I was preparing my son for his first prom, and I admit that I am not Amy Vanderbilt of etiquette, but I had been to a prom before, (back in the dark ages) and thought I knew what I was talking about. My brother-in-law, being a self-proclaimed hillbilly from the great state of Missouri, recalled what his “Daddy” had told him about the etiquette of a prom date.
First of all, when you’re picking up your date – do not – and I cannot stress this enough – bring a beer to the house while you are meeting her parents. It is also considered incredibly tacky to drive up in a U-haul truck or van.
You should establish with her parents what time their daughter is expected back. Some will say twelve o’clock or one o’clock. Other’s might say “Monday.” If the latter is the answer; a real man will see that she gets to school on time.
When you leave with someone’s daughter, don’t squeal your tires or fishtail in your car.
When taking your date out for dinner; never take her out to anyplace where the centerpieces are prepared by a taxidermist. Do not take your hound dog along on your date – but if you do, don’t let him sit between you and your date, and do not allow the dog to eat at the table. . . no matter how good his manners are.
Personal hygiene is important! While ears need to be cleaned regularly. This is a job that should be done in private using one’s OWN truck keys. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days – but it’s not a good idea at prom time. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman’s jewelry not to mention that they alter the taste of finger foods.
For this occasion – spring for a tux! A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance. Say “yes” to socks and shoes for this special occasion.
If you take her to a movie after the prom, I am sure your date’s parents will appreciate it if you stay away from movies that refer playfully to any male or female genitalia. Also, refrain from talking to the characters on screen no matter how witty you think you are. Tests have proven that they cannot hear you.
Safety is of prime concern. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the most gigantic tires always has the right of way. If you get stranded and have to send your date down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
There! I am sure that his “Daddy” had plenty more tips but that is all brother-in-law could remember.