Remember the good old days when quinceañeras were a relatively simple affair?  Sure there was big pink puffy dress to buy (notice I said pink); chamberlanes and damas to coerce into dancing a traditional balz – oh the horror of those memories (think bad dancing and awkward pairings); and then there was the little matter of paying for the whole thing – thank goodness for padrinos and past favors you could cash in for the occasion!  Regardless of all this, though, these quinces – circa Thalia’s Quinceañera telenovela days – were nothing like the elaborate turning of age “soirees” some young ladies get today.  I didn’t even know quinceañera dresses could be lime green!

Quince dresses

They come in all shades and colors now. Quince dresses!

In those days it was all about making the transition from girl to woman and throwing a big old party to celebrate the occasion.  It still is!  Only these young girls nowadays are apparently much more creative about just how THEY want to celebrate their own big day.  Either that or they simply have much more time on their hands to be inspired.

Whatever the case, a whole industry of businesses have built their own successes on the customization of a good quinceañera!  You can’t just have a plain old simple quince!  That won’t get you on MTV Tr3s’ ¡Quiero Mis Quince!  At least if you can afford it, the goal seems to be to have a unique and one of a kind celebration that people will be talking about for years to come.  And probably watching it too if the cumpleañera decides to upload and share her videos online with the rest of the world, like so many others have already done on YouTube.

The first time I saw a neon colored quinceañera dress, I’ll confess, I was a little dumbfounded.  “Why in the world would anyone want a neon colored dress?,”  I remember wondering.  It just didn’t make any sense to me.  Now, every time we drive around the water fountains by Hermann Park (near the zoo here in Houston) there’s always at least one quinceañera wearing a very bright and neon dress.  Ya ni se me hace raro.  It’s just a normal part of the tradition ahora. 

What does always surprise me are the bailes sorpresas!  So much planning goes into this single portion of the festivities.  It’s amazing!

No wonder parents end up shelling out thousands of dollars for these fiestas.  Then again it is a once in a lifetime celebration… I guess.  I’m just glad I didn’t have to go through the drama of planning a quinceañero for myself!

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