Two weeks ago my New York City neighborhood was a madhouse, streets closed, cars towed, food carts removed, parking prohibited, sidewalks power washed, tents erected, floodlights set, red carpets unfurled, ordinary folks stopped from walking down Fifth Avenue in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was the yearly Monday in May Madness - the Met’s Costume Institute’s Gala, the “Met Ball” hosted by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and attended by the rich and beautiful.
In stark contrast for the next several weeks, in towns across the country Senior Proms will be held in less classy locales - high school gyms and hotel ballrooms – adding a little glamour to otherwise humdrum lives of local teenagers. For graduating seniors this rite of passage is just as important as for pop stars and fashion designers their attendance at the Met Gala.
America’s morality police is in full hue and cry to save the young and vulnerable from sex and the wages of sin. Shelton, Connecticut is on the front lines defending her daughters’ virtue by enforcing the high school’s dress code and excluding young ladies with inappropriate dresses from the Prom. To be excluded and banished from the Senior Prom is dire punishment, a fate worse than death. Remember Molly Ringwald in the Pretty in Pink or the movie Never Been Kissed? Under the circumstances the punishment does not fit the lascivious crime.