After a day in the wonderful Flint Hills and Cottonwood Falls (my favorite Kansas small town), Kathleen and I enjoyed dinner at Red Rock Canyon Restaurant. I’ll be posting more about the trip later tonight or in the morning.
Red Rock this evening seemed to be “prom central” — the place was packed with beautiful young women and handsome young men enjoying or, attempting to enjoy, the evening. But, both of us noticed a number of young men who looked very awkward and didn’t seem to be enjoying themselves.
Now, I know what you young men are thinking about: What does this old guy have to say that could affect my image as a studly young man? Without recounting my history, certain things are timeless! Here is Mike’s guide to being a successful prom date:
1. Make sure your clothes fit. This may be the first suit you wear or the first tux you rent. Some of what I saw this evening looked 3 sizes too large. Don’t buy a suit to “grow into.” Here is an idea: I know that at the age where you are going to a prom, the last person you want to be with is your father. But, when it comes to this type of thing, Dads are very handy. Ask him to come along and go to a clothing store or tux rental shop on the other side of town so your friends won’t see you with him.
2. The corsage. Don’t even think of pinning it on to some of these dresses! Ask your date what color she is wearing (in advance!) and present her with it, perhaps a few hours before the big evening. OK, that said, don’t forget the corsage when you go to pick up your date for the big evening. One of our sons (who shall remain nameless) forgot his date’s. Fortunately, Kathleen realized what had happened and chased the son down at his first stop of the evening and got it into the car before they got to dinner.
3. Open doors for your date. She is wearing a long dress and carrying a purse. It is polite to open doors under these circumstances.
4. At one table, the three young men were staring into space while the girls were talking on their cells phones and/or texting. I don’t know which came first, but it doesn’t matter. While carrying on a conversation is not an art to be learned overnight, there are a few things you can do: Buy a Sunday newspaper six days before the prom and buy a couple that week. It will give you things that can be safely talked about. Then, a couple of days before the prom, log onto TMZ. Girls often like celebrity news and that will get you up to date.
5. During dinner, leave your cell in the car unless you are going to use it to take photos. It is rude to take a call in the middle of dinner anytime but especially during a date. Your date wants to feel she is the center of your attention.
6. Finally, no chewing gum! I couldn’t believe young men in tuxes chewing gum. Use breath mints.
Men: Items 1-6 are basics of being a gentleman. They are their own reward whether your date notices or not.
Dads, do NOT state these to your teenage sons. Every father, to his children (at this age) is the nerdiest, uncoolest, most embarrassing person on the planet. Just cut and paste them from this blog and forward to him. Explain they are from author, entrepreneur, scientist, inventor and raconteur athlete [ ] (fill in the blank with a male your son admires).
No thanks necessary. I’m happy to help. Enjoy the prom!