where they were getting ready & see everybody dressed up?  That still would have been fun.  I mean, my DD certainly didn't need me to put on her gown.  Oh, one other thing--I had always thought I would go with her to help pick out the gown--I certainly did enough dress shopping for school dances, 8th grade graduation, etc.  She picked out both gowns w/o me there and I think her stepmother one time did help her look for dresses, which I found a little upsetting at the time, even though I like her stepmother.

Well one thing I'll add is that all this will pass.  I had enough emotional times w/ DD in high school.  She was generally a good kid & most of the time we got along, but she was moody & emotional too and she knew how to push my buttons, or maybe she didn't do it on purpose but was just hormonal, like I'd go into the office where the computer is just to say high and she'd get like "what?  why are you looking at me?"  you know how it is--well now we have a great relationship & I'm sorry that she moved out of state because I enjoyed it so much when she was here for a year after college--so eventually you will forget all these annoying things and she will grow up.

And I wouldn't be happy w/ a coed sleepover either--too much temptation.