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Published: Sunday, 4/10/2005

Mind your prom manners

Jill Marie Zachman, owner of First Impressions in Waterville, is a trainer and consultant for social skills and etiquette. She has also taught a pre-prom class for teens. This is her prom quiz.

1. How far in advance should you ask your date to the prom?

A. The night before

B. Two weeks before

C. Six to eight weeks before

D. Three months before

E. None of the above

2. Who should pay for the prom date expenses?

A. The male

B. The parents of the male

C. The male and his parents

D. The female

E. The parents of the female

F. Shared by the couple if it's a considerate amount

3. Is it proper etiquette for the girl to ask the boy to the prom?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Sometimes

4. Is it okay for a group to go to the prom? (Some schools may not permit this.)

A. Yes

B. No

5. Can I attend the prom alone?

A. Yes

B. No

6. Guys: Which two items should you not take to the prom?

A. The tickets

B. Corsage

C. Cell phone

D. Head phones

E. A Game Boy

F. A camera

G. Money

7. Girls: Which two items should you not take to a prom?

A. Nail polish

B. Lipstick/comb

C. Tissue/breath mints

D. Money

E. Cell phone

F. Matching purse and shoes

G. I.D.

H. Camera

J. A curling iron for touch-ups

8. Which should the young man do for his date?

A. Help her with her coat or wrap.

B. Open all doors for her, including her car door.

C. Walk in front of her to lead the way.

D. Allow her to pay for most of the evening if she insists.

E. Help her with her chair at dinner and at the prom.

F. Let her pay for her own dinner.

G. Let her know how much you spent.

H. Tell her how nice she looks.

I. Have her home at the time discussed with her parents.

J. Make certain that the first and last dance is shared with your date.

K. Bring a corsage.

L. Expect a kiss at the end of the evening, after all, it's the least she can do after all the money you spent on her.

9. Which of the following should the young lady do?

A. Discuss the hassles she encountered during the day with hair, make-up, and nails.

B. Be fashionably late.

C. Tell her date how great he looks.

D. Acknowledge his efforts and gentlemanly acts of kindness.

E. If he doesn't do something right, point it out.

F. Spend most of the evening talking to your girlfriends.

G. Reserve the first and last dance for your date.

H. Make sure you kiss your date at the end of the evening.

J. Give a boutonniere

K. Several weeks before the prom, offer to help with the expenses.

10. When dining, which way do you pass the food?

A. To the right

B. To the left

C. It's not important.

11. Where should you place your napkin?

A. On your lap

B. Tucked in your collar

C. Next to your plate

12. When excusing yourself from the table for a few moments, where should your napkin go?

A. On the table

B. On your plate

C. On the seat of the chair

13. When picking up your date, is it appropriate to....

A. Wait in the driveway until she sees you.

B. Honk until she comes out.

C. Turn off the car, and go to the door and knock.

14. When returning to your date's home, you should....

A. Walk her to the door

B. Open her car door and let her walk to her house while you watch her.

C. She's a big girl, she can open her own door and walk to the house herself.


1. C - This will give both parties a chance to prepare.

2. F - Typically the male should pay for the evening if he can afford it. However with the extras often included (limousine service, dining at a fancy restaurant, etc.) cost may be shared. Girls should offer to help pay. The male can always decline. However, if a girl invites the boy, she should expect to pay. It is a nice gesture for the boy to offer to help pay, perhaps for dinner.

3. B - Prom is a tradition, and the male asks the girl to prom, unless she attends an all-female school or a school other than her date.

4. A- Absolutely! This is a great way to have fun. It also takes some of the pressure off a couple from having to talk to each other all night.

5. B - No, but don't let that ruin your fun. Find several young people who are dateless and go as a group. You'll be glad you did!

6. D and E

7. A and J

8. A, B, E, H, I, J, K

9. C, D, G, J, K

10. A- Remember the right way to pass is to the right

11. A - On your lap

12. C

13. C

14. A

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