Is Prom Bad?

LINK: CNN – “The Damaging Message of Proms”

I was browsing CNN’s website when I came across this article about prom.  Given that mine pretty much sucked, I was curious as to what part of it the author thought was so damaging.

I can say that my prom experience was probably like a lot of others: a lot of anticipation and preparation, hoping that I’d experience the magical, fun night that I saw on tv and in the movies when in reality, I barely stayed at the prom (held in my high school’s gym) because my date (a boyfriend at the time who had already graduated) was bitching about how “small” everyone was there.  And then barely staying at post-prom because he kept up the shenanigans there, leading my friends to start a fight with him.  In other words, the night sucked and I vowed at my sorority’s bi-annual formals that I would drink and make up for the lack of partying at prom.  Despite the big letdown, I have nothing against it and think it’s just some normal right of passage that all high schoolers should have the opportunity to attend.

The article’s author, on the other hand, pretty much views prom as the downfall of high school society, or at least that’s what it seems from the language and descriptions used.  Rachel Simmons is a self-described “girl expert,” amongst other things.  To start, that declaration makes me suspicious and just kind of creeps me out.  I have to say that just because you are a girl does not make you a “girl expert.”  The other issues I have because Simmons seems to generalize/exaggerate a lot…

  • “She learns that the most valued girls must wait to be asked” – I don’t know.  Maybe my school was unconventional, but this was not the case from what I experienced at my school and have seen elsewhere.  Sometimes it was the “most valued” girls who asked guys, sometimes it was the…I guess least (?) or mildly (?!) valued girls who felt they must wait to be asked, or sometimes…what Simmons doesn’t mention at all…they don’t wait and, gasp, go together in a group!
  • “In all but the most progressive communities, prom glorifies heterosexuality…” - I know there have been issues with non-heterosexuals and proms (rather, high school in general), things are changing and evolving as we speak, and I myself don’t know and won’t understand a homosexual experience of high school and prom.  But at the same time, I don’t think that straight vs. gay vs. bi vs. whatever is a damaging prom debate versus a societal issue as a whole.  Individual schools and districts continue to have issues and debates on this, but I don’t think that sexuality or choice of attire is some generalized, widespread issue that puts females down.
  • “Girls will spend lavishly on expensive dresses and shoes, along with professional tanning, hair and makeup. The final look is a far cry from Molly Ringwald’s original, homespun vibe in the ’80s teen classic “Pretty in Pink.”  Instead, girls are angling for the Hollywood red carpet look. Oscar gown knockoffs, such as a copy of Jennifer Lawrence’s pink Dior dress, are among the most sought after this season.” - Really?  Because even though I’m well over prom age by now, I still walk through stores that are big on selling prom dresses and I haven’t seen a single dress that in any way resembles some extravagant Oscar gown; if anything, I’ve seen plenty of beaded and sequined nightmares, taffeta terrors, and skanky side-cuts.  Pretty in Pink was a move, a good one, but I don’t think that many teens have the sewing talents needed to make their own dresses.  I don’t think that even if they did, anything has looked like Molly Ringwald’s character’s dress since the movie itself!  Prom is expensive, I get it.  But it’s not all wallet-raping bad.
  • “Meanwhile, boys can get away with renting a tux for less than $100.” – I feel like the “girl expert” has some issues with males here…  Guys do get off easier than ladies when it comes to prom, but on the other hand, girls are responsible for themselves and a boutonniere.  Guys are responsible for their “$100″ tuxes as well as the night for both him and his date: expensive dinners, limos, corsages that definitely can get costly (or at least moreso than boutonnieres).
  • “When I went to prom in the early 1990s, I seesawed between my wish to get asked by the right guy and ride in the cool kids’ limousine with the burgeoning realization that I was gay. I had a fun night, but I was far from my authentic, assertive self that night. Prom felt mostly like a job I had to do to maintain my position in the social hierarchy.” – I feel like while Simmons has some valid arguments, she generalizes way too much, and it feels like this sentence confirms that her general issues with proms really stem from her personal issues she had with her prom experience.

