People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Promposals

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Promposals


I guess because I have younger kids, I only ever see the overachieving moms (OAM) at the over the top birthday parties or designing elaborate concoctions for school lunches. I forgot about the children the overachievers have been raising long before I started having kids. I didn't think about the high school-aged children of the OAMs. That's why I was surprised last week when I read an article about "promposals."
Yup. Prom-posals. WTF? Gone are the days when a shy teenage boy waited by your locker and mumbled, "Wanna go to prom with me?" Now it must be an elaborate spectacle to end all spectacles. Of course this is a thing. Why wouldn't it be? When you had a Marie-Antoinette themed first birthday, an Elf on the Shelf with a red carpet, a Leprechaun that leaves green footprints everywhere, an iPhone for your ninth birthday, and a car for your sixteenth, why would a boring Prom invite ever suffice?


There's something about this that really bugs me. If some kid has hired day laborers to spell out "PROM?" with rocks in a field so that he can then rent an airplane and fly his girl over that field, listen to her sound out the word "mmmooorrrppp?," yell at the pilot to turn the plane around and come at the word from the right direction so she can read it, listen to her sound out "prrrraahhmm," get mauled and possibly have his ear drum shattered by her squeals, tell the pilot to loop one more time so they can get a photo and make out a little bit, and then land the plane only to be greeted by both sets of parents standing on the tarmac holding a dozen roses and fake champagne, then what in the hell will he do when he's ready to pop the REAL question? Will he just rearrange the rocks to say "MARRY?"

Asking someone out is not a proposal. Come on!

I spoke with a friend yesterday who has older kids and she told me so many stories of what she's witnessed over the years. It's not just prom. It's Sadie Hawkins Dances and Homecoming and Sweetheart. All of these dances now require over the top invitations.

I did some looking around and asking around and I decided to share some of my favorites. 

1. Ice, Ice, Baby. You freeze a letter inside a block of ice that says "Now that we've broken the ice, want to go to Prom with me?"  (OK, I guess that's not so bad. Just make sure no one throws away the random block of ice that they assume was abandoned on their porch. Plus, if it is unseasonably cold you might leave a blow dryer too.)

2. Oink, Oink - No, I Don't Think You're Fat. You fill a box with pig-shaped helium balloons. When the box opens and the pigs fly out, there are notes attached to them that say: "When pigs fly I'll ask you to Sadie Hawkins." (Maybe it's the leftover dork girl that is buried deep inside of me, but when I heard about this one, I took it as an insult until it was explained to me that the pig shaped balloons are flying, so thus the invitation is being extended. Duh. Well, all I can say is tread lightly if your lady is bit of a nerd and/or a chunky monkey.)

3. I'm Sick and You're My Prescription. You place some fake vomit on a girl's chair in History class with a note that says, "I'll just be sick if you don't go to Prom with me." (I've always said the fastest way to woo someone is with fake vomit, so I can't see how this could possibly go wrong.)

4. Kissing Cuz'ns. You drop off a bale of hay on your fella's porch with a stake in it that reads: "Hay! Will you not BALE on me and accompany me to Homecoming?" (I know I live in Kansas and I should like this one, but it lives up to every bad "kuntry" stereotype: several misspelled words and hay. Come on country kids, you can do better. Stop looking like inbreds.)

5. Special Delivery. You send a pizza to your favorite guy with a note written inside the top of the box: "I know this is cheesy, but will you go to WPA (Women Pay All) with me?" (Everyone knows the fastest way to man's heart is food and I give these girls props for asking a guy out, but my worst fear is the empty box would be returned with a note on the bottom saying "Hell no, but thanks for the pizza.")

6. You're Killing Me, Smalls! You have your buddy draw a chalk outline on the ground of your "dead" body. You lay inside the outline with a dozen roses and a tombstone that reads: "I'll die if you don't go to Prom with me." (I find a guy pretending to be dead more terrifying than romantic.)

7. I Meant It in the Nicest Way. You give your potential date a bouquet of Dum Dum suckers with a note that says: "Don't be a dum-dum. Go to Prom with me." (You had me at dum-dum, you dick.)

8. My Dad Ate All the Nuts So I Had to Go With Plan B. You give your potential date a bucket of balls and a note that reads: "I finally got the balls to ask you to Prom." (I can only imagine how special the young lady on the other end of this promposal felt. I'm guessing that Plan A was a bag of your special lady's favorite nuts along with a note that said: "I nutted up and now I'm asking you to Prom." Plan C was: "What do I have to do to get my nuts in your mouth at Prom?")

I don't know about you, but this way too much "prama" for me.

Tell me your promposal story!

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50 comments:

cakeburnette said...

