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Counties, a time to flatten your parents' wallet

As the annual counties dance rolls in on Jan. 20, students rush for preparation. Girls get their dresses fitted and hire professionals to do their hair and makeup. Boys look for tuxedos and send in their “escort” forms. In all this craziness, the junior class tends to feel pretty stressed. Although some preparation is expected, does Westport take counties too far? Counties, a dance that parents seem to treat like a wedding, is taken much too seriously in terms of pricing for hair, makeup, dresses and transportation.

The amount of times I’ve heard girls talk about who is doing their hair and makeup can be compared to the amount of times I’ve heard the sentence, “America is doomed.” The amount of money spent on these professionals is absurd. Prices can range as high as $160 just to have an updo hair style. Who knew a pony tail that’s “fancy” (aka brushed) could cost so much? Many girls have hair and makeup knowledge anyway, so why is it so commonly thought a stylist will do it better? I suppose if a “professional” performs the same task you would, it automatically makes it better..

In addition to this, the amount of money spent on dresses seems to have no limitations. When I was talking to some peers, I heard some of them say their dresses cost $200 and sometimes more. It is a dress that you will wear once, for a school event that’s going to pass in a matter of a few hours. Pricy wedding gowns are understandable, but a high school dance? There are four dances, so if this much is splurged for every dance, girls will be spending over $800 on dresses. The price limitation should be set to $100, maximum. If high school girls are already spending a total of $800 on school dance dresses, how do parents expect them to have a reasonable idea of budgeting once they are on their own?

Lastly, students are spending extreme amounts on transportation. “Why drive when you can rent an entire party bus?” seems to be what students are telling themselves. Some students even plan on arriving to the dance in limos. Keep in mind many brides show up at their wedding in a minivan. Although party buses range in cost, sometimes they are $200 per hour. With that much money one can buy themselves a mini couch off Amazon. Most students have their license or have parents willing to drive them, so it seems completely unnecessary as well. Despite this all, students proceed to do this every year.

It’s apparent that the counties dance is a synonym for a time for parents to empty their wallet. However, just because a parent can afford such privileges, does not mean they should act on them. By setting such high expectations spending wise, rather than helping their kids, parents are hurting their expectations for budgeting in the future. Once students are older and have their own money it is not likely they’ll be able to spend money on a party bus for every event they have.

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