22 September 2007

Doing the Deb

For months our year 11's have been preparing for the debutante ball by learning to dance, handing over large sums of money and fantasizing about what 'the big night' would bring. I know this because my son was one of them. In the beginning there were the 'who's partnering who' conversations along with last minute upsets and broken agreements. Then came the girls chatter about dresses and shoes. The eager mum's joining the 'deb committee' to ensure they got front row seats (I didn't venture and thus was seated firmly at the back wall) and their child the 'right' night. I've seen all this before as outsider (teacher) and insider when my daughter went through similar motions 2 years ago. Never was brave enough to go on that committee though!

The last week has brought partner gift exchanges, hair disasters, makeup trials, and that nervous excitement we all know before a big event. Yesterday, the climax was finally reached. We (son and I) went to the home of his partner, where four stunning girls had gathered to create the kind of glamour and beauty you could expect at such an event. They all looked amazing. There were few stressful moments and last minute crisis, before they climbed into the limo and were taken to the venue for photo's and goodness knows what else.

Four hours later we arrived and watched them 'be presented', smile, dance etc and then the deed was done. The big footy match was listened to with discrete earphone, by a few suffering parents. The sacrifices they make! I must say, having taught many of these kids when they were in year 7, 8 and 9, it was touching to see how they had grown up. They are a great bunch of kids. There was food, music, dancing and glitz.

The after party was attended and in the wee small hours I was driving a carload of teens back to my house to sleep it off. It was twilight when I got into bed.

Is it all worth it? I don't know, but it has been done. Twice now. If you ask my kids, they would say yes. They enjoyed themselves and love the sense of occasion and formality. I did my deb and although I wouldn't have dreamt of not doing it, I wouldn't again if I had my life over. I thought it was overrated as far as experiences go, personally.

For those of you who are not familiar with this Australian rite of passage, see this wikipedia extract, scroll down the Australia and there you have it. Our students were 'presented' to the local Catholic priest.

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