I SO agree with you on this one. It's even worse when you are expected to "ask cute" but you aren't really a couple! My son doesn't date, but the kids in our church youth group do go to all of the dance in a huge wad. So for Homecoming, he bought the girl he "took" (they sort of pair off for pictures, but that's about the extent of it since they stay in the large group all evening) a Starbucks coffee and wrote "will you go to HC with me?" on the side of the cup. She totally missed the note and the other kids had to point it out to her after she squealed and thanked him for getting her a drink.

For Prom, he mailed a formal invitation. It was cute, and he didn't actually have to face the girl at all. Hah!

But the boy who asked my daughter (my kids are 15 months apart) came up with the BEST way: We are all big fans of the movie "We're The Millers" (don't judge, please) and he wrote "No Ragrets--Prom?" on his neck and wore a hat and tank. It was HILARIOUS.

Sharon Greenthal said...

When my son asked his date to winter formal, he got he a giant chocolate chip cookie, a quart of milk, and written on the cookie in chocolate were the words "got prom?" She said yes :)

That was one of the least elaborate asks among his friends.

In a way I think it's ok - those girls have to wait to be asked, which is so stressful, why shouldn't the boys have to sweat it a bit!!

Ryan Dyck said...

This isn't that new. I had friends who went over the top back in 1999. My boyfriend asked me to prom at my surprise birthday party that he and my friends threw for me. In November. We were no longer dating come prom, but we attended awkwardly together anyway. I started dating my husband the very next day.

Kp said...

I can't with this trend. It's disgustingly over the top, and all I can think is how I asked a dude to prom. It took me a week to muster up the courage to walk up to him at lunch and blurt "gotopromwithme?" I can't even imagine what would have happened if I needed something elaborate. Plus... how much importance do we want to put on teen-relationships?

stephaniegiese said...

I never got asked to prom because I was already dating my now-husband, so it was just assumed we would go together. Now I feel left out.

Physco Basketball Moms and Other Court Side Dramas said...

The other night at my daughter's ball practice one of her teammates' boyfriend showed up with a heart shaped cardboard that read "PROM?" and a dozen roses. A dream prom invite, all sweaty and hot from playing ball and the boyfriend shows up to invite you to prom with his dad, the coaches, rest of the team and parents standing around watching!

gustie1999 said...

I am so over this "trend." Why in the world does everything have to be a orchestrated, over the top PRODUCTION. My GAWD, it's just prom! One night! Is not like a proposal to, say, spend THE REST OF YOUR LIVES TOGETHER. To much emphasis on the show these days. Of course, my life is a total shit show, so perhaps that clouds my judgment a bit. Nope, promposals are still stupid.

Jessica Durham said...

Maybe this is a regional thing that has spread? I mean, I went to high school in the late 90's in Utah and everybody did this stuff; this is nothing new at all. Maybe the internet has allowed it to spread all over the country?

Bettylou Walpole said...

I was a book worm...I hated dresses and large crowds, I turned down a few guys for the prom, But on Prom night My Mother decided I needed to go and Bought me one from among her friends sons...Paid him twenty dollars to take me...She fought me into a dress ( While her cronies fixed my hair ) And Off I went My Mom promised I would remember my prom for the rest of my life...40 years later I do remember it....I still am ashamed of it to this day

jayde828 said...

Yes, this has been the way to ask for decades! I remember my aunt getting asked like this when I was a kid. That was 20+ years ago. Nothing huge, but cutsie. The response required effort as well - even if it was just a pizza delivered that said 'yes' in pepperoini.

r/b said...

Super big expensive and in public flashy? No.
But cute, tailored to the individual and creative? Yes.

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

It's gotta be hard to be a parent, these days. I couldn't do it without...punching someone in the throat.
Carol
http://www.carolcassara.com

JMc said...

This is hilarious. I was just explaining this new "trend" to my husband this week. I was totally confused at first. Then I saw a picture posted on facebook where a guy had put a poster on a donkey with balloons and the poster said "can I take yo ass to prom?" Hilarious. He gets points for being funny but again confusing? Do you want to take the ass or the girl? hah

Lola Vidal said...

It was 1988; I was dating a guy I would later marry & divorce; we decided to go to HIS prom (we attended different schools) because the hall was nicer; since I had to get ready at his place, I almost got into a fight with his twin brother's skank girlfriend who said I looked like a slut in my black satin & lace dress and I said "Well, at LEAST MY DRESS FITS!" since she was trying to wedge her size 12 frame into a slinky size 8 dress (whore!). I ignored her for the entirety of that evening, even at the club we wound up in afterwards (the Copa in NYC) & although we took great pictures we divorced in '97. I don't think he could have handled a prom-posal since he never learned to handle the simplest things like liquor.

Split3ways said...

You should never mention prom and Plan B in the same sentence.

