Please Remember Our Manners

High schools have entered the prom season. Ripon’s is Saturday, May 5 at Ripon College.

Because good advice is good advice regardless of its source, meteorologist/blogger Mike Smith passes on advice (first written in the 2010 prom season) to young men about to take their girlfriends, girl friends (note the difference) and whoever they managed to con into going to prom:

1.  Make sure your clothes fit. This may be the first suit you wear or the first tux you rent. Some of what I saw this evening looked 3 sizes too large. Don’t buy a suit to “grow into.” Here is an idea:  I know that at the age where you are going to a prom, the last person you want to be with is your father. But, when it comes to this type of thing, Dads are very handy. Ask him to come along and go to a clothing store or tux rental shop on the other side of town so your friends won’t see you with him. …

2.  The corsage. Don’t even think of pinning it on to some of these dresses! Ask your date what color she is wearing (in advance!) and present her with it, perhaps a few hours before the big evening so she can already be wearing it when you arrive. Don’t forget the corsage when you go to pick up your date for the big evening. One of our sons (who shall remain nameless) forgot his date’s. Fortunately, Kathleen realized what had happened and chased the son down at his first stop of the evening and got it into the car before they got to dinner.

3. Open doors for your date. She is wearing a long dress and carrying a purse. It is polite to open doors under these circumstances.

4. At one table, the three young men were staring into space while the girls were talking on their cells phones and/or texting. I don’t know which came first, but it doesn’t matter. While carrying on a conversation is not an art to be learned overnight, there are a few things you can do: Buy a Sunday newspaper six days before the prom and buy a couple that week. It will give you things that can be safely talked about. Then, a couple of days before the prom, log onto TMZ. Girls often like celebrity news and that will get you up to speed.  …

No matter what you think, wearing a Kansas City Royals cap with your tuxedo makes you look like a dork. With a tux, even a Yankees hat would look stupid, but the Royals??? …

Finally, I watched the three men get up and use the facilities together and leave their dates alone. Are you kidding? Using the restroom in packs makes you look like a dork!

Re the last point: From my past observations, young ladies can pee in packs; young men cannot. Young men might as well learn now that life is unfair.

Another point comes to mind that shouldn’t have to be repeated: Your date, gentlemen, should be your entire focus this evening. Not anything or anyone else. Not the Brewers, not your friends, not a hotter girl or the girl you wanted to ask to prom but couldn’t for any reason under the sun — no one but your date. Most men eventually get married and have children, and you will discover that you are not the center of the universe. You might as well get used to that now too.

Related to that is the point that on prom night, your date is the most gorgeous woman in the world. Whether or not she is is not the point. (For one thing, such a statement is entirely subjective, so it cannot be a lie.) Your date spent the better part of the day primping for prom night. You (1) washed your car, (2) took a shower, (3) put on your tuxedo and (4) did your hair, all of which took less time. Show some appreciation for what she did to impress you.

Whether or not the date becomes, or is, a relationship that amounts to anything, you may be surprised how long, and how, your date remembers prom.

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