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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Despite the rain last Saturday night, many of our local teenagers attended the BCHS prom. Proms are major events: the dressing up, the pictures, the decorations, besides sharing it all with friends. Proms are memory makers.
U.S. proms were started in order to teach social skills and were seen as a way to instill manners while teens were chaperoned. The first proms were held in the 1920s. In the past, boys wore a jacket and tie, and girls wore Sunday dress. Sometime in the 1960s, the boys began renting tuxedos, and girls began to wear gowns (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_the_tradition_of_high_school_proms_start). Today, the average family spends $1,139 on the prom (http://www.ivillage.com/average-prom-night-costs-how-much/5-a-534245).
Less than a decade ago, USA Today reported the following prom costs (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2004-04-28-prom_x.htm):
•    The ride: $90-$1,500
•    Tickets: $10-$125
•    Photography: $25-$100
•    The tux: $70-$250
•    The dress: $150-$500
•    Accessories: $10-$400
•    Hair: $15-$150
•    Grooming (the prep beforehand): $25-$100
•    The flowers: $20-$30
Some of these costs have increased, and some are optional.

More recently, Money Watch (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505144_162-57581177/prom-time-get-ready-for-...$1100-bill/) reported differences in prom expenses around the country. Northeastern families will spend the most -- an average of $1,528. Midwestern families will spend the least -- $722. While Southern families will spend an average of $1,203 and Western families about $1,079.

Since proms are memory makers, I asked friends and family members to rate their high school prom nights on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a very bad memory and 10 being a wonderful memory. Overall, these people have good memories of their proms: their responses ranged from 5 to 12 (Only one person went outside of the 1-to-10 range.). Their responses averaged 7.86, with the female average of 7.88 only slightly higher than the male average of 7.80.

This year, an estimated 80% of the senior class attended prom. As Cesare Pavese said, “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” I hope they can look back and say it was a good moment.

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