Today is the Day: I Go to Prom


In the latest installment of “Today is the Day,” guest writer Emma Marton discusses her prom experience.

Emma Marton

Prom is, in many ways, the biggest event of junior year. While I’m no longer a junior, I hear whispers about it in the hallway, the dreaded word coming up over and over: promposal. I hear it while I’m working in the art room or during orchestra. I scroll through my Facebook page to find that it’s filled with a mixture of tasty videos, Doctor Who posts and photos of my classmates holding up neon green poster boards bearing cheesy jokes asking somebody to prom.

At this point, you may be reading this and wondering, “Emma, why are you so cynical?” I promise that I try not to be, but the whole idea makes me uncomfortable. How many students are put on the spot being asked to prom in front of a large crowd? What if they want to say no, but now feel an obligation to say yes? What if they say yes, but then privately tell the proposer later that, actually, no, I don’t want to go. That’s humiliating for both people involved. And what if the other person does want to say yes, but they don’t like big crowds and attention? You’ve just thrown them into that. So I may come across as a spoilsport or a cynic, but I just hope that everybody who decides to do a big promposal in front of a crowd takes this into mind. Ask the other person ahead of time if they’re okay with it, check in with them. Not everybody likes attention, and nobody should be pressured to say yes.

Just so you know, nobody asked me in a huge dramatic way like that, and I’m not bitter because of it. Instead, I was talking to a couple of my friends about prom and how I planned to wait until all the promposals died down to see if any of my friends didn’t have a “date” yet and wanted to go with me as a friend. In that moment, one of my sophomore friends said, “I’ll go with you.” That was that, and we ended up going together as friends.

If you’re questioning whether or not you want to go to prom because you don’t really have any interest in going, I get that. I knew prom wasn’t going to really be for me, but lots of my friends were going, and I wanted the experience. My advice is that you figure out what your friends are doing; that’s really what made my decision. You may even discover that your friends don’t want to go either and will instead have a small party at their house. I had a couple of friends do that, too, and it was a good second option.

Prom night was, honestly, a lot for me. The party bus I ended up being on was very loud. I recommend bringing a pair of earplugs in the case at any point during the night you feel overwhelmed and just need some quiet to take a breather. You can also ask to go outside for some fresh air or to call your parents if you need to. The entirety of the night is basically just dancing, which didn’t captivate my attention for very long. Instead, my friends and I learned the Carlton, had a photo shoot and all around just joked outside of the main event itself, returning once and a while for a song we loved. In the end, know which of your friends are going and hang near them, because you’re going to have more fun that way, whether it’s dancing with them all night or finding the best silly poses to take photos in.

There was one thing about prom I truly enjoyed: dressing up. I recommend finding a friend to go with you when you go get your outfit. I went with my best friend, Wendy. She’s now a sophomore in college – and was therefore not going to be attending prom – but we still had a great time finding an outfit. We traveled to Boston together, compared different outfits and then got lunch. Having a friend makes the experience fun, and you’ll be more confident with somebody there to tell you, “Try another one,” or “That looks amazing, get that one!”

How should you find your outfit? Well, if you’re going to go for a dress, I’m going to admit that I don’t know that much. I wore a tux to my prom, so I never shopped for a dress. I have heard that thrift stores are a great place to look if you’re looking for a unique and cheaper option. If you’re looking for a tux, I recommend Keezers in Boston. Rental is cheap at only $50. You can add on a pair of shoes for another ten dollars and a fullback vest, which is key if you’ll be taking off the suit jacket, for another ten (seventy in total if you get shoes, tux, and vest). The reason I recommend Keezers is not just because of the price, but because of the amazing service. They had zero trouble, and zero comments, with finding me a tux despite the fact that I am a woman. I felt very comfortable, and while they couldn’t find me shoes small enough for my feet, they were able to find me an amazing tux. To work around the fact that I could not find men’s shoes in my size, I found a pair of black heels that I still use to this day. And yes, I added a little makeup, too. I loved my mixed look, and I even proudly took a rainbow umbrella with me, making the best of my rainy prom day.

That’s what prom is in the end: what you make of it. A lot about prom you will not be able to change. You cannot change how you commute, where prom is, when you leave, etc. But you can choose what you wear, who you spend it with, and if you even go at all. Do things that you want to do. Wear that outfit, as cheap, unconventional, or “wrong” as it may seem. Plan that day with your friends. Or even just stay home watching TV and going to bed at nine, because it’s all about doing what makes you happy.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.