matric dance fairytale silly season

Matric dance time is upon us.  
Cue "Hey Big Spender" song for parents.
Cue "rework the budget" for the 9th time. 
Cue "we can afford this if no-one in our house eats for the month of October".

Seriously though, tonight we were discussing matric dances over the generations whilst at an excellent dinner at the school's beautiful restaurant. 

In my and my hubby's time, as well as in my parent's time, these dances were held in the school hall.  There are very few schools where it still happens in the hall.  The gr 11's did the fundraising, chose a theme and were the waiters and waitresses (this still happens) and decorations were put up which included many flowers made from 14 layers of tissues tied with florists wire and then reshaped, lighting in different colours and streamers creatively draped across the ceiling.  If the budget allowed there were helium balloons and pretzels in the foyer.  The food was made at the school, by teachers, kids and other so we had delightful pineapple halves filled with tuna that had been standing waaaay to long, a main course of something that I to this day cannot identify, and melting ice-cream.  Added to the fact that my date wore a weird shade of green suit and brown grasshoppers shoes, it was certainly nothing to get over-emotional about.  I did, however, have my dream dress which my parents had paid to have made for me.  Today with the money paid for that dress, you are lucky if you can buy a clutch bag for a matric dance.  I also wondered out loud recently why my mom had let me out with that hairstyle.  Sort of bouffant meets Lady Di.  She assures me it was the fashion.  I look younger now than in that pic.  If I can find it I will attach it below.  The pose I am in is usually only reserved for reigning Heads of State in official potraits.  But I will embarass myself for your amusement.  

I still have that dress (yes I am ridiculously sentimental) and a few weeks ago Jess put it on.  She looked a bit like a combination between little Bo Peep and who the hell knows what.  They collapsed laughing.  I did feel a bit affronted.  Off the shoulder satin with 109 metres of lace triming was very in.  It was 30 years ago for heaven's sake.  And I definately had my sexy on.  I know my matric buddy, Baz, is reading this.  You better say something nice in your comment!

Dress shopping today is a BIG thing.  And can be pricey.  I was lucky that in March as we passed a shop in a mall, Jess saw a dress, stopped dead in her tracks and said "mom that is the one".  It was her size, was a one of a kind, we bought it and it has hung in state waiting for 4 October.  Shoes are proving to be our achilles heel ..... too high, too low, too much bling, too little bling, too strappy, too closed, too expensive, too this, too that .... I did not know there were so many words in the English language to describe shoes ......... I also did not know that one could take so many sips from a hip flask whilst looking for shoes. 

Then there is the hair, the makeup, jewellery, a bag and of course .... THE boy.  Depending on the girl, the level of difficulty for all these assorted "items" will differ in rank.  So we have hair and make up appointments (check) THE boy (check) .... yes you Brad #fantasticchoice, jewellery (check) and shoes and bag (uncheck, uncheck). 

At CBC parents of matriculants are also invited and they sit on the teacher's side of the venue.  The matric boys open the dancefloor with their moms and the matric girls with their dads.  A wonderful CBC tradition.  If you do not have your parents there, or do not have a parent or parents, you dance with a friend's parent or a teacher, it is your choice.  After this they have a 5 minute break to allow the wailing parents to gather themselves.  I managed to do the ten minute in and out the shop method of finding something understated to wear.  It is the kid's night.  

Venues are coining it at this time of year ...... as matric dances move to boutique hotels, fancy restaurants or other venues.  Jess' dance is at a beautiful place and will be everything magical she expects, with fantastic food and  without a Kleenex tissue flower in sight.  Her date won't have on brown grasshoppers and she has a mindblowing photographer so there are no queen's coronation style potraits.  

And mom and dad .... in no way am I knocking my matric dance things you got me .... merely reflecting on how it has changed. 

Oh and in closing ...... my dad told me tonight that at his matric dance at Affies, they had a kind of braai affair, and because there had been some "incidents" the previous year, there was no music or dancing.  Instead they were shown a movie called "Soldiers".. whoop whoop ...... that trumps the green suit. 

till next time, 
c'est la vie xxx

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