When Cinderella Can’t Go to the Ball: An Alternative to Prom

(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)

When Cinderella Can’t Go to the Ball: An Alternative to Prom

By Michelle Schonken

Prom is so close, we girls can smell it. The excitement is building in the air and we see more and more dresses on sale in the mall. For many, a great deal of thought and energy will be spent on picking out one of those dresses and hoping to be asked to prom by the right boy. Others might not have that option.

There could be several reasons why you might not be able to go to Prom. Two biggies could be that either your parents don’t feel right letting you go, or it is simply too expensive. Between the Prom ticket, dress, and corsage alone we are looking at a pretty penny. That may just not be feasible for you. But whether the reasons are safety, finances, or others, know that you are not alone!

According to surveys conducted by YouGov in 2014, 53% of Americans did not attend Prom. Feel so alone now? And you know what? I was one of those Americans who didn’t go to Prom in my Senior year.

Did I stay home on Prom night and sigh to myself? Nope! That’s not my style! The Prom experience (in its ideal form) has two main goals as far as I was concerned – have fun with friends, and dress up as fancy as possible! I decided that instead of bemoaning my “Promlessness,” I would make my own alternative! This alternative would be inexpensive, safe, and be true to my Christian values.

I rounded up some of my best friends (regardless of their grade), and we made plans for our own Alternative Prom . On the night of, we dolled ourselves in the fanciest dresses we had in the closet, put makeup on each other, and had reservations ready at a nice restaurant. We got to see the fun of other Prom groups having dinner and had a blast ourselves!

So, fun with friends? Check! Fancy clothes? Check! Affordable food? Check! We made it a night of fun and friends, without feeling left out of the celebrations. We made memories laughing together, and we reminisced about the time and experience we had shared. In the following years, Prom only came up three or so times among new friends, and I could always share what an awesome time my Alternative Prom had been. Sadly, they couldn’t always say the same. But all of our Prom or Alternative Prom experiences will be different, and what is important is that whatever you do on Prom night, you can smile at the memory without regrets.

Right now, you might feel like Cinderella who can’t go to the amazing ball that everyone is excited about. Perhaps your fairy godmother took a wrong turn and ended up in Antarctica instead of making Prom possible. But instead of being disappointed, take a chance on making some of your own plans. Whether you get dressed up and go out for late dinner, or head over to a movie theater in your highest heels, take charge and make some Alternative Prom night plans with some of your friends. It might just be as spectacular as the ball that Cinderella wanted to go to!