By HANNAH CROFT
Santa Rosa High School, Senior

The time is upon us. We’re popping the question, over-analyzing our words, renting limousines, spending far too much on dresses, flowers, shoes and up-dos and — OH, MY GOD, I NEED TO TAN!
No, ladies and gentlemen, this is not our wedding day. It’s prom. It’s May 1 for Santa Rosa High. And I, for one, am stressed. Senior prom is supposed to be this big deal — our magnum opus, if you will. Every single movie and TV show depicts something so mind-blowing beyond belief you’d think we were going to an Inaugural Ball.
That’s right, prom is stressful. Believe me, you’ll end up fighting with your best friends, your mom, your brother and probably the florist who’s making your date’s boutonniere. It’s your prom; it has to be perfect, and you will stomp on anyone to make it so. Right?
Well, to save your friendships, your money, and your sanity, I’ve got some tips. I want to have an awesome prom, and I want you to as well. So let’s get started:
–Limousines: If you and your group are planning on arriving in style, make certain that everyone is on board. Sixty dollars for a limo, on top of dinner, a ticket and attire is a lot of money. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Take the lessons we’ve learned in Econ and apply them to real life.
If the driver wants $600, offer $400. Meet in the middle. At least try. Talk to parents as well. If they can understand the safety value of having a professional driver, they may be willing to at least pay for half of the cost of your share.
If you do get a limo, get your money’s worth. Make sure it drives you all over town. In fact, pick your dinner destination based on how far away it is from your house. Make sure you have a cooler of sparkling cider and champagne glasses, too. Also, it is mandatory that you stick your head out of the sunroof. Everyone loves a windblown up-do.
Whatever you do, put someone in charge of making a prom playlist complete with some great sing-along songs for the adventure.
–Dinner: Going out to dinner may sound like the best option, but think again. Restaurants often are uncomfortable when you’re surrounded by families and middle-aged couples out to dinner. Your laughter, trust me, is amplified a thousand-fold in LoCoco’s small dining room.
Ask around, and see if anyone would be willing to host dinner. You’d be surprised by how excited moms get when the opportunity arises to make dinner for a handful of sharply dressed teenagers. Ask everyone to throw in $10, and voila! You have a delicious dinner in a personal dining room, without having to calculate who owes what and how much to tip.
–Flowers: Go local. Grocery stores are great for your floral needs, but supporting local flower shops is easy and usually costs the same. The quality of flowers at places like La Belle Fleur is usually better, as well, and the florist will be more willing to work with you on a personal level.
–The inevitable fights with your friends: Unless it’s a big issue, take a pacifist role.
If you don’t care where you go to dinner, make it clear, and don’t get involved in the squabbling that will ensue. However, if there is no way you can afford to get a limo, then argue against it. Choose your battles wisely because it’s not worth being mad at your best friend over something as silly as where you’re meeting for pictures. Prom is supposed to be fun. Let’s keep it that way.
Prom isn’t your wedding. But it should still be a great night. So let’s go out, and make it one!