All things Prom

If you have a daughter and she either has been or is of an age to attend a High School Prom (over here it is synonymus with the ‘May Ball’), then you will likely understand that I am by no means exaggerating when I say that I swear (and I shouldn’t because I only just went to Confession!) that these past 5 months of Pre-Prom Planning have been more stressful and angst ridden than any dental apointment i’ve ever attended… even the ones when I had absesses and had to have teeth extracted!

When my daughter first told me that there was going to be a Prom I remember thinking it would be jolly good fun for us to plan this thing together. Conjure in your mind if you will, a scene of a mother and daughter bonding….in your vision there should be a little soft focus going on and some banal elevator music playing…we gals are laughing together, shopping bags filled with Prom atire swinging on our arms, we stop for a cuppa tea before moving on with military precision, to check yet another item off the list of required Prom regalia.

Yeah right.

Well, that was what it wasn’t like.

It all began when we went shopping in the ‘expensive’ dress shops in town, the type we wouldn’t ordinarily frequent…we went just after Christmas, knowing that they sell designer dresses at huge discounts in the New Year and we thought we’d see if we could get Primadonna a Prom dress while the sales were on.

And would you believe it?

We saw THE dress in about the fourth hour of looking.

Of course, when I say ‘we’ saw THE dress I mean to say that while we both saw it, I knew it was THE dress.

After 16 years of raising Primadonna, I know my daughter. I know her figure, her deportment, how the very colour of THE dress has complimented her hair and skin tone since before she could crawl.

But what did Primadonna say?

She said , “Naaaah….”

(which is actually teen-talk for ‘no thank you mummy I’d rather eat dog than wear a dress that you picked out for me’).

I was gutted.

But we proceeded to search for a dress that Primadonna did like.

We looked for hours and hours.

On many occasions.

We went all over the place, we even drove as far as Cheshire Oaks in the hope that she would see something that would make her go…

‘WOW! That is THE dress!’.

However, nothing made her go…

‘Wow! that is THE dress!”.

Though I did buy 2 enormous boxes of Thorntons chocolates from their outlet store, so the journey wasn’t completely wasted.

For days and weeks I bemoaned that THE dress…the beautiful, floor skimming, slimline, red satin, dress had been dismissed so eagerly by Primadonna (I suspect, because I liked it)…we argued, I swore, I think she did too…the Prom drew nearer.

No dress!


I was anxious as we needed to get the dress before we could buy the shoes, the wrap, the bag, the cosmetics etc….and there was still the non-matching items to buy.

Then she did it.

One Saturday she came to me, all smiling like.

I was suspicious.

This funny, beautiful little girl of mine (who can be seen wearing her new specs below – ain’t she cute!), was saying, ‘muuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy’, in the sweetest, gentlest tone….well there just had to be something she wanted.

New Specs!

She had been ‘thinking’, she said…

And just what had she been thinking, I enquired.

She had been thinking that I had been right about THE dress.

The very dress that I KNEW would look amazing on her.( It could have been made for her for goodness sake!)

She asked if we could go back to town to look at it again.

I was fuming.

I was tying a proverbial knot in my by now, wearily thin metaphorical rope and hanging on very tightly.

Would this turn into yet another battle, would I return from town with a grumpy sullen teenager yet again and with not a shopping bag in sight?

After all, how likely was it that the designer range hadn’t been changed by now and surely they wouldn’t have THE dress anymore. Besides which, I had asked the sales assistant at the time we were browsing, if they had any more of the dresses in stock as Primadonna was unsure about it…and the assistant had replied that they only had left what was then on display…and even then there were only 2 sizes of the dress left, and just 3 dresses in total, if I recall correctly.

I was so angry about the meither of it all… because quite apart from the fact that it was THE dress… it had been reduced at the time we saw it….it should have been £200….and it was half that price in the sale….

Now I don’t have that kind of money sitting around, but Primadonna’s kindly hearted grandparents had offered to pay for her Prom dress…that’s another reason I was sad that we didn’t get it when we saw it….it had everything going for it.

