Anti-Prom Takes the Awkward Out of Teen Tradition

Jacqueline Burt Cote
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promWhen I hear the term "anti-prom," I imagine an angry mosh pit of teens, the Sex Pistols blaring, torn black taffeta dresses with studs, and lots of piercings. Which would be awesome!! Sign me up! But the actual Anti-Prom at The New York Public Library sounds like it was pretty cool, too. Think skinny jeans instead of tuxedo jackets, same-sex couples, and a dance-only-if-you-feel-like-it policy, and you'll get the picture. Hope they're still throwing this party when my kids are in high school! If they're not, I just might take it upon myself to host an Anti-Prom for them.

Look, I know some teens have fabulous, life-changing prom experiences. Or so I'm told. I've never actually met any of these mythical creatures, though they sure do seem to pop up in movies and on TV an awful lot. But as a mom, I hate to think of my kids going through the same kind of awkward, disappointing rite of passage my friends and I went through (unless the whole point of a rite of passage is to feel awkward and be disappointed, which is possible). These are the memories I associate with going to the prom (I should point out that these mental images were collected from several different proms I attended, not just one): The first guy I was madly, intensely in love with dancing suspiciously close with some girl from another school (turns out we were both part of his little harem and she was pregnant!), posing for pictures with a date who was a full eight inches shorter than me, hiding out in the bathroom with my friend taking swigs from a flask before stuffing it back into my strapless bra and staggering back out to the dance under the cold stare of Father Bob (catholic school). My date for that prom, by the way, was a friend who was hoping if he took me to the prom, no one would figure out he was gay. No such luck.

So you can see why the idea of my kids going to a laid-back un-dance in a library is appealing to me. Am I being overly cynical about the prom experience or just realistic? No doubt my kids will do the opposite of what I want them to anyway, so it probably doesn't matter.

Do you like the idea of an Anti-Prom?

 

Image via Kevin Kenny/Flickr

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