Depending on where you grow up, your Matric Dance (aka “prom”) evening can be as simple as “just another night on the town” or as extravagant as a wedding. My brown people usually opt for the latter, going the extra mile with the send off, sparing no expense on draping the dining room (for the photos mos), expensive catering and the hiring of high end luxury vehicles to make that special night that much more special.
It’s a big night – big celebrations must be had! I totally get and support that. But I guess it’s not for everyone. I’ve had chats with people who were like, uhmmm no I’m not spending extra money on this. In fact, my own Matric Dance send off was very NOT over-the-top. There were no gushing family members guzzling down pastries, no hired photographer and guys, I didn’t even have a fancy car waiting outside for me. Was my evening amazing? Well, yes it was. I mean, not having those things didn’t, like, scar me for life.
A simple send off worked quite well for me. But guys, it’s my firstborns Matric Dance this coming weekend and I’m going way bigger than I had planned! (Okay way bigger for me – but maybe not big enough, for some.)
Yes, my friends, I’ve morphed into that mother (you know, the next level extra one I spoke about last week) and find myself hiring a 2 meter photo backdrop and arranging a 5 meter string of fairy lights, for the occasion. I also have things like: savory platters, curling custard, after party clothes and “funky socks” on my To Pay For list. Who am I evens?!
Will my family and I wear color-coordinated outfits for the event? Probably. Did I allow Kyle to send out invitations to all his friends and their cats? Definitely. Am I planning to make a long-winded speech, that will most likely end in tears? Without a doubt.
All of a sardine having a simple Matric Dance send off is like, totally ludicrous! MUST. DO. THE. MOST!
Suddenly I want to hire Emo Adams to MC and I want to send everyone home with a party pack. I find myself Googling things like “how to make pyrotechnics” and “how much does it cost to hire a Lamborghini Diablo in Port Elizabeth”. My plans of a simple Matric Ball send off all a forgotten memory as I shop around for a photographer, a videographer and someone who could maybe film a music video because “that hasn’t been done yet.”
Truth be told, a Matric Dance kinda symbolises the end of an era. For the kid it means their adulting days are looming. For the parents: we don’t have to pay school fees anymore (and the crowd goes rah!) and we finally get to see the fruit of our labour. (And by labour I am most definitely referring to the 3 hours worth of homework we have to
do help with each night.)
I mean, hey, I kinda raised this boy all by myself (with help of family members and amazing friends). I paid for expensive schooling, sat through treacherous hours of completing assignments due the next day, helped to memorise facts about South African history that even I didn’t know and attended school “family days” where the only family around was me because his dad lived in a different city and that’s just how single parenting works.
Sure, each family celebrates differently – and that’s okay! But for my boy and I, having a simple Matric Dance send off just wouldn’t make sense if I consider the bumpy roads and the obstacle courses we navigated successfully.
We have a lot to celebrate! And that, my dear, is totally worth draping the dining room, long winded speeches and expensive catering.
Matric 2019 – we made it!