But now?

Well it probably wasn’t even there anymore, and who knew, maybe the dress we would eventually settle on would cost twice as much?

I recall praying before we went to town that day.

Something like, “Please O Lord, let the Prom dress still be there!!”

I’m not that imaginative when I talk to God.

I figure he knows me too well for exorbitantly wordy prayers to mean anything much to him. I do pray them sometimes, usually when i’m full of myself, but I’m sure I can sense that he’s tapping his foot and yawning as I spout forth.

Anyway do you know what?


THE dress was still there…and it wasn’t because there was anything unatractive about it (judge for yourselves from the pics), there was absolutely nothing wrong with it…the only thing was that it was looooong….and would have been too long for many girls to carry off… it was as though it had just been waiting there for my tall Primadonna to say ‘yes’ to it.

She tried it on.

She loved it.

I knew I had been right about it.

I usually am, just so you know.

Except when I’m not.

Which isn’t very often as long as you don’t ask me a question.

Well what a relief it was!

And only another 4 or 5 shopping trips to find all the accessories to go with it.


I’m sure you’ll agree when you look at Primadonna’s Prom pics (below) that I took last night, that she really is absolutely one of my greatest ever achievements (my other greatest achievement being my wonderful son).

And isn’t she just beautiful!

Yes I know all Mum’s say that about their kids, but it happens to be true.

When I worked as a professional portrait photographer, I couldn’t believe some of the girls and guys that had me *shoot* their modelling portfolios….oh my ….still, it wasn’t my job to crush their spirits and I did my best to make them all feel like a million dollars…I also learned the art of using the most flattering vignettes,lighting and focus ranges possible!

Anyway, after all the griping during the Prom preparations I can honestly say that it’s been well worth the end result….here’s a photo of my Primadonna Prom Princess just to prove it…

Yup, she’s mine. Excuse my pride and satisfaction!

But PHEW! Last night was the culmination of so many months of hissy fits and arguments about everything from which wrap to buy… (that only took us two shopping trips and a million shop visits to decide – I wanted the chicken and salsa variety of wrap, she wanted the material version to go with her dress) ….to long discussions in the make-up aisle of Boots Chemist about which eye shadow to purchase…..

And let me tell you something about that….

When we went to Boots chemist to buy make up we proceeded to argue debate for 20 minutes about which eye shadow up to buy….I’m sure the staff thought we shoplifters as we were behaving so furtively, having whispery in depth discussions….hmm….Barry M or Bourgeois…decisions, decisions…. I ended up spending £10 on 3 tiny pots of Dazzle Dust/Sparkle Dust…only to find that the Sparkle Dust was a complete waste of time…and that cosmetics are extortionately priced!

Why Primadonna couldn’t just use my make up for the Prom like she uses everything else of mine, I don’t know….(yes I know, cross contamination – though we still share it usually – and mines completely un-trendy because I’m an old fart)…..worse still, ever since we bought the new make-up, Primadonna had made me sit through (and analyse) Youtube videos on how to apply prom makeup….as I would be the one applying it.

Oooh the pressure!

But it paid off i think, because don’t you think I did her make-up rather nicely (see below)?

NOTE: I did not do Primadonna’s hair, she had it done professionally yesterday afternoon. It was a mad rush to get it done as she finished school early at 2:25pm and I was at the Presbytery so my wonderful parents collected her and took her for her appointment in town…when she got back from the hairdressers we only had 1 hour to get her makeup done and to get her dressed in her Prom stuff!)

When she got home from the Prom at 12:30am THIS morning, it took us until 1am to take all the pins out of her hair! YIKES, we were both so tired this morning when we awoke at 8am…I tried to have a lie-in bed till a bit later, but the dog jumped on my head and since she has a weak bladder i didn’t want to take any chances, so i got up!

Oh yes, and here follows a possibly useless….