Bethany Mellon said...

My 16 year old daughter just went to prom with her Junior boyfriend. They attend a fine arts school. He's a musician; she's a Disney nerd. He wrote a parody to "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" and sang it to her in front of the dorm crew. I'm still trying not to throat punch them.

Tracy Johnson said...

My son has had a couple of these in his high school. My question is if you're already dating, isn't expected that you're going to go to prom with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Why the big hoopla? My son just made a banner with the girl's name & then prom? after it. He hung it up in the cafeteria & was standing there with flowers & chocolate. She said yes & she should have since she told her friends that she wanted him to ask her. He wasn't even going to go. And this is the girl in 6th grade who he went ice skating with & afterwards she told her friends that the only reason she went out with him was because she felt sorry for him. Ugh! Was not happy when he told me who he was taking. Hopefully she's a bit more mature now. And he's definitely hotter at 17 than he was at 12.

Ileana Herrera said...

mortifying!!

Lanae Brown said...

Why would you want to punch him in the throat?!? That's adorable! He took into account her interests and used his talents to do something romantic and thoughtful. I think it shows he truly cares about her as a person and not just as a girl he wants to score with on prom night. I hope someday my daughters prom date does something sweet to make her feel special! It makes me sad that this site often times makes fun of people (maliciously too) for doing things differently.

Poppy said...

I was in high school in the early 90's and this was definitely a thing then...

Unknown said...

I work at a high school and am thus witness to this several times a day right now. Every time, I throw up in my mouth a little. The other day, on the Walkie talkie one of the vice principals said, "what's going on over there with that crowd, is there a fight?" To which the campus supervisor replied, "no, it's just another one of those stupid prom proposals." Gag.

Erin said...

I just spit out my drink lmao

Amanda Mills said...

Have you seen the kid who brought a donkey with a sign around it's neck that said "lemme take yo Ass to prom"?!? Although extremely inappropriate, it gave me a rather large case of the giggles

Jill Homer said...

I worked at a bagel shop when I was in high school. Once I saved all the leftover bagels at the end of each day for two weeks so I could decorate a boy's entire front yard in about 40 dozen bagels strung up on rope and write "Will you go to (Girl's ask dance) with me?" in bagels on the lawn. I'm 34 years old. I don't think this is a new thing.

Amanda Zeller Manley said...

I graduated in '92 in S. Florida. Nobody did anything like this at our school, at least not that I ever heard.

Unknown said...

Hahahahaha the "We're The Millers" one is genius! How could you say No to that?!

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

Our society is exhausting me. Ellen

Kim said...

You're seriously complaining about kids being creative and different? You're someone I want to punch in the face.

Deb Costello said...

The students at our school have been doing these over-the-top things for a while now. Several boys asked their date in front of the whole school at an assembly... others posted signs at the front of school or used solo cups to build the message into a chain link fence, some wrote the ask on volleyballs and had friends hold them... it goes on and on... http://media.philly.com/images/600*450/20130305_inq_jriordan05z-b.JPG

Rena McDaniel said...

I agree with you! Everything is right now, in your face over the top, to the extreme what will they have to look forward to in the future! I had a son & daughter both are grown and believe me this is not the way I raised them! I couldn't and wouldn't have even if I could have afforded it! I didn't buy their first car they did, they got jobs and worked to buy the "extras". I see people who have kids and just hand everything to them. How will they ever get that wonderful feeling of working hard for something? Of saving money and providing the object they desire for themselves? I think it's a shame!

Pamela Berte said...

I think these "promposals" are cute as long as they don't get too elaborate or involved. My daughter asked her guy by blinging out a football that said "Wanna tackle Prom?"

abengel said...

Well? Did he say yes, or what?

toulouse said...

People are taking everything so far to the extreme these days. It has to pop back in the other direction. One day soon, a guy will shuffle up to a girl, mumble "prom?" - she'll nod ever so slightly and he'll shuffle away. One for the record books!

CSIJen said...

I couldn't agree more! Well said!

Rory Bore said...

I think having a creative way to ask them out is okay - I've even seen a few cute ones. But way over the top? No. It's just a dance. the hell? My own engagement proposal wasn't as elaborate.

Domestic Diva said...

Thankful this was not a "thing" when I was in high school in the mid-90's, and hoping it's not a thing by the time my kids get to high school.

Kim Bongiorno at Let Me Start By Saying said...

Please make it stop, Jen. Please? At least before our kids are going to prom?

Wicked Witch of the West (Coast) said...