I don’t know…I don’t know how to explain this without sounding like I’m self-gender-hating or something like that.  But while I consider myself at least somewhat socially liberal and open-minded, I don’t like anyone or anything that is too extreme or is too pushy.  And that’s exactly what my one Women’s Studies class in college was like…agenda-pushing.  And that’s why I hated it, or at least was annoyed by it.  And this article reminds me of Women’s Studies 101.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t think prom is some girl victimizing event to the extreme that the article portrays.  I feel like the article is extreme, which makes me want to push back against it and the author even more.

And even though prom is over for me, I can say that back then and even now when I dress up, it’s because I want to, for me, because I like to and it makes me feel good.  So does finally feeling like I don’t give a rat’s ass if I run out and do an errand without makeup.  These aren’t based on some societal pressures and it’s not because I’m narcissistic.  It’s because it’s something I want to do.

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OONM, Round 2

OONM, otherwise known as Operation: Obnoxious Neighbor Music.  Round 2.  This time:  the downstairs neighbor.

Thank you for sharing, downstairs neighbor! Here’s some music in return!

I’m assuming it’s a guy from the heavy guitar-driven metal music and background music to action movies.  And he gives me the privilege of muffled metal music for multiple hours almost every single day so far since I’ve moved in, usually in the evening hours.  Tonight, he was kind enough to crank it up so I could hear the music above my tv…yay!  Therefore, I decided that this would be a one-sided relationship no longer.  I wanted to share!

Christina Aguilera, “What a Girl Wants” – not enough.  This guy was going to be tougher than the next door neighbor!  Mariah Carey, “Always Be My Baby” – aaaaand….silence.  Awesome!

Unfortunately, a half-hour later, I can hear the music again.  If Christina and Mariah weren’t enough, perhaps Britney will persuade my lovely neighbor that sharing isn’t always caring?

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Motivating Sorority Girls

Dlisted.com – “The Sorority Girl Email to End All Sorority Girl Emails”

I was a sorority girl as an undergrad…rather, I am an alumna of a sorority.  Once an XYZ, always an XYZ and all that jazz.  I remember during chapter meetings, if someone was announcing a mandatory event or something that members were needing a little extra motivation to do/go to, the person would snap their fingers while announcing, “Get excited!”  Except, most of the time, it was totally contrived.  What happened to those days??

If you click on the link, Dlisted is reporting on a letter submitted to Deadspin.com, that was originally sent out to the University of Maryland chapter members of Delta Gamma (the link doesn’t list the sorority, but it’s pretty easy to find out if you just search).  As a sorority member, part of me feels ashamed that once again, the public is made aware of some “asshat” (to quote the author) that portrays sororities and its members in a bad light.  Listen – we’re not all slutty, alcoholic, druggies, idiots, spoiled, etc… only out to purchase our friends.

But still, I’m not above recognizing how (probably) unintentionally hilarious the letter is and what a moron the letter’s author is if she thought she was going to get away with threatening to “c*nt punt” anyone who didn’t go along with what she was instructing.  However, the girl was responsible and did warn the readers that “this email is going to be a rough fucking ride.”

Indeed, it was!  Fuck, in some form (fuck, fucking, etc…), was used 41 times.  To my surprise, other swear/not nice words didn’t have quite as high of a count:

  • Shit – 5
  • Goddamn – 3
  • Ass – 2 (ass hats, asswipes)
  • Bitch – 1
  • C*nt – 1 (honestly, this surprised me, based on the amount of fucks the author had to give, that the work didn’t show up more than once)
  • Weird – 3
  • Awkward – 2
  • Cock – 2

I’m not going to go on some rant about how there are gpa minimums to get involved, philanthropy requirements, etc…  Just keep in mind that whatever group/ethnicity/religion/school/community you belong to probably has a few members that you’d be embarrassed to be associated with as well.   With that being said, let’s laugh at these stupid #shit sorority girls say photos/gifs:

     

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Operation: Obnoxious Neighbor Music (OONM), Round 1

So yesterday, I posted “Neighbors Come Out To Play” about how I thought I knew my surrounding neighbors’ musical preferences.  I started to prepare a 90’s Guilty Pleasure Pop playlist on iTunes during the downstairs neighbor’s 3-hour metal music session this evening, but didn’t know when I’d actually get a chance to use it.

I got that chance at 1:30am.  Because as it turns out, I didn’t know my neighbor’s musical preferences completely.  Turns out, the 50’s/60’s Oldie and Showtune-loving next door neighbor…also fancies himself a guitar-playing singer/songwriter.  Awesome!  What’s even more awesome is that I didn’t throw away my computer speakers, with subwoofer, during my move and that the cord is long enough to reach the speakers over to my window, to aim them in the neighbor’s direction so that hopefully I could share the joys of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way” with them.

