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    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Prom Proposals

    I often find myself rolling my eyes at the gay liberationist-types who say queers are just too cool for marriage and prom and all that icky hetero stuff, but please, oh please, let's never have queers doing this crap:

    Pity the boys in today's celebrity-driven, over-the-top entertainment culture, where asking a girl to the prom has turned into performance art.

    Prom proposals, as these humbling exercises are now called, have been more elaborate than ever this spring, according to Promspot.com's associate editor, Kate Wood. Promspot solicited examples this year and received hundreds of responses from teenagers all over the country, "even North Dakota," says Wood. "This is not just an East Coast/West Coast thing."

    Clearly, though, it is a big thing. A chat with her girlfriends, a phone call or a quick conversation by the lockers between classes won't do anymore. That's so 2005. In 2006, the request has to be painted on a giant sign parked in front of her house or accompanied by 50 red candles, hundreds of Hershey Kisses and an original poem. Why? For the same reason guys go to prom: because girls want it that way.

    Vicco, 18, a videographer for Annandale High School's A-Blast online newspaper, figured he didn't stand a chance with 18-year-old Wahl, a photographer, unless he did something really unusual. He comes from Indonesia and is a former ESL student. She's a Virginian, captain of the school swim team and plays varsity lacrosse. As he put it, "We didn't grow up in the same neighborhoods." As her friends told him, "It will be hard to get her to say yes."

    He made his proposal last month at a national conference of student journalists.

    How could she refuse?

    "Yes," she said that night. And then louder, "Yes!"

    "The whole ballroom started cheering," Vicco recalls. "There were lots of cellphone cameras flashing from people we didn't even know."


    The writer of this article says the phenomenon is "so 2006" or something like that, but kids were doing this kind of garbage when I was in high school. I remember well various hijinks. In one case, a guy rented scuba gear, so that when his potential date, who was on the swim team, dove down at practice, she would see him down there with a laminated sign and some other stuff, saying "Will you go to Prom with me?" Girls would come home to find their rooms literally covered with rose petals. I can't even tell you how many people were asked via some dessert topping. Someone I know got a mixtape, with intermittent pleas from her would-be-Prom-date interrupting the flow of the mix. It was all quite sick. And I thought so at the time. I was much blunter back then, so when girls would flit up to me to regale me with the *romantic* tale of how dunce-Mike or stooge-Jeff asked them ... to the prom, I would return their breathless enthusiasm with, "Didn't it make you embarassed for him?" Funny how the very same women who were super-excited that their boyfriends asked them to Prom via frosting complain ten years later about how the men in their lives don't know how to communicate. Well, I think they might have gotten the wrong message from the baked-goods-are-better-than-language lesson.

    God help the hetero middle-class.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

    Well, it's probably because these kids are 16. That age brings out the worst in people.

    As for me, a girl asked me to the prom. The first and only time I was ever asked by a girl to go anywhere. Of course, that was 35 years ago. If she hadn't aked me I wouldn't have gone.

    It isn't a straight-only thing though. Every year there is a special prom near my house for all the gay kids who feel uncomfortable going to their high school proms.

    And yes, this year some of the gay kids did exactly the same things as in the story, which goes to show puppy love isn't all that different if you're gay or straight I guess.

    Interesting piece. That's why I keep coming by.

    12:13 AM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Thanks Poobah. I had no idea the queers were also up to no good - we need to watch these young'uns carefully.

    I love that a girl asked you to your prom back in the day. A formative experience no doubt. :)

    Now, I may criticize, but let me be honest: my version of love when I was 16 may not have been of the sort featured here, but it certainly wasn't a healthy, mature version either. It was as cringe-worthy as anything these folks did, just in a different "I'm so rock and roll sophisticated" way.

    Of course, as you know, I didn't go to my prom, so I can nitpick those who did for the rest of my life while they tell me how I missed an important rite of passage.

    9:11 AM  

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