I was with a friend of mine in Canandaigua last night and she was lamenting the fact that her "princess" (translation: daughter) was heading to her last high school ball this weekend.  To this beautiful mom, this prom was the end for her precious daughter.  The end of her innocent high school years, the potential end of moms close sister-like relationship with her child before she moves off to college and away from home.  I tried to calm her fears by reminding mom of her continued tight relationship with her own mother.  That seemed to cheer her up and give her hope.  Then, being a man, I stupidly asked how much this ritual of sending her precious cargo off to the prom this weekend was costing the family. That's when I should have kept my mouth shut!  Mom frowned and told me that she will be working extra hard for the next couple of paychecks to pay off her daughter's adventure Saturday night.  Here's why:

Visa (who will be more than happy to have you run up your credit card to pay off the big event) conducted a national survey of merchants, and on average it will cost you about $1150 so junior can have that big night out.  This tab includes: the luxurious gown she MUST have, or the tux for your boy (Vera Wang is rumored to be the fave style this year).  Then there is the flowers, getting the hair coiffed perfectly, don't forget those stylish shoes and no doubt your child isn't cool unless you're helping to share the cost of a limo to be seen in.  When I was growing up, my dad would have laughed at me if I had the guts to ask him to help shell out bucks for a limo (he was a Marine and I didn't dare ask).  Today it's a priority to have a driver who can open the door for your up-and-coming leader of tomorrow.  This all brings me back to growing up in Canandaigua and being scared to death of prom season.  The stress of the lead up to the big event over shadowed what fun would be had on the actual night of the hoopla.  And trust me, I wasn't allowed to spend anything close to a grand.  In fact, I was told to get a job to offset the costs.  I did as told, and ironically worked on most prom nights, missing out on the big adventure.  But somehow I survived and hope that your precious child and bank account do the same this prom weekend.  And don't sweat it mom.  Enjoy the moment with your prized child.  After all, how many are left before she/he goes off on the next adventure?