Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
My first dance is coming up and I really want to go. The only problem is my mother. She has said I can go on one condition, that she chaperone — which is a major deal breaker. I don't want to be the girl that brought her mom to the dance.
I asked her if I had done something wrong to lose her trust, that she won't let me go to a school dance that is chaperoned by teachers. Her excuse for coming is that she trusts me, it's everyone else she doesn't trust. I have begged endlessly but she hasn't budged. Auntie, how can I convince my mother to let me go to the dance unchaperoned?
Whoops, sorry, y'all. Just a little spontaneous face-to-keyboard contact, there! And to think that only moments ago, I really and truly believed that the world was a fair and wondrous place in which no person old enough to be the parent of a teenage kid would ever use the vomitorious non-logic of, "I trust you; it's everyone else I don't trust."
So to begin with, Sparkler, you might want to reopen this conversation with the rejoinder that the whole point of trust—its entire glorious purpose—is that having it in one person means you don't need it in anyone else. Because presumably, and no matter how wild and crazy things get, you can rely on your trustee to exercise the good judgment that led you to put your faith in her in the first place.
And if that goes well, then you can suggest to your mom that she tell you her concerns, and together, you can come up with solutions—a curfew, a buddy system, a rape whistle, a cell phone with which you will call to check in every hour on the hour, and/or practiced roleplaying of any and all worrisome scenarios—that don't require the ridiculous overreach of making her your date to the dance.
Which, for the record, is one of the most hilariously terrible Mom Ideas ever to grace my inbox, second only to the girl whose mom wanted to be her college roommate, and I don't blame you one bit for immediately kicking it into the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me file of Things That Can Never Ever Happen.
But if your mom still won't budge, then your last good option—and I can't promise you how good it'll be, depending on who's available—is to bring in a second opinion. In other words, do you have a dad? An aunt? A family friend? A religious leader? A teacher or guidance counselor or neighbor? Is there any grownup person in your general vicinity who can politely and gently point out to your mom, as only a respected adult peer could, that she's taken a sharp lefthand turn into Crazy Town?
If so, contact said grownup, explain the situation, and ask if he or she would sit in on a convo to assure your mom as to the safety of school dances. (Bonus if your adult advocate is also a teacher who'll be chaperoning that night.) If you're lucky, it'll be the thing that tips her back into a more reasonable mindset—and sends you happily on your way to an evening of delightful booty-shaking.
And If you're not lucky... um. Would it help if I told you that school dances are overrated? No, of course it doesn't. I'm sorry, Sparkler. But perhaps you can take some small comfort in knowing that whatever happens, you will forever and always have a winning entry in the contest for Most Embarrassing Mom. HOORAY.
Did your mom try to crash your school dance? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.