The Prom Dress

In daughters, dresses, husbands, life, Prom, shopping, Uncategorized, wives on April 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Well, ladies and gentlemen, prom season is again upon us. The weather is warming, the sap is rising, and the increasing rate of descent builds tension in the cockpit of public education, as we close in on the inevitable tarmac of graduation. For some, love is at an end, for others, it has only begun, and yet for others still, it is forged in the molten fires of Saturday night passion. All moving ever closer to the year’s main extravaganza: Prom Night.

Yes, the time of the year when young men RENT a tuxedo and young ladies BUY a dress. And if you are as fortunate as I am—that is, with a not quite 16-year-old daughter attending said event—you get to enjoy this, dress purchasing time of year, two more times before she actually graduates… yippiiiee.

Now, before I continue this story let me explain. I, unlike many, if not most, men–love to shop, regardless—with few exceptions—of what we maybe shopping for. This is not, however, true when young children are involved; shopping is a drag when you bring your kids. With surveillance cameras everywhere and Americas increasing disapproval of sparing the rod, kids know that the odds of you beating them in public are pretty low, and they take advantage of it. Otherwise, I will shop all freaking day. My favorite, being clothes and shoes; with books and video games running a close second… eclectic, I know. You should see the music selection on my I-pod.

Now, when you shop for video games, you go in the store and they have something that you’re into or they don’t. So with the exception of “BS”ing with the clerk for a bit you’re pretty much in and out. No small talk at all when you shop for books; it’s pretty much, “Where do you keep your fiction?” and you’re shopping. I tend to be rather picky when it comes to literature, so, I will usually peruse the books for quite some time before I make my selection. Ah, but clothes and shoes? Well, I hope that you got some rest the night before, because this is an all day event. And if you happen to have in tow, someone not quite up to the task, I have found that occasional trips to the local pubs for libations helps a great deal with moral. Anyway, I suppose if you were to compare shopping to track and field, I would run the marathon, the mile, and the hundred-yard dash.

You see, I like to look good when I dress, and I have to say—and my girls will back me up—that I have impeccable taste for a straight man. I will shop for myself, for my girls, the boy, the teenager, or search out great heels for my wife—who happens to be a “stiletto connoisseur” if you will—and I will find great deals. However, in order to accomplish this it does take time, and I will go all out.

Ok, now that we’re all up to speed, the weekend of the great dress purchasing comes around and my wife inquires as to whether I would like to join her and our daughter on this shopping venture, to which I graciously decline. “Excuse me, Jeff; you said, ‘no’?” you ask. “But you just spent the last two paragraphs telling us how much you enjoy a day of shopping. What sorcery is this?” Well, let me explain.

You see, all the other children we’re accounted for are in various fun-filled locations other than our domicile, leaving the house vacant for the day…Which would be reason enough, however, not the reason for my decline. I spotted thunderheads and unstable seas on the horizon and this here pirate elected to drop my anchor in the harbor. I don’t know about you, but if I have the choice of a day watching movies, reading a few chapters out of a good book, and conquering level after level of a stellar video game—even if I also have to vacuum, dust, and a do a few loads of laundry—or spend it with two feisty, hard-headed women, while being stuck in the crossfire of one fashion altercation after another?… Well, you don’t have to be the “head cashier” at the Piggly Wiggly to do the math there.

The thing is, both my wife and my daughter are stubborn and outspoken, which is fine. And in an argument, they each have a capacity for being outright aggressive to one another; which is also fine, because it is constantly counteracted with a deep and unconditional love. Powerful stuff, that love. Nevertheless, my presence is not required in order for an eventual compromise to be made and a dress purchased. And for the record, the dress is beautiful. Perhaps a bit low-cut; I’m not real sure about the plunging neckline. My little girls aren’t supposed to have cleavage. (Hmm, there’s another blog in there somewhere.) Now I could go shopping anyway… but no good could come of it.

What would happen is: we would arrive at the dress shop, selections would be made, and a disagreement—no matter how trivial—would ensue. It would seem as though logic would dictate that: hey, there are three of us, majority rules... EEENNT!! WRONG!.. But thank you for playing. As not only the man, but also the husband and father, what you possess is the illusion of an opinion. The two women will turn to you and ask, “Which one do you like?” and it will all be over. At this time, if you are unable to pick up on the cosmic vibrations of your daughter’s psyche, guiding you to the perfect dress selection, then you are WRONG! Or if you give an opinion that differs from the one that your wife thought that you should have had, then you are also WRONG!

No matter what the decision may be, this has now become a situation that is impossible to get out of. You are either a husband who has failed miserably at backing up his wife, or you are stupid, unfair and are now perceived by your daughter as—what I believe the kids are referring to now a days as “whipped”. In other words, you are screwed.

So gentlemen, regardless of your level of enjoyment when it comes to shopping, if you are given a choice of seeking out the perfect prom dress or not, opt out. Stay home, watch movies, read a book, play video games, making sure you do some light housework to win some brownie points, and you will–what “test pilots” would refer to as–maintain an even plane.

Now that’s strange. That story didn’t go the direction that I thought that it was going to go at all… Ha! Blogs are funny!

Until next time…Love.

  1. I envy your writing skills! Love this!


  2. You definately have a gift of writing. Loved it!


  3. Jeff, as I told you in high school, you should’ve been a writer! You have a wonderful ability! I’m glad you’re happy with all your girls. Better you than me though. I doubt I could do the whole hair, makeup, prom dress thing. Good luck with it!!


  4. Just found this and I can’t wait to read it all. I hope you’re well, that tour when you detailed with wasatch national was one of my favorites. -Jeremiah Baumann


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