What more can you say about school formals that hasn’t already been muttered through pursed parental lips and furrowed brows?
Heaps actually, and most of it’s pretty good.
As Malcolm Fraser once said, life wasn’t meant to be easy. Nor was getting ready for formals.
But with a dash a luck and a bucket of product, it can be all right on the night.
Yes, there is a touch of pressure to be supermodel level, be they colt or filly.
And people can get strung out if the hairdresser’s answering machine keeps saying they’ll be closed for Melbourne Cup and we’re already into the second Tuesday of November and the formals on like TOMORROW!
You suspect deep down the hairdresser will be open, they just haven’t worked out how to adjust their message bank.
But talk about anxiety. Arrrrrr, my nails.
And when I say nails, I mean my nails, scratching down a blackboard, channelling the suspense that is choosing a dress, shoes, hair design, jewellery, blue steel facial expression.
And assurances my booty is poppin’ in this outfit, but not in a slutty way.
There’s so much to achieve, and yet so much nanny-state legislation requiring students to attend school in term four and do things like exams rather than roam the boutiques seeking out ‘IT’ items which will forever – like Carrie’s fire-starting telekinetic powers – set them out from the pack on prom night as being hot.
But not in a supernatural homicidal way. Just a look to die for.
Dudes perhaps get it a tad easier. Most brush up fairly well with the addition of, let’s face it, clothes.
A suit propels them far beyond that to fashion areas most haven’t been to since first communion or sports prezzos.
The arrival of metromania has done mountains to lift the bar in that department to the point where it seems like they almost care.
The gals on the other hand, need to learn about pain.
In so many ways it would be better if our society bound their feet from an early age, like the ancient Chinese, so they developed grotesque and malformed.
Or perhaps bash the soles of their tootsies with baseball bats.
Or drive hot nails through them in the manner of crucifixion.
Only then could they prepare for the delicious agony that is heels and take their first teetering steps into the realms of high fashion, and I mean high.
Talk about attack of the Amazons.
The modern day female formalite could quite well suit up favourably in the WNBL such is the tall factor.
But it’s no good being able to stand on stilts.
You need to walk, or something approximating that word. Land stride? Vault?
Not sure, but it takes some mastery to get from dining table to dance floor.
And you don’t want to know what happens after that because someone could lose an eye, or an ankle.
Formals weren’t so formal back in my day.
“Irresponsible events fraught with liability” would probably better describe what went on.
And even today that thought is ever present.
But well organised with a collegiate sense of togetherness, school formals can be wonderful reminders we’re all on a journey together.
And that should be celebrated from time to time, Gangnam style.