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You shall go to the prom...

IT costs HOW much? The words I've been preparing myself to utter ever since my little girl entered the world.

Yes, the cost of a prom dress has been a nagging thought from the moment she donned her first babygro. And now the time has come.

As you read this, the apple of her dad's eye will either be donning her posh frock or already be at the venue, waving goodbye to her secondary school days at an occasion veering comically between Downton Abbey, Dallas and The Only Way Is Essex.

Leaving secondary school didn't test my emotions much, to be honest. I can barely remember a thing about it.

Follow Dave on Twitter @ Dave robson_gaz or email: No doubt there was a disco where we'd have boogied down to the likes of Funky Town by Lipps Inc - much as I still like to do now.

But a prom? Do me a favour. I haven't a clue when this Americanism foisted itself on us, but they do make me chuckle - girls looking twice their age and lads in suits looking, well, just very uncomfortable.

And the pictures do amuse. After all, we can only use so many in the paper. The ones which escape publication can cheer me up for weeks.

But I digress - today's the day the young lady who has enchanted, surprised, astonished, baffled and, above all, made me and Mrs R immensely proud over the years pulls on her pretty dress and joins her contemporaries for a night of posh nosh, OTT glamour and dancing to David Guetta (yeh mon, I is still down wiv da kidz).

Miss R's a quiet young thing who has reacted to the end of her secondary school era by, publicly at least, not reacting much at all.

But for mum and dad, it's a chance to get all misty-eyed about the past and a time to hope that the future for her - and all her classmates - shines like a beacon.

When I entered the world of fatherdaughter relationships, I had no idea how ours would pan out. Sixteen years on, from my point of view at least, it could barely have gone better - I hope she feels the same.

She still baffles me - her recent proclamation "I think I'll be an archaeologist" was a beauty, even by her standards.

And she won't, of course, read this because it isn't on Twitter. So I guess I'll have to find another way of reassuring her that until I take my last breath, wherever she is and whatever she's doing, I'll be there for her if she wants me to be.

And in the meantime, if she can keep the cost down, like she has done with her beautiful but modestly priced prom dress, all the better.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 4, 2012
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