Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Eric Scheske writes about something that really shouldn’t surprise any of us, seeing as how marketing and “event” mentality have overtaken all good sense. Just look at weddings. They are no longer a simple affair, but are growing more elaborate each year, with brides and families spurred on by an industry that tells and sells them on the idea that bigger is better. Driving around town in the spring, I see the same with our teenagers. Limos galore, well-coifed and dressed teens hustling and bustling about. Who pays for all of this stuff?

In the end, we all do.
It seems a boy no longer asks a girl to prom. Instead, he makes an elaborate game or ritual out of it, like this approach by a boy named "Kevin":

Kevin, with the aid of three buddies, used a student assembly at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton to pop the question.

In front of 300 students, they lip-synced to a recorded song, paused for a moment on stage, then unveiled T-shirts, each emblazoned with a letter of the word R-O-S-E. Next they turned around to show off the letters of P-R-O-M on the seats of their pants. And as the audience clapped and cheered, Kevin leaned down and handed Rose a bouquet.

Forget about using the phone to ask a girl to the prom. Teens today place notes in fortune cookies, make videos, burn CDs, freeze the invitation in a block of ice, arrange scavenger hunts in which the girl finds the invite at the end.

It's part of the whole prom culture, which has emerged as a multimillion-dollar industry, complete with websites and even an official book, The First Book of Prom.


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