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Promposals force a “yes”

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"Promposals" have become the new norm for high school students to ask each other to Prom.

Christina Flynn

Christina Flynn

"Promposals" have become the new norm for high school students to ask each other to Prom.

Sarah Lynch

Let me preface this by saying I am not the Grinch of prom. I’m a big fan of prom: the dresses, the decor, the music, the food, the overall atmosphere. But the one aspect of prom that is absurdly over-hyped is asking someone to prom.

“Promposals,” as they are now called, have turned a simple question into a full-scale production. The crux of promposals is this: if done right, they can be a sweet and special gesture; if done wrong, the receiver is forced to say yes, and an awkward prom is almost guaranteed.

Asking someone to prom in public takes courage and should be admired and appreciated. But it should also take a little research. Before popping the question, the asker should have good reason to believe the receiver would want to say yes, and that he or she is not planning on going with anyone else. If this simple precaution was taken, there would be far less promposal disasters each year.

And yet, they happen. I once witnessed a guy about to ask a girl to prom, poster in hand and a nervous smile plastered on his face. She walked in, saw the poster and suddenly, she was in an impossible position. Cameras were flashing and all eyes were on her. If she said no, she would have been the bad guy. But by saying yes, she was throwing away the chance of going with the person she wanted, and was planning, to take. Suddenly, this well-meaning act just put two people in an equally embarrassing social situation. All the glamour and grandeur of the promposal shattered as she uttered an unconvincing, “Sure.”

But let’s say the promposal was not a well-meaning act, and that the guy knew the girl already had a date lined up. Then this uncomfortable situation was purposeful and even borderline mean. By knowingly putting someone you supposedly care about in this position, you are keeping them from the prom they want. They won’t ever get that night of their life back.

This is not what promposals are about. They are supposed to be a fun, lighthearted way to ask someone you care about, either as a good friend or a significant other, to a once-in-a-lifetime dance. And most of them are, but it is the occasional, yet unforgettable, promposal fail that puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. So to the juniors, seniors and lucky underclassmen that will get to experience the jubilee of prom this year: please keep in mind that this is prom, not a marriage proposal. Make it sweet. Make it simple. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, or especially the person you are asking.

 

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Promposals force a “yes”