Monday, March 22, 2010

I Don't Even Want To Hear It

My friends with older daughters told me this day would come. I blissfully ignored them. I pretended it might not happen to me. I actually avoided the conversations whenever possible. When it comes to parenthood, denial is sometimes necessary. It’s better self medication than vodka or Cymbalta. Not that there’s anything wrong with Cymbalta. It’s just that Lawsie Mercy; I seem to be the only female between the ages of 35 and 50 in a sixty miles radius that DOESN’T take an anti-depressant, so I’m thinking they could be a little overused. Just a personal observation. Anyway. My friends all said, just wait until your daughter is old enough for prom. Then you’ll really go into debt. I laughed. Foolishly, I laughed. Until a week ago.

Teen Angel is going to prom this year, and we talked about a month ago about dresses and price limits. I told her I would pay no more than $200 for a dress. Anything above that was up to her to figure out how to pay for. She agreed. I smugly praised myself for that bit of parental warfare. And I swore I could hear my mother giggling thirty miles away.

Flash forward to last weekend, when Teen Angel and her BFF went dress shopping. I warned her not to commit to anything until I saw it. I have to do the IYACP review and the TSBNEC check. (Is Your Arse Covered Up and There Shall Be No Extreme Cleavage) About two hours into their shopping adventure she called me, exclaiming she had found THE dress.

“Are you sure,” I asked.

“Yes. Positive,” she said. She also quickly added, “Now, it’s strapless but don’t judge ‘til you see it ‘cause it’s not that low.”

“How much,” I asked.

“It’s beautiful, mom. It’s the one.”

“How much?”

“Um, $423.”

“That’s WAY more than $200.”

“You HAVE to see it.”

And my stomach churned. And so, despite my raging sinus infection and my desire for a nap before we dragged Mama J. and Papa T. to Cracker Barrel, I hauled my butt into the van and drove across town to see the dress. The whole way out there, I thought of arguments against this dress. I was armed with all kinds of reasons, mostly price, when I walked in the door. I kept pushing away those memories of a certain blue and lace dress that captured my heart in the spring of 1982. “Be strong, Hula,” I kept telling myself. “Flex that parental muscle. You do it all the time. You’re the no-meister in this family. Just say no and be done with it.”

And I rounded the corner, and there she was, dressed in the gown, standing on the podium in front of mirrors, looking radiant. She was beautiful. She looked like a princess. “Snap, I’m buying a dress,” I said. She was right. It was THE dress. I reserved much comment while I looked it over and checked the fit. (Pardon the quality of the phone pictures.)

All it needed was a tuck here or there to contain the cleavage and a hem. We discussed the portion she would need to pay and the amount I would allow her grandmother to chip in. (I wasn’t the only phone call she made.) And I said yes. And I heard my mother giggle thirty miles away.

But the shoes and the hair and the accessories are all on Teen Angel’s dime. Definitely. No doubt about it. I mean it. Hush up, mother.


The Church Lady said...

Gulp. It certainly is a beautiful, most gorgeous, elegant gown I have ever seen, and you are right, TA looked absolutely radient in it! BUT, $423????? OMG. Thanks for the heads up. I can possibly start saving now. My girl is in the 7th grade.

Janis said...

Your baby is growing up...she looks like a princess. Big price tag but a dream come true for TA..she will never forget this. This is giving you pratice for a wedding one day...haha.. better start saving.

Jan said...

It, and she, certainly are beautiful. This is why I made my girl's gowns. $$$.

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...


We did that this weekend too (that's my Wednesday post)! Though I didn't pay anything--but my aunt was the same way and crumbled like a house of cards. : )

oreneta said...

That is totally a lovely princess dress, and kids whose parents can still remember being kids are so lucky.......I am also so glad that Canadians don't do prom....not like you guys.....nor do the Catalans!!!!

oreneta said...

Eldest would probably want to wear Black docs and jeans would I have....

karisma said...

yeah it is lovely, but I would never have paid that. It was bad enough my sisters wedding cost me a fortune in dresses! Formal dresses around here never reached quite that high in price! She does look like a princess though and you do only have one of her! LOL! I had to do three! Oh and we have another formal this year!

A New England Life said...

That's some dress alright! I hope your daughter enjoys her night. She will be beautiful. Afterwards she can sell it on ebay so you can recoup some of your investment. LOL!

We're faced with the same dilemma, how much to spend on a prom dress. My daughter wanted one that was very expensive also but I won't pay it. I'm sure she'd look lovely and all but it's just too much money for us right now.

J.G. said...

Her loveliness made me gasp. I can only imagine the reaction if she was my daughter! Cave city!

That said, that is a wow price tag. There would definitely be negotiating in order, maybe along the lines of "This is X additional months you will have to wait while we save up for your car." Making the connection between time, work and money is so important.

Not that I'm always able to do it! :-)

Janean said...

famous last parental words: "i will NOT pay...." LOL. we've all done it. your daughter makes the dress beautiful.

i laughed at "'s not THAT low..." heheheh.

dkuroiwa said...

oh my! but that is a gorgeous dress!!! but have dresses changed since I was in high school!! and really...if i change that to japanese yen? it's not THAT expensive!!

(if my mom could see that dress, she'd be thinking of how to put a panel in back of that i love it!!)

by the, in japanese weddings, the bride usually changes gowns 3 or 4 times...the last one is the one I like to call "the prom dress"!!! could probably sell that dress to someone over here and get your money back. hmmmm...maybe there is a money-making deal here.... :-)

Swampy said...

A Princess in Pink...Wow...Breathtakingly Beautiful.

Cruise Mom said...

I love the dress! I better tell my 12 year old to start saving now.