When I hear the prices for dresses for young ladies, it boggles my mind. But I’d like one person to explain to me why we have to go along with this insane scenario. Please explain to me why teenage girls (AND THEIR MOTHERS) think it’s necessary to spend $400 or $500 on a dress for Homecoming? It’s ridiculous for a variety of reasons.
Let’s look at the social reasons. Teenage girls (and most females in general) have a difficult time keeping their mouths shut about anything. So if Susie spends $300 on her Homecoming dress, then she’s naturally going to tell all of her friends. It snowballs like that old Joe Namath shampoo commercial. Then she tells two friends and so on and so on. A competition has now been established between Susie and all of her friends to see who can have the most glamourous (read EXPENSIVE) Homecoming dress. Why? Who cares? Is another girl’s dress ‘better’ because she spent more money on it, or bought it at a more upscale store? Most likely not. But the burden has been established that if you don’t spend at least $300 on your Homecoming dress, you’re a loser. I’m using the $300 as a figure for discussion because I know for a fact that there are girls (AND MOTHERS) who’ve spent well beyond the $300. This is the kind of behavior that helps Dads, and males in general, understand why females have so much drama in their relationships. They instigate it themselves.
Second, let’s talk about good taste. Or the lack thereof. Why do teenage girls (AND THEIR MOTHERS) think it’s appropriate to wear a dress to the Homecoming dance that shows more skin than Heidi Montag in a Maxim magazine spread? Not that I’ve ever seen Heidi in a Maxim magazine spread. By endorsing your daughter’s purchase of a dress that only an adult should wear (and only in certain situations) you’re setting your daughter up for a negative experience with her date. Most, if not all, teenage boys have the mental maturity of a GI Joe doll with the Kung Fu grip. When your daughter shows up for Homecoming wearing something showing too much skin, that teenage boy’s mind flips a switch that no father wants activated. He’s thinking, “why would she wear something like that unless she WANTS to have sex with me?” Good luck mopping up the slobber gushing out of the boy’s mouth.
What about the practical reasons? I don’t know one father or husband who actively volunteers to go clothes shopping with their wives or daughters. Most men would prefer to have a colonoscopy, a root canal and en empty beer keg, all in the same day, before suffering the pain associated with a trip to the shopping mall. Well, maybe not the empty beer keg, that’s what helps us endure the credit card bill when it comes in the mail.
It would be helpful if Dads had a discussion with their spouses and their daughters about the Homecoming dress shopping excursion. There should be financial limits determined before mother and daughter hop in the car to go to the mall. Here’s a man’s perspective on this. The dress is most likely going to be worn ONCE. Your daughter either will not like it or fit into it for the next Homecoming dance. So after the big night, it hangs in a closet until mother and/or daughter happened to be cleaning out that closet, years later, and discover the long forgotten Homecoming dress she wore in the 10th grade (along with the dresses for all the other Homecomings and Proms in her high school career). Second, the dress is just a utility, like the boy’s tuxedo. Boys (men in general) look at a tuxedo rental as a required utility. There are certain requirements to attend the Homecoming dance, and a tuxedo is required. So the guy rents the thing, reluctantly, and if he’s got a clue (or most likely his mom has one) he’ll make the extra effort to make certain that his tie and/or shirt or other accessory matches the dress of his date. That’s it. You wear the thing once, you take it back to the tuxedo shop. Men don’t collect tuxedos in their closets.
Finally, and faithful readers have read this more than once, there needs to be the discussion with your daughter to explain to her that her beauty is not defined by a dress that she wears, but by the person she is everyday. Whether she wears a hand-me down from an older sister, or a $500 dress from the swanky shop at the mall won’t change the person wearing the dress.
P.S. Don’t forget to tell your daughter that you love her.