And Now For The Prom-posal (Day 39)

(photo: Promposal season, I guess. Photo by Nick on flickr.

What would you do?

You’re the mother of a 16-year old girl. A boy from another school wants to ask your daughter to prom. He’s best friends with your daughter’s close friend’s boyfriend. This close friend asks you if she and the boy, whom neither you nor your daughter knows, can come over while your daughter is out, fill her bedroom with balloons and wait until she comes home, so the boy can pop out, after the daughter sees the room of balloons, and with a bouquet of flowers in his hand, pop the all-important question: Will you go to prom with me?

This didn’t happen to me but it did to a friend. At that point in time my friend wasn’t familiar with the concept of the prom-posal and was rightly taken aback by the girl’s question.

According to a promposal is “an elaborate and public proposal to take somebody to a high school prom, modeled on traditional stylized marriage proposals.”

Simply because I have teenaged daughters, I have seen a few videos of local prom-posals and have known of at least one prom-posal that my child participated in (holding up a sign, I believe.) The one I remember most clearly is of the local high school drama class that turned into a flash mob, a few kids at a time breaking into song and dance moves until the only one left not involved was the girl who, in the end, received a singing invitation to prom from a boy in the class. That was fun to watch, because these kids actually knew how to sing and dance, but I still can’t shake the feeling that this whole idea is crazy.

There’s a recent story (3/15/15) in the Washington Post (read here) about a Georgia teen who stole a goat from his ex-girlfriend’s uncle’s house (and got caught and arrested for theft of livestock) because he wanted to ask a girl to the prom by saying “would you goat to prom with me?”

If you’re going to get arrested, at least come up with a better pun. Or maybe consider a stuffed animal goat instead of a real one?

According to Visa’s “2015 Prom Spending Survey” released on Tuesday, the average American household with teenagers now spends $324 on prom-posals, which accounts for a third of total prom costs.

Does that mean prom costs the average family close to $1000 per kid? I don’t believe it. We have a couple of proms under our belt and I can assure you that we didn’t spend even close to that much. And neither did any of our friends. I think. I hope.

I’m pretty sure none of them spent over $300 so their child could prom-pose.

Regarding my friend’s answer to the question about filling her daughter’s room with balloons, she asked a question in return: “What if [her daughter] says no?” The girl replied wide-eyed, “I hadn’t thought of that.”

I wonder if any of them have thought about whether they’ll be able to outdo the prom-posals of their youth when the question they want to ask is of substance, meaning the answer will lead to something that lasts longer than four or five hours.

Like a proposal of marriage.


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9 thoughts on “And Now For The Prom-posal (Day 39)

    1. I believe my prom dates called me up and awkwardly asked if I would go with them. I think I’d be embarrassed by a public display, especially at that age.

  1. During my time, you let your girlfriends know the name of who you would like to go with. The girls that were “going steady” told their boyfriends, who relayed the messages to the respective boys. That way, when “he” worked up the nerve to ask “her” there were no surprises. It was a done deal.

    Remember that scene in WORKING GIRL? When Melanie Griffith’s character gets the proposal from the slime ball boyfriend. And her answer is “maybe”? And then he’s upset and she tells him, “If you want a different answer, ask a different girl.”

    That was not an elaborate proposal, but IF someone were to do a Prom-Posal, it would be best if they know what the answer will be in advance.

    1. I do remember that scene in Working Girl and that line. Pretty sassy.

      I actually said maybe to a guy who asked me to prom because I was hoping another guy would go with me, and I still feel guilty about it. I ended up going with a third guy. He wasn’t the love of my life but we had a lot of fun!

  2. I pass the theater in the photo several times a week. I was all discombobulated to see a Berkeley photo on your blog! It got me reading and now I’m trying to remember who you went to prom with!

    1. That’s funny that you know where the theater is. I found the photo on Flickr and it gave permission to use with attribution, so I went with it.

      I went to prom with Mark Silbiger. When he stood up at graduation to give his speech, my grandmother told everybody that he was my prom date. She was SO proud. I decided not to tell her that we weren’t dating and that he was class president because we all thought he was funny.

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