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Showing posts from May, 2011

Prom--Or, an American Tradition Gone Awry

The other day my family went looking for prom dresses for my sister. The first place we stopped was an expensive boutique with thousands of dresses. As I was about to step inside, Adrianna remarked casually,


“This place is really crowded with dresses.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, assuming she meant densely packed on hangers, or maybe not much aisle space.

“You’ll see.”

As it turned out, the store was a claustrophobe’s nightmare—a thin bit of waddling space alongside giant round racks of dresses zipped up in plastic garment bags, every color and style imaginable. By the time we walked out (no dress in hand), it felt like Adrianna had tried every single one of them.

She finally found her dream dress in a less specialized department store (where the dresses also cost half as much). The emphasis was on finding something that would be long enough to also wear at a piano recital.

What’s funny about my sister going prom dress shopping with the rest of my family in tow is that my parents w…