Metro Parent Relief

8th grade formal, really?

8th Grade Formal                       

I wanted to write from a different perspective today, more of a personal note to find out if any other parents in the DC, MD, and VA area are experiencing the same situations.  If you or someone you know has gone through this, please feel free to comment, at least I will know I am not alone in this.  As a parent, there are certain things that you do for your children, and often ask yourself, is this over doing it?

We all want to make our children happy, feel a part of the crowd, and allow them to socialize and have a great time with friends, but I find myself feeling like I have mistakenly pushed a fast forward button about five years in the future.

When I was in school, intermediate, or middle school as we called it, I did experience my first school dance.  The school dance included purchasing a ticket during lunch period, with a written permission note from my parents for $ 1.00.  Next, I marked the date on the calendar, and counted down the days.  On the day of the dance, we went to school as normal, and once the school bell rang, everyone attending the dance headed for the cafeteria or gym, where we had juice, chips, and the girls stood on one side, huddles in groups, laughing, talking, and catching up on things, and the boys did the same on the opposite side of the room.  No preparations, no big to do’s involved.

Fast forward about 25 years, and this is where I stand.  I am very aware that things do change over time, and that the current generation of teenagers, are more advanced in many ways including education, technology, and fashion.  However, what I have experienced over the past few weeks has literally blown my mind.  I am flabbergasted, at the preparation put into today’s 8th grade dances.  Excuse me, as my daughter has reminded me several times over the past few weeks, 8th grade FORMAL!  It is almost leading me to question my own sanity.  Is this really happening, are other parents really going to these extreme lengths to prepare for a few hours at the school?

My child, N. is fourteen years old, and in the 8th grade.  She is a very popular, smart, and beautiful girl, with being in all honor courses, which I am extremely proud of her for. She is also very athletic, and has a wonderful personality.  She is literally floating on cloud nine at this moment, as she has been treated to the following to get ready for the “FORMAL”.  Tyson’s Corner mall has been the new hang out spot for us lately, from teen stores like Charlotte Rouge, and Forever 21, to Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, and Angel nails.  At the nail salon, she needed her eyebrows and lip waxed, and a mani/pedi.  We have also had to make a trip to the hair salon and N. even wanted her make- up done at MAC (which is where I drew the line), nope CVS has all that you will need.

Am I way behind the times, or is this the norm?  I have another daughter, A. 3 years old, and I can only imagine how this event will advance when it’s her turn.  I just can’t believe that all of this has taken place for an 8th grade dance, oops, excuse me again, “ FORMAL”.  Oh, and did I mention that the group of teens will be riding in a stretch limo, and attending an “after party”, at a friend’s home.  What is this world coming to?  There I go sounding like my mom again, but seriously, am I alone to feel like this is way over doing it?  I even went as far as to ask N. and a few friends that were over earlier,  isn’t all of this going to take away from the anticipation and excitement of their prom?  The reply was “no mom, our dresses will be longer, we will have dates, and it will be even more of a FORMAL event! “ Yikes.

Check out this link, they even have Do’s and Don’ts for the dance, including a reminder to wear deoderant!  Too funny.



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