With prom season comes a trickle of local news stories about boys and girls opting out of taking a contemporary to the big dance in favor of humans with more life experience.
I’m not going to pretend to have any sort of hard data to demonstrate that teens taking grandparents to prom is a certifiable trend. But you know what? It should be one. Here’s why:
Your grandma will tell you like it is
Let me introduce you to Katie Keith, of Indiana. When her great-grandson Drew Holm first told her that he didn’t care about prom and had no date, she jokingly offered herself up as an option. When he actually did ask out the 93-year-old, this is what she had to tell him, per NBC affiliate WAVE:
“He said, ‘Will you go to prom with me?’ I said, ‘Drew, my goodness, I don’t want to go to the prom with you. Surely you can find a real cute girl to go with you.'”
Dang. Well good on Drew for being persistent, because he asked again and the great-grandmother relented. “I thought, ‘If that kid wants me to go to the prom that bad, I’ll go, the heck with it,'” Keith told the NBC station earlier this month.
You get to offer your grandparent a first-time experience
Those who’ve been on this planet for many decades can say “I’ve done it all,” with some semblance of authority. So to find something that your grandparent has never done is kind of remarkable. It’s even more special to be the one to create that moment for them.
Beverly Allmond never made it her prom. Her boyfriend, who went on to become her husband, was in the Army and away on duty. Allmond didn’t want to go with anyone else, she told NBC Philadelphia in 2011.
Then granddaughter Teila Allmond asked to take her to prom in 2011. “This is a once in a lifetime thing,” Teila told the NBC station. “I can’t think of anyone else who I’d rather spend it with.”
“I thought it was so sweet. So special,” Beverly, 75, told the station.
She can also cut a rug:
Grandparents don’t expect you to spend a ton of money on prom
Austin Dennison, of Ohio, took his great-grandmother Delores to prom in 2014. They dined at the 89-year-old’s favorite restaurant, Bob Evans, where they chowed down on pancakes and omelettes. I know discussing money can be uncomfortable, but I crunched the numbers and that meal likely cost under $20.
Delores Dennison had also never been to prom, and she wasn’t even sure if she’d make it to Austin’s prom when he asked. She told the Times Bulletin, “I had a bad heart attack and stroke. ‘I’m not that good on my feet,’ I told him. Finally I said that if I was able to go at that time, I would.”
They did go, and the evening was magical. “It was wonderful and I just loved all the girls in their fancy gowns and the gentlemen in their tuxedos. It was quite a night,” Delores Dennison told a Fox News columnist. “Everyone there just could not have been more polite. Everyone got an A+.”
Duh, your grandparent is special
Teens, let me level with you here: Chances are your high school sweetheart won’t end up being your spouse. A Facebook Data Sciences study, which examined social media profiles, found that 15 percent of people went to the same high school as their spouses.
So why waste your prom invitation on someone whose name you may forget in 10 years?
Joy Webb, of Alabama, took her grandfather James Drain, 80, to prom last month. “My family is everything to me, and I love him so much, and it’s just like really special to me because I know not many people get to do that,” she told WHNT-TV. “And I know he loves me and I love him, and it’s just really neat and special.”
They rode off to the big event in a horse-drawn carriage, too.
Life of the party
With prom comes the pressure to stand out as having the best dress, the best date, the best vehicle dropping you off. Nothing will make you stand out more than bringing a 90-something-year-old to the dance.
Drew Holm had to get special permission from his principal to bring 93-year-old Katie Keith to prom. “They said the age limit was 21,” he told WAVE. Nice VIP status, son.
And at the risk of sounding anti-young people, with age comes less worry about how others perceive you. That means a grandparent will let loose and have fun.
“Everybody got up, you know, and they were doing this shuffle thing,” Katie Keith told WAVE. “And Drew said to me, ‘Let’s dance, grandma. Will you dance?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ So him and I got out there and shuffled right along with them.”
Delores Dennison also made a big show of her entrance at her great-grandson’s prom. She began hitting all the balloons with her cane.
“She is so funny,” Austin Dennison told the Times Bulletin. She sure is, buddy.