Friday, June 8, 2012

Prom, geek style

Danielle is going to her prom. She got asked by two boys at school, but they were too geeky even for her. She decided to ask the boy who is the dog-walker for our neighbors. He is a freshman in art school. He's like Matt Saracen in hotness. Alex is so happy Dani's going with a legitimately hot boy that she is being supportive and has been donating all the money she earns towards prom. Josh asked if he can give Al replacement money after the prom, so I am thinking about it. I don't want her to turn into someone who will give away her money just because she knows someone will replace it.

Here is why Dani is a geek: she has a prom spreadsheet. Oh yes. A fucking spreadsheet. For the prom.


Anonymous said...

I don't want her to turn into someone who will give away her money just because she knows someone will replace it.

This is very insightful. Yes, this is not the lesson you want her to learn.

But what is it that is happening? Josh is noticing Alex's generosity, is perhaps impressed by it. Alex could learn that her generosity is good, that people are generous with her too, that people can be inspired by her generosity to be generous themselves.

Josh replacing the money, a direct reimbursement as if she had laid out money for him and he owes her or something, indeed sends the wrong message.

Josh could say to Alex, "You were so generous with Danielle, helping her to be to attend an important event and being so excited for her. I think you should get to do something exciting too!" And then he could surprise her and take her out to a Broadway show the same night as Dani's prom. And you'd get to have the place all to yourself for the whole night.

Or, for what purpose would Alex be using the money she is instead allocating the money to her sister? If she is putting off buying something, Josh could then buy it for her. This is very close to the direct replacement of money, though. Then again, if she's been working hard to be able to pay for something and now is going to have to do without a little longer, Josh buying whatever it is for her doesn't teach her that she doesn't have to work for things. She was already working for it, and her generosity meant she had to hold off, and Josh saw her generosity and felt bad that she had to wait, so was generous with her.

It kind of comes back to how you put it: "I don't want her to turn into someone who will give away her money just because she knows someone will replace it." Another aspect of this is that Alex shouldn't be careless in her generosity, but she shouldn't never be generous, and often generosity will come back to her. Won't Dani be helping to pay for Alex's stuff once in the near future anyway?

Alex was envious of your new work clothes. Dani no doubt is getting a special dress for prom, which Alex's funds are helping to pay for. Maybe put those two things together, that way it's not only about the prom, it's even more about generosity and not about repayment. Josh could say that he knows Alex was coveting your new clothes and he was so impressed by Alex's generosity towards Dani, would she (Alex) like to go to a fancy store and buy a special outfit? He could take her, with or without you, and it could be like a fun shopping experience for her, but with limits, that the purpose is to get one special (complete) outfit. She should decide in advance for what purpose she might need a special outfit, so that it is to that extent at least a practical purchase. You say she gets the most hand-me-downs, so she probably does need something nice for when she has to go to something a little dressy. When Josh handed her a credit card to buy a new blanket, that was just him providing the money (and the opportunity). But here he would take her himself, could show her stores she might not know of, get one of the personal shoppers to help, and the two of them would have fun together with the whole fashion thing.

The only problem with going to a show or shopping is how Josh feels about doing things alone with Alex. Does she still reach for his hand? Does he still feel at times like a pedophile, or now that she's halfway through high school is it more an issue that it could look to others like he is actually her boyfriend?

Well, just some ideas. Hope this all helps.

Elizabeth said...

I was just going to say, the spreadsheet totally cracks me up. I would absolutely do something like that, if they had Google Docs when I was going to prom.

Nina said...

I'm so glad that Alex and Dani are getting along again. :)