A Prom Where Everything’s Legal (well, almost everything…)

I don’t know exactly when/where I came up with the idea. Maybe it started in the shower.  I think it really took hold while driving in my minivan a few years ago, listening to an all-70s radio station, high on coffee so my brain was firing pretty good… and suddenly it hit me—wouldn’t it be a great fundraiser for a school PTA to host a dance just for parents? Not a party, not a dinner, but a dance.  I mean, think about it—I’m always hearing moms complaining that there’s nowhere to go out and go dancing anymore.  You either have to be into country music; or hanging out with 20-somethings at clubs with weird, one-word names like “Liquid”, listening to a professional DJ spin something called “House” (no thanks); or opt for a smoky bar with a local band that needs to turn down their amps (and spend more time practicing); or attend a wedding reception, something that happens less and less the older you get. A dance just for parents would be perfect.   And then my brain really got going, and hit on the idea of a prom theme. Why not? I could envision the possibilities…people digging out their old prom attire and attempting to wear it again or going to secondhand stores and finding something really tacky; music from many different decades; a slideshow on the wall showing attendees’ old high school photos; tacky souvenir portraits taken in one corner (with a balloon arch and a plastic palm tree?)…And think of all the things we could now do that were taboo at our “real” prom…drink, stay out all night, sleep with our date…


The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was onto something.  People would be excited about getting to go to a prom with their spouse/significant other, especially if they didn’t go with him/her in the first place, or getting to go again even if they did go together, or finally getting to go to a prom if they never did at all…When I ran the idea past Andy, he said it would be a good fundraiser maybe for a junior high or high school’s PTA, since they actually have dances for students, but as I mulled it over even more, I came to the conclusion that a parent prom was perfect for an elementary school, for the simple fact that since elementary kids are too young to have dances, the parents ought to have one instead.  Elementary parents are a younger bunch, anyway, and might be a lot more excited about doing something like this. I also found out that having a prom for parents has been done successfully in other towns (Seth Myers mentioned one a couple weeks ago on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update”).  Of course, when you get an idea for anything, you usually end up being the person who gets to make it become reality—  so I’ve just spent the past school year as our elementary PTA’s Vice President of Ways and Means, and our Parents’ Prom is this weekend.


Reactions from area adults have run the gamut from curiosity and skepticism to enthusiasm and sheer giddiness, and luckily those last two emotions have moved over 100 people to buy tickets. People really are digging out old prom wear and finding old photos. (My own high school dance dresses, amazingly found intact at my mother’s house after over 30 years, have enough elastic in them to where a couple actually fit, but they’re so butt-ugly I can’t bring myself to wear them…I mean, whoever thought powder blue was a flattering color? And I think I’d need full-body Spanx in order to wear any of them successfully, anyway!)  People are inviting friends who don’t even have kids at our school, and they’re excited, too.  People are ordering corsages, planning where they’re going to go for dinner, sending song requests to the DJ, lining up babysitters …

I think everyone’s kids are totally embarrassed by the whole thing (“Mom, I’d better not see any photos of that on Facebook!!  Pleeeese tell me there won’t be any cameras there!!””) but any money we raise will go to their school, so they’d better get over it. Not only do I plan to take a lot of pictures, I especially look forward to having one of my kids snap a photo of us just before we walk out the door.  I can see it now.  “Say cheese, Mom!  Um, no, I mean, CHEESY!”

3 thoughts on “A Prom Where Everything’s Legal (well, almost everything…)”

  1. Great idea! This would have been a fun event for our elementary school as well. I bet that the memories will probably be as good as the money that was raised from the event itself.

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