The Venus approach:
A new party dress is purchased weeks in advance, then shoes and accessories are painstakingly collected to match; hair and makeup options are practiced in the final days before the big event. Best friends are invited to the house hours in advance on the day of the dance to dress, giggle, paint nails, giggle, curl and/or straighten hair, giggle, help each other dress, text other friends, giggle, and pose for photos.
One hour before the dance, said Venusians are dropped at a pizza place adjacent to the dance location where they join their other fancily attired friends for a slice and a soda. The best part is the strut down the pedestrian mall to the dance venue where all can show off their finery and pose for more pictures...then it's dance fever, high heels soon abandoned for bare feet, a chocolate fountain, and lots of ooohing and aaahing over what everyone is wearing, who is dating whom, who got asked to dance, etc. A thoroughly awesome evening...except for the one friend whose boyfriend chose the night of the dance to dump her...she is comforted by the other girls of Venus, brought to our home for a sleepover, and fed copious amounts of ice cream and chocolate frosting. She is further soothed by watching chick flicks with her BFF's until the wee hours. They also rehash how beautiful they all looked and how unworthy boys are of them. They wonder how long it will be before the boys mature...
The Mars approach:
For weeks before the dance, the Martian vacillates about whether he wants to go to the dance or not. He wonders if he needs to ask a girl to dance a slow dance before the night of the actual event. He decides he definitely doesn't want to ask a girl to be his date. He finally concludes that he will in fact go. He decides he wants to have new clothes; the weekend before the event, he picks out new jeans, a plain white shirt and new sneakers. He makes a Herculean effort to keep the sneakers clean until the night of the dance. This is as semi-formal as he can manage.
|Their expressions say it all...|
He stands for a picture reluctantly, looking for all the world like a condemned man. Fortunately, some of his soccer buddies show up and he actually has fun. At the end of the evening, he proclaims the event "awesome" and denies that he ever had any doubts. He's exhausted...and proud of himself for surviving his first semi-formal. He thinks next year, he'll go again...and that's about it. He ignores the Venusians in our living room with their drama, snacks and chick flicks and heads upstairs with a graphic novel. He doesn't lose a wink of sleep over how he or his friends were dressed. He didn't notice who was dating whom. He doesn't text his BFF about the latest gossip. He doesn't even ask when the girls will lighten up about the maturity thing...
Yep, definitely different planets.