We’re smack dab in the middle of prom time, and high schoolers across the country are either having the time of their lives or pretending they are, because LBR, we all know deep down that prom’s not as exciting as you ever think it’s going to be.
The tradition of prom is has a long history in the U.S., but one that’s been all the rage of late is the “Promposal”. Now back in our day, of course the boys would ask girls to prom. But I don’t ever remember it being as elaborate as it is today – or even having its own Urban Dictionary term. Although the kids of Laguna Beach would probably disagree.
We graduated the same year as LC and Lo and Stephen and Trey <3, so like many others, I found the show fascinating. But when it came to the prom episodes, the guys were going all out to surprise the girls with the big ask. In season one, Dieter asks Jessica in a baseball field, Trey *better than ur faves* keeps it classy with rose petals and candles, and Stephen, for some reason, hides in Kristin’s house and writes ‘Prom??’ on his chest, because that’s ‘hot’?
In season two, there was a tow truck involved with one of the blonde Alex-es involved, but basically, the show taught me that promposals were a thing before they were PROMPOSALS. Is this a West Coast thing? Because I swear it wasn’t a thing in Western New York.
Fast forward to present day, when it’s like a game between people to come up with the most creative and impressive ways to ask the person of your choosing to prom. I actually got to (kind of) witness one first hand recently, when I was on a cruise that my friends got married on. During dinner, my friend’s 18-year-old brother sneakily asked his GF to prom by having the server present her with a dessert plate that had ‘Prom?’ written out in a chocolate syrup-type substance. I saw it all happening from afar like a creep and got weirdly excited I got to witness something that the youngins are doing first-hand.
But then you have the more intricate and carefully thought out Promposals, that range from making a sign and holding a basket of kitties, to putting those Scantrons to good use, to recruiting your friends to do a choreographed dance to One Direction in front of the entire student body.
But my favorite as of late is the Promposal by Jacob Lescenski of Las Vegas, who asked his best friend Anthony Martinez to prom. Not a big deal, right? Well it is when Anthony, who is gay, posted on Twitter that he never gets asked to prom (I’d be complaining too if everyone around me was getting Promposal’ed and I wasn’t). Jacob, who is straight, saw his tweet and decided that he would ask Anthony to prom, despite the fact he already had a girl date (she graciously bowed out).
Even though Jacob opted for a sign and a rhyme that didn’t involve a flash mob, the face that he decided to do it at all speaks volumes. Their story went viral, and major media outlets picked it up, including Teen Vogue, who chipped in an got the boys tuxes from Topman and paid for a limo, and Ellen invited them on her show and not only videotaped them at prom, but gave them each money for college.
As much as I love Jacob and Anthony’s story, it’s still crazy to me that teens are going to great lengths – as great lengths as they would as if they were actually proposing – to ask someone out to an overrated dance. I get it. It’s a special time in a teenager’s life, etc. Yet is it necessary to put on an entire show just to go to prom? What will you do when you actually propose to your future spouse?!
Moreover, we didn’t have GoPros and smart phones and social media during prom season in the mid 2000s. We took cameras with FILM and had to wait for a day or two to develop before we would go through and trash the ones that looked horrible. Like physically put them in the trash bin. To me, promposals are 90% about HOW you do it and 10% who is doing it. That ratio doesn’t seem right. Call me crazy, but it seems like they’re just trying to one up each other, because it is high school after all.
Is this all me talking in my old age and having a quarter(ish)-life crisis? Probably. Definitely. Am I maybe bitter that I had to ask my gay-but-not-out-yet-gay friend to my junior prom and never got a promposal? Most likely. But whatevs. I’m just going to sit back, watch the promopsals pop up all over the interwebs, and if you need me, I’ll be looking up words on Urban Dictionary with a full glass of wine in hand. Because I’m 29. And I can legally drink. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, teens.