Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Promposal...cute or crazy?

It's prom season!

Here's what the girls are saying this morning about last night's senior prom!
"I had a marshmallow, a cupcake, and a chocolate chip cookie," the little freshmanreported to her girlfriends.  Three little freshman, 14 or 15 years old, are sitting at a table like little wind up dolls, each pulling the string from the back of the other so that she can quickly spew out as many words as possible before her exhaustion takes over and she must pause for a breath.  Only one of the girls actually attended the prom, but they are all captivated by the pictures and the stories that blondie has to share.

Oh, I recall the days when I too was a teenage girl whose mind was fixated on all that mattered in my world from March until the end of school:  PROM!  We spent hours worrying about a date, searching for dresses, cooking ourselves in tanning beds, starving ourselves in order to fit into the dress, ordering flowers, organizing groups in limos, scheduling appointments for hair and nails.  This is a big freakin' deal.  Can you imagine how long this couple spent on their hair?

The race for a date begins early, and this year for the first time in my 17 year teaching career, I heard lots of chatter about "promposals".  What the...?  What is a promposal you ask?  Well, indeed, it is exactly what the word implies, and it's all the rage.
A young man proposes to his lady love his desire for her to join him at this sacred event--the prom. I learned this when I asked what the hubub was with the girls in my 10th grade honors class.  One little chick-a-dee had come to class with a chinese food box in which a young man had placed a cupcake decorated with the word "PROM?"

"Oh, that's sweet," I said.

"Did you see "X's" promposal?" one girl asked?

"Her what?"

"Oh my god, I'll show you?"

"No, what did you call it?"

"A promposal."

"You're kidding me," I said.

My inquiry erupted in lots of conversations in which my students revealed who had been proposed to by whom, and in the true fashion of 21st century teens, they had pictures to forever capture the moment in time.

There was a picture of a soccer ball on which a fellow had written, "kick it with me at prom?"  Another girl showed me the dessert plate that was delivered to her table while on a date with her love.  If you google "promposal" you'll find oodles of images all trying to outdo the next guy.

The plate was deliciously decorated with "PROM?" written in chocolate syrupy stuff.  They all gushed with pride and giggled like innocent school girls, but as an adult, I was torn.

I remember the anxiety over, "is anyone going to ask me?" followed by the excitement of finally being asked. Because it was so early, I ended up in a predicatment where I had to somehow rescind because high school love can be fleeting and fickle.

Just a few weeks ago, my senior boys were trying to find dates for two of their friends.  They pretty much ran down a list of the few people left who were among the dateless, and none of those options seemed plausible.

"Why don't you just go in the limo with these guys?" I asked.

"No way.  I'm not going alone."

Somehow 23 years after I graduated from high school, this antiquated tradition of needing a date for prom has not changed, and it has seemingly gotten worse.

Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon, but the idea that girls need to be invited to a prom with a fantastically creative and original proposal that outdose those of her peers annoys the shit out of me.  A proposal is for a marriage, and a prom is not a wedding.  Can we just slow down here?  I don't I just being grumpy?  What say you?

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