Prom Dilemmas

Prom Dilemmas: You Will Survive

Who should pay?

Even the Emily Post Institute recognizes that the days of the male paying for everything are long gone. Even the days of the person who does the asking should pay for the tickets are gone. Today, couples and groups routinely split costs evenly. The key is to think through all the costs, including tips, and decide well beforehand who will pay for what.

How do I say no without hurting anyone’s feelings?

Rejection always hurts, so remember to treat others as you’d like to be treated. It’s OK to say no, but be polite. “No, but thank you very much for asking,” delivered with a smile, is perfectly acceptable. Don’t drag out your answer, and don’t then tell all your friends that he or she asked you.

How do I withdraw an acceptance when I get a better offer?

Short answer: You don’t. Once you said yes, you’re commitment, and you have to honor your commitment. Again, think about how you would want to be treated. Think about your character and integrity. And think about how you’re going to feel in a few years when you think back on what a horrible thing you did. Believe me, you will feel guilty, always,

What if her/his parents embarrass us when I pick her/him up?

A child’s prom is as big a night for the parents as it is for their kids, believe it or not. So a little compassion and a lot of patience will go a long way, both with the parents and with your date. Be on time, be polite, be a smiling, willing participant in an extended photo shoot, and thank them for all their help when you leave. Guys, open the car door for the girls. This approach will start the night out on the highest possible note … for everyone.

What if I trip/fall/spill punch down my front/rip my dress or pants/otherwise make a fool of myself at prom?

The key to carrying off an embarrassing situation is simple. OWN IT. Be the first to laugh at yourself. As that old song says, Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Everyone … and I mean EVERYONE … admires a person who can shrug off a situation like this. “At least we got THAT over with!” will give those around you hope and a feeling of relief: Thank God, we really can survive embarrassment at prom. So if embarrassment strikes, have fun!

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