The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

WIS Promblems

Crowded prom dance floor – Wikimedia Commons

2016 didn’t fail to serve us up a generous helping of unwelcome surprises. Every month pretty much came with it’s own little tragedy; January: David Bowie, June: Brexit, October: Trump exposed as a sexual harassment predator. These types of incidents provided basement-dwelling meme makers, buzzfeed rogues and SNL stars alike with a plethora of material from which to produce contrived antics that actually generate income and notoriety.

So here we are, resentfully smudged into 2017 with a first-world-substantiated necessity to revel in our denial of current events through simple pleasures of mindfulness coloring books and propellor hats. The same comical level of pessimism that gave rise to twitter accounts such as @weirdhorse and @nihilistarbys is infusing millennials with an inexorable sense of dread and skepticism in regards to life in general.

At WIS, this phenomenon manifests itself in many forms, such as lying under the pillows of your couch, eating tofu chicken nuggets, because ESS, and hollowly watching freshmen sing along to fully memorized Lil Yachty lyrics on snapchat stories. All the while proactively brainstorming college essay ideas because your GPA is not impressive enough to get away with writing #blacklivesmatter over 100 times like that Stanford-bound hero who is, indeed, from New Jersey.

Despite how accurately I may have just depicted your current life situation, there is one magical night for which all our IB troubles seem to vanish and where we can enjoy the beautiful culmination of spirit and friendship that is…the one… the only… Prom. Don’t even dwell on the fact that we are too small a school for this to be a  one and only, exclusively senior, life milestone. Who even cares about that, the juniors and seniors all love each other anyways. Just focus on the fact that it will be an excuse for you to surrender your assignments, take some time for yourself and your friends, and just have an all around genuinely great night.

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Up until then though, there are a certain series of events that must occur in order to ensure the glittery loveliness of the experience. Ideally, you’ll be able to last the night with a moderately humane amount of breathing room available in your online-ordered outfit. In practice though, what does that entail?

Illustration By Alejandro González

If your long, winter hibernation months of consuming anything with melted cheese on it didn’t necessarily segway to the voluptuous slim-thick or dad bod you had planned, but moreso resemble an all encompassing squishiness and difficulty climbing stairs, what must you turn to? I dare not say a weekly indulgence in the societal sin that is SoulCycle, but perhaps salads must be introduced into the picture. Or at least something that incorporates a vegetable. And water, occasionally. Honestly if you don’t have zone three parking your workout aspect is probably dealt with each dewy morning up the Tregaron or Solarium stairs.

Speaking of dresses, how about divulging into the bewilderment that is prom Facebook groups. Do you screenshot the dress, or post a semi-not-awkward picture of yourself trying it on in a dressing room? What do you do with your hands when taking such a photo, and should the non photo arm hang listlessly by your side? Absolutely realistically, how long is too long for a dress before juniors forsaken themselves to be Prank Day Pledges? What about a Hi-Lo? How much will you regret wearing a choker when you show photos to your post-graduate-degree-in-an-obscure-social-science-offspring? Maybe you should just wear the same black two piece you wear to every social outing, honestly.

Suppose that aspect is covered; your outfit doesn’t reveal a lifetime of dietary mistakes and your self esteem has scraped by, untarnished. There is another minor snag in regards to prom which is this odd concept of needing to find yourself a date. To ask, or to be asked? Thankfully the WIS community is comprised of boy girl friendships that make this process delightful and surprising.

Maybe a guy from the varsity soccer team will throw a ball that says “Prom?” directly at your head, or you’ll write it at the bottom of a KFC bucket that your date doesn’t end up eating because ESS. Maybe you’ll be asked over text! The possibilities are endless. Maybe, by some cosmic force, granted to you from years of forwarding good karma chain emails in fourth grade, your lifelong crush will ask you. Life long. Since Pre-K. Since unpredictable bowels and short sleeve t-shirts layered over long-sleeve ones. Since Sketchers and Ed Edd ‘n Eddie. Since braces. Come to think of it, this person probably knows you as well as your siblings. In fact, this person kind of is a sibling. Not to make it weird or anything.

Once that’s all squared away, the big day comes. Pimples have been whipped into submission, hair is shiny, love is in the air. Time to go to a photoshoot at someone’s house that’s straight out of a pottery barn catalog. At this gathering, there is probably an all-powerful human with a DSLR camera, casually making rounds and taking candids of everyone. Of course, being a somewhat polite, empathetic human prohibits you from asking this person to show you how they came out, because a gazillion others are would flock the scene. On the bright side, there’s no need to worry, because you spent 40 minutes on your hair, your cheekbones are popping, this couldn’t go wrong. Except that eventually WIS HS will cough up an album seemingly created entirely for the purpose of proving you wrong.

Girls; who knew the circumference of your arm could quadruple in size simply by virtue of being pressed against your side? Guys; even if you wore a suit you already owned, your mom bought the flower thing, your date ubered, and you’re thinking that you finessed a zero cost outing, you have managed to neglect the billions of brain cells you killed breathing in the scent of all that hair gel and cologne. Everything has a cost in this life.

Okay, perhaps prom is truly is a great postmodern celebration of student unity, but there’s no denying that hopes and dreams are not always the best predictors of reality. Even Time magazine has it’s own semi relatable blurb about the questionably sacrosanct entity of Prom, deeming it “that one special night, usually in May, when girls in colorful gowns and boys in ill-fitting tuxedos pose awkwardly for photos that they will cherish (or rue) for the rest of their lives. The night when curfews are broken and limousines are taken for joyrides. The night when the punch bowl might contain more than just punch.”

Pretty much, except for the fact that we get administrators present to responsibly ensure that the sit down restaurants catering the event serve legal beverages. Should you drink, you can kiss goodbye your position of authority in ISU or a sports team. But if you want to smoke an elegant cigar with Mr. Markus, please, by all means do so. Finally, be it the cross-cultural sensibility that emerges from WIS in response to any authentically american endeavor, we don’t engage in the preposterously overstated measures such as a limousines. What an excessive investment! The everyday chauffeur will do just fine.

by Val Deshler

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