Thursday, May 7, 2015

Popping the Question: Junior Prom, Part 5

All right already ... I said I'd write about my teenage daughter's promposal and so I will. But let's start by explaining what a promposal is in the first place.

According to (one of my faves), promposal is defined as:

(n)- a proposal from one person asking another person to the prom; the combination of the words "prom" and "proposal." 

Then, as is their way, the folks at give us a humorous example:

Jake: I'm thinking about how I'll do my promposal...
Sean: Who're you going to ask?
Jake: Well, I haven't decided yet.
Sean: You have to decide before you ask someone to prom! 

Sean has a point. But, Jake is wise to plan ahead. A date is ... well ... just a date. But, thanks to the ubiquity of social media, a promposal can live forever. And over the past few years, the promposal bar has been raised quite high. Sky-high in fact.

Back in the ancient times of 1980, I was a senior in a virtually all-girls class of an urban school. We had no prom. So, we, if reason follows, had no promposals either. Before you go feeling sorry for me, let me reassure you that I didn't know what I was missing. My contemporaries in more traditional high schools weren't getting promposalled either.

The Washington Post cites 2001 as the first known official promposal, reported (and christened a "promposal") by the Dallas Morning News. Some students hijacked the school loudspeaker and sang a song from Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer, but with new prom-tastic lyrics. Their dates said yes. The school said "You're suspended."

Fear not, gentle readers, the consequences suffered by the hopeful singers didn't deter future promposers. In fact, being suspended for a particularly creative and over-the-top promposal makes the whole thing that much more exciting.

Public displays of affection — painting a billboard, dressing up like a gorilla, riding a horse into school — became de rigeur. And as teens embraced social media ("Embraced social media?" Is that an understatement or what?), promposals were suddenly everywhere. Besides, hopefully, getting your date to say "Yes," your success could be measured by Facebook likes and shares, and YouTube views. 

Here's a quick list of some popular promposals:

1. Filling someone's locker with flowers
2. Decorating cupcakes with "Will you go to prom with me?"
3. Cover (and I mean COVER) her/his car with post-it notes
4. Deliver a pizza with a "cheesy" message
5. Hang a banner across a highway overpass
5. Send your message via puppy or kitten
6. Spell out the question on his/her front lawn with silly string
7. Paint it on the side of a cow (not for urban schools)
8. Hijack a movie marquee
9. Buy a charm bracelet with the letters P-R-O-M and ?
10. Make a music video

So ... how did my daughter's date ask her to prom? I'll tell you. You see, I'm not just her mother, I'm an accomplice. My daughter's date and their mutual bestie texted me several times. They needed to know when she would be at the stable where she keeps her horse, so they could go there and surreptitiously plant le promposal. Between schedules shifting (hers, theirs, mine), it was about two weeks before the actual event went down.

My daughter arrived at the stable for her riding lesson and was suprised to see her friends there. She was even more surprised when they insisted that she introduce them to the resident goat. "LuLu" was wearing a special cape (brilliantly made out of an old tee shirt, with the collar intact but only one wide rectangle below). It read:

Will you goat to prom with me?

Of course, her answer was "Yes." 

He had her at "goat."

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my book  Lovin' the Alien at  

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