Beauty Tip for applying Barry M Dazzle Dust…

…if you use Barry M’s Dazzle Dust/Sparkle Dust…do NOT apply it with a brush applicator unless you have a ‘make up application proficiency certificate’….because, well basically it will end up all over your face…nope….instead, use a sponge applicator and you’ll have no problem whatsoever. That’s something I didn’t learn from Youtube but from hours of frustratingly failed dazzle dust application attempts.

Y’know, if my daughter wasn’t such a sweetheart I could have always have gone for this look on Prom night, couldn’t I?


Primadonna and her friends had a wonderful night, some of her closest friends went with her in a huge pink limo to the venue….they even got a couple of glasses of champagne each on the ride there (I told her to sip it veeeeeeeeeeeerry slowly)….I’m not surprised she’s smiling!

Prom Girl in Limo

In this next pic Primadonna’s grandad, who bought her to the ‘Limo meet-up’ as he suggested my car was too unclean and crabby for Primadonna to sit in, (he’s right but it’s mostly Primadonna’s mess in the car), jokily pretended that the limo was his and that he was going to get in it….

Yup, because pink suits Dad so well. Not!

It should be a blue limo for a Navy boy like you Dad, not girly pink!

And before we waved her off for the night, there was just time to get a quick snap of three of my four fave people in the whole world (Wonderboy was at his Dad’s for the night).

my Mum, Primadonna and my Dad

Primadonna leaves school next Friday. She will then be on study leave and return sporadically to sit her GCSE exams before going on to college in September. She’s been working so hard and still has so much revision to do that I feel she deserved every bit of happiness on her Prom night.

So Babe, I know you’ll read this (if only to look at yourself again eh?) and I just want you to know how proud we all are of you, not just for being an A student and a high acheiver, but because you have just as beautiful a personality as you do an appearance. Your Dad would be so proud of you, and I’m sure if he was looking out of that window in heaven last night, he’d have been nudging the Saint’s and Angels and saying,

‘hey, that’s MY beautiful girl down there!”.

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15 Responses to All things Prom

  1. Melanie says:

    Oh, she is absolutely gorgeous!!! I’d type more but L is screaming ;(

  2. Christine M says:

    She’s beautiful – and the dress is stunning!

  3. Awww, she IS beautiful. And you deserve a medal, Mom, for your efforts. Maybe next time she’ll believe you the first time you tell her this is the dress. My daughters do the same thing. If I like something, it’s knee-jerk they don’t. So I’ve started to not state my opinion and instead say, “Do you like this?” while showing them. ( I of course have to look less than enthusiastic or I’ll get the same reaction. I hold it up with a real doubtful look on my face.) Sometimes that works. LOL

  4. Tom says:

    Great pics, Deb!

    I have to tell you that I’m glad I’m a guy and don’t have to spend a half hour taking pins out of my hair. LOL!

  5. Suzanne says:

    Oh! How lovely! There are no better words to describe her! Glad she had a good time … its good to see another happy photo of your folks too! Just awesome!


  6. Karen H. says:

    Beautiful post! Be thankful “doing a hem” seems to be an uncommon skill these days. 😀

  7. Antonia says:

    aww! She looked perfect! Really really very pretty!


  8. barbszy says:

    I’m going to have to save this because in 4 years I will need all this wisdom!
    She looks beautiful and I hope she had a wonderful and safe time.

  9. ukok says:

    Thanks folks! She is still dancing around with the thrill of it all, even two days later!

  10. Barbara says:

    Wow – fantastic…Thanks for sharing these!!!

    I see what you mean. Absolutely beautiful.

    As I said to you before, thankfully, our school don’t do the Prom thing until last year 6th so we have two more years..

    The stress levels HAVE elevated a tad this week I must say. I have just ordered my dd to have a bath and early night….


  11. ukok says:

    Start saving now, Barbara dear!

    And start brewing the camomile tea…that way it will be nice and strong by the time you need it


  12. Carol says:

    Beautiful — girl, dress, everything 🙂

  13. Terry says:

    She is very beautiful. Your mom and dad look very nice too.

  14. ukok says:

    Thanks folks!

  15. could we please have a picture with the shoes 🙂

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