Monday, May 4, 2015

You see the signs of it everywhere.  Pictures on the front lawn.  Major dress sales and tux rentals for that big night.  Guys finding creative (and often eyebrow-raising) ways to ask girls to the big dance.

Yes, we are smack-dab in the middle of prom madness.  

And yes, the word madness is correct if you are dishing out anything over a hundred bucks (if you are a guy) and maybe a couple hundred if you are a young lady.  However, a study by VISA of over 3,000 people contacted found out that the average cost of the high school prom was over $1100.

I didn't even know what $1000 was in high school.  

If I asked my parents for a $100 pair of shoes they would have laughed . . . and at least shoes last for more than one night!

The word "Prom" is short for "Promenade" and it dates from the late 1800's when it meant the short walk into the ballroom to be introduced to society as a young man and young lady.  Essentially $1100 for a short walk, mediocre food, and about 12 pictures that you will laugh at in a few years. 

Now don't get me wrong, the idea is awesome - have fun with friends, learn some social graces, make a fool of yourself dancing and having a good time . . . but can't we do that for about $100?  $50?  I have a basement that has a pretty nice sound system and an 84 inch video projection system.  Give me $20 and I'll let you and your friends go crazy.

I know, it is about getting out and feeling adult and enjoying the moments of being young and free.  I just want us to realize the irony of that word 'free' associated with an evening that racks up significant credit card debt.

According to the study, those families that earned less actually spent more on the prom - some as much as $1500!  

Question:  What are we compensating for?  

Be young.  Be free.  Enjoy your moment . . . just realize that $1100 is about the cost of a college class.  And if you are really lucky, the experience you get from college lasts your whole life.  

View the VISA survey here.  

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