See my speakers, hear the Backstreet Boys roar!
(Also, see how close my neighbor’s windows are??)

Coincidentally or not, the crappy guitar playing actually stopped by the time BSB sang their last note.  So I’d like to think that I won Round 1.  Consider yourself warned, surrounding neighbors: there’s plenty of guilty-pleasure 90’s pop music where that came from.

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Neighbors Come Out To Play

If you live in an apartment like I do, or have lived in an apartment before, you know there are guidelines to follow if you don’t want to be considered the asshat neighbor (or the weirdo neighbor, or the obnoxious neighbor…).  There might be some vague guidelines in your lease, but more often than not, the rules go unspoken.  I’m thinking mainly on disturbances, loud noises, etc… because in my few weeks in my new apartment, I am now familiar with 3 of my surrounding neighbors’ music preferences.

(1) – Especially the neighbor below me; I maaayyyybe heard some sort of hip hop one day, but most likely it verged on alternative or some kind of rock fusions based on what I’ve heard almost every single day…blaring, heavy guitar-driven metal.  I’ve never seen the person, but I’m just going to assume it’s a male.  Because a few nights I’ve also heard his movie preferences as well – thank God it was action/suspense music and not a porno soundtrack.  Most of the times, it’s during the day or not too late into the night, so I’ll give him credit, but I don’t quite understand how someone with any common sense thinks that it’s normal or perfectly acceptable to play music at a loud volume for an extended period of time.  (2) – I heard my neighbor across the hall turn on some kind of indie rock this past weekend, but her next door neighbor immediately went to bang on the door and proceed to complain that he was working the night shift, so that ended quickly.  (3) – My next door neighbor, the other night, this I don’t quite understand.  We share a wall and since our units form a corner of the building, we have windows that are pretty close together.  Therefore, I wasn’t too pleased when after 1am, he (I know this because I heard him sing, even if I didn’t see him) opened his window and blared 50’s/60’s oldies or showtunes.

I wasn’t really that bothered or inconvenienced by any of these incidents, but ugh…I’m totally going to be that saucy and cantankerous old lady.  But instead of complaining, I feel like I might want to enter in the contest of who can be more obnoxious with their music.  With friends like Spice Girls (“Wananbe,” “Spice Up Your Life”…) and Backstreet Boys (“I Want it That Way” anyone?), I feel like I could maybe get my point across without being the cranky complaining neighbor, a little obnoxious, yet still kind of funny, at least to me.

What would other people put on a playlist like this?  Here’s the few songs I’ve got so far:

  • Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
  • Spice Girls – “Spice Up Your Life”
  • N Sync – “Tearin’ Up My Heart”
  • Britney Spears – “Baby…One More Time”
  • Backstreet Boys – “I Want it That Way”

Basically the guilty pleasure 90’s pop that some people won’t admit to liking until they’re drunk at a karaoke bar.

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Busy Week for the U.S. And Elsewhere…

It’s been a busy week for the United States, and we’re not even to the end of the week yet!  Sadly, some complete and total asshole(s) bombed the Boston Marathon.  An Elvis impersonator was arrested for mailing deadly ricin to Obama and a Mississippi senator.  A fertilizer plant (ew) exploded, killing, injuring, and destroying many…most likely, luckily, an industrial accident and not terrorism.  And in the last 24 or so hours, mother nature has decided to kick the Midwest’s ass.

Elsewhere in the world, in North Korea, Kim Jong Un is crying and throwing a shitfit tantrum because no one’s paying attention to him and it’s giving him the sads. :-(

Untitled

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Avatars & Awareness…In Action!

The other day, I wrote this post about people doing ridiculous things like chain Facebook posts, telling the color of their bras, and changing their avatars all in the name of awareness…and then never doing anything with that awareness.

Well, here’s the chance to put this into action.  I’ve already seen numerous Boston and Boston Marathon-related avatars pop up on Facebook.  And unfortunately, there’s already fake Twitter, Facebook, and other scam-charity websites out there (damn, law-breaking hustlers move fast!).  So MSNBC put together this story with links and suggestions on how you can help the people affected by yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

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