I graduated in 95, went to high school at two *vastly* different schools (9th and 10th at one, 11th and 12th at another) and nothing like this happened at either one. "Do you wanna go to prom?" was probably the extent of the elaborateness of the promposals. I remember asking my date by saying "wanna go to my prom with me?" (he went to a different school and we were just friends). My BFF at my first high school was asked with a note in her locker and ONE flower sticking out of those vents (and the flower had been picked off a rosebush, not purchased). I can't even imagine the paranoia on the part of the asker ... and what if the askee says no? It's just as bad as very public marriage proposals.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

It's not a complaint about being creative and different, it's the fact that something as simple as asking a girl out has to be this huge, you-tube worthy, "top this!" public spectacle. What if you're the girl getting the in your face invite in front of the whole school and you don't want to go with that person? Either you have to say yes just to save face or you look like the biggest bitch ever and embarrass the asker. It's too much is what I think Jen is saying.

sethrak said...

Isn't the point of a Sadie Hawkins dance that the girls are "allowed" to ask the guys instead?

lmmu said...

No elaborate proposals in my day so I was surprised when my kids started high school 5 years ago and this was the norm. I thought it was ridiculous at first but it can be fun. Lots of pressure on the asker to be "original" but it's all been done. My son got the "cheesy" pizza for Sadie's 2 years ago. He usually lets the girl's friends come up with ideas when he has to ask. Haha. My restriction was it couldn't cost more than $25, which is still a lot added to the price of the dance, dinner, outfit, etc. They have given and received some cute invitations. Not too elaborate. But I did think it was ridiculous that the pressure for a cute "ask" was still there after my daughter was dating a guy for 2 years. Usually he just wrote the invite on homebaked goods. (They started dating after her cute piƱata invitation to Sadie's in his front yard.) At least the creative reply hasn't gained popularity here like it has 90 minutes away where my friend lives with her teen boys. Enough already!!

Katiesanoshow said...

It's all the fault of YouTube!! Everybody feels they have the unearned, inalienable right to some kind of fake, imaginary 'famous' status. That's who were raising... kids who need recognition and praise for everyday mundane activities. Get over yourselves already!!!

Leila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leila said...

Yeah, this sort of thing has been going on since the 90's in a lot of places. I graduated 10 years ago in Washington and we were doing it long before I even got into high school. So, it's not the fault of YouTube or OAM's. I think that it's just now reaching all of you guys because of the internet letting info spread faster. But it's been around for decades. Let's all relax and quit blaming people. Yeah, some kids go over the top. A lot don't and make their promposals funny and fun. So chillax.

midnight.rose said...

That is horrible, but also hilarious!
I live in a very PG-13, drama-free (well, comparatively) place in the US, and our skank-population is on the low side. At the very least, it's nothing like in the movies - and the picture you painted in my head is just like one of those terribly funny films.

midnight.rose said...

I love this too!! Going to agree with Lanae here, because he was very thoughtful! Not to mention, he's already her boyfriend, so it's not like it's a random guy.
If you go on youtube, there are a bunch of disney proposals and they're all so cute :')

Vera said...

My daughter who plays volleyball just got asked by boy who wrote "Let's spike it at the prom" on a volleyball with a tiara... and a dozen roses... very cute IMO.

Lana Pinter said...

I didn't have a date for prom (nerdy bookish girl) in 1995. Maybe Canadians don't do this sort of thing but I have never heard of "promposals". However, having been the girl NOT asked to prom, I would feel even shittier if I had seen these huge, elaborate invites and no one came to ask me (even a mumble at the lockers would have been nice). Are we not setting up our kids for extremely high expectations??

My first marriage proposal was all right, nothing great. The second was even simpler. Isn't the marriage the most important part and not the fancy frou frou surrounding it?

kmunse said...

I see this sort of thing happening all the time. Not only do I sub at a public high school but my third kid is headed to her last prom this year! She received the "dum dum" invite last year for prom. What I find are the couples that have been going out for 2+ years are the ones who constantly have to do more the next time, and the next time and the next time. It is so sad. They don't know that they will probably meet others in college and have to start all over again and that they are simply wasting their time and money. One boy bought an expensive watch for his girlfriend with the saying "It's time for Prom". Whatever. Kids are dumb.

randomrovr said...

A tradition in our high school is that in February they sponsor "MORP" - the anti-prom. The theme is there is no theme, they just drag out decorations from previous dances/theater productions/pep rallies...so it's a kind of "Under the sea April in Paris Pirate Paradise, etc. Nobody goes as a couple not even the "been dating since junior high kids", they go in groups of friends and the price is very reasonable...$5 a person. Often the kids will come up with some sort of costumes (three blind mice, Thing one and Thing two). There are no limos or tuxes, thousand dollar dresses or over the top flowers (my daughter and her best friends did give each other dead corsages last year). It's just a group of kids that get together in the school gym and dance their tails off. Every one of my kids says that MORP is a whole lot more fun than prom.