Monday, April 16, 2012

The going rate of a life lesson

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Prom 2012: A night you will definitely forget
  • Prom 2012: A night you will definitely forget
According to a Visa Inc. survey, the average american family is prepared to shell out $1,078 (so specific) to send their already entitled teenager to prom this year.

Financial types are lamenting this, particularly the fact that poor people plan to spend even more than that — $2,635. Says Jason Alderman, director of Visa's financial education programs, "This is social-arms-race spending. It's extreme.

"Prom season spending is spiraling out of control. It's important to remember that the prom is a high school dance, not a wedding, and parents need to set limits in order to demonstrate financial responsibility."

OK, so parents could deprive their children a fancy dinner at Benihana, a limo bus with a stripper pole, and a set of french manicured acrylic nails to teach them a lesson about financial responsibility. OR, they could indulge their pimply progeny, splurge on all of the above, and teach them the most important lesson of all: Any event that you spend a lot of time, money, and energy preparing for will fail to live up to your expectations. Prom is among the first in a lifetime filled disappointments — and that's what makes it a rite of passage.

Did anyone have a really great prom? I vaguely remember having dinner at Buca di Beppo — HIGH CLASS — spilling beer on my dress before we got to the dance, wanting to leave the dance almost immediately after we got there, and then getting drunk at a hotel party, which was a thing we could have done any old weekend. I definitely remember that I really hated my date Gary, who'd graduated from another high school a year earlier, and who I literally never saw again after we left the dance. The entire thing was a letdown. And, look, I'm a better person for it today. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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