Bibbity bobbity boo
Prom season is almost at hand, that glorious time of power ballads, underage drinking, layers and layers of itchy tulle and trying not to laugh at the word “cummerbund.” It will be twenty years in May since I attended my junior prom, and even by 1989 standards going to the prom had the potential to put a considerable dent in the family finances. No doubt little has changed in that regard today, as you still have to shell out for the tickets, tuxedo rental, transportation, flowers, photographs, perhaps a before or after prom dinner and, of course, the most important thing of all: the dress. The only difference is that everything’s gotten a whole lot more expensive. A quick scan of David’s Bridal will show you that a nice formal gown, that is, one that isn’t constructed from tissue paper and spit, can run upwards of $100 to $200, and much more at other stores, not including shoes, jewelry and the other accoutrements that go along with it. That’s a financial burden that’s difficult for a lot of families to take on at the best of times, but particularly during this bleak economy may simply be too much to manage.
However, girls who otherwise may not have the means to go to their proms will get the opportunity to enjoy that special night and look beautiful while doing it, thanks to a New York-based charity called Operation Fairy Dust. Operation Fairy Dust is an organization that accepts donated prom, bridesmaid or other formal gowns so that they can be reused by teenagers who are unable to afford their own dresses. It also provides hair and makeup tips, as well as goodie bags to help make Prom Night the best it can be (unfortunately, it does not accept donated dates). Ladies, I’m sure all of you reading this right now have at least one formal gown hanging in your closet that you’ll never wear again, please consider donating it to Operation Fairy Dust. If you live in the New York City area there are two drop-off sites listed at the webpage, all you have to do is walk in, hand your dress over to the nice person working at the counter and you’ll get a cute little glass slipper keyring for it. I did it just today, dropping off both a bridesmaid gown and a party dress. If you don’t live in the New York City you can mail your donation as well, or you can check if there are similar organizations local to your area here.
Please keep in mind that the young ladies who will be wearing the donated gowns want to look just as lovely and fashionable as everyone else, so that fucshia satin nightmare with the leg-of-mutton sleeves you wore in your sister’s wedding back in 1994 won’t do. You’d be better off covering it in fake blood and going as ‘Zombie Prom Queen’ next Halloween, which is exactly what I did with my old prom dress. Dresses should be less than five years old and age-appropriate, which means no plunging necklines or bare backs. It should also go without saying that the dresses should be in good, wearable condition, meaning no marinara sauce stains or torn shoulder straps after you got busy with a groomsman in a coatroom. There’s also a very high demand for plus-size gowns. I urge you all to please take some time to consider if you have a dress, or two, or three that meets these qualifications and pass it on to someone who can get some more use out of it. Going to the prom may not be a necessity, but every girl deserves the chance to look pretty.