Apparently the promposal is the contemporary ritual required of a young man who wishes to invite a young lady to his prom.
A promposal is generally a well-planned public event, though it can take the form of anything as simple as a cleverly worded and artfully presented note passed from inviter to invitee to an elaborate work of street performance complete with props and involving considerable expense as well as a cast and crew of dozens of friends and/or family members of the young man doing the inviting.
But whether spectacular or small-budget, a promposal has become de riguer, and the trend is that the bigger the production the better.
It's like a marriage proposal not only in the infinite and inventive variety of forms it can take, but in that it's the male who is supposed to do the promposing to the female, whose prerogative it is to then accept or reject the promposal.
From what I understand, for a girl to prompose to a boy would be as untoward as a woman getting down on one knee before her man, offering him a ring and asking him to be her groom.
Here are some examples of local promposals I've learned of since I started asking around:
- One night a boy lit a ring of candles in the Rocky Fork Kroger's parking lot as a setting for his promposal. Someone saw the fire and called the police, but the girl said yes.
- A boy painted his bare chest blue with a white question mark and promposed to his intended during class with the collusion of the whole class and the teacher. The girl said yes.
- One boy offered his intended a shell painted with the question, "Shell we go to prom together?". The girl's answer was not known, but this promposal was considered by the person who told me about it to be of such poor quality that no self-respecting girl would accept.
- One boy's promposal involved a flash mob in his intended's honor, complete with the standard videographer - promposals are as a rule are videoed , potentially to be put on YouTube. The girl whispered "no" in the boy's ear then ran off in tears with her friends. The boy was devastated, sobbing with his head buried in another guy's shoulder while the rest of his cast and crew huddled around him in sorrowful consolation. This part of the failed promposal was also videoed.
- One boy was so stressed out and daunted by the thought of having to come up with a promposal that he decided to forego the prom altogether. I can see that becoming a trend.
I'm sure there are enough recipes for promposal disaster to fill a cookbook.
But to me the irony is this:
Promposaling is something the boy is supposed to do, but in reality that sort of activity is a girl thing, right? I mean, girls are the ones who love planning imaginative little surprises for each other; look how they love to pass each other notes, decorate each other's lockers, make each other cup cakes, make each other posters, bring each other stuffed animals, do these things on birthdays, game days, recovery-from-break-ups-with-boyfriend days, any old occasion will do for girls to whip up a sweet little event. For most boys this whole event planning thing is alien territory. Which is why, as I've been given to understand, there's often a mother, sister, or female friend involved in planning a boy's promposal for him.
You ask me, I'd be willing to bet that the idea of the promposal was conceived by the girls then hoisted upon the boys, who've subsequently raised it , with the girls' approval, to the level of a high-stress, high-stakes competitive sport.
Thus I believe that if the madness is ever going to end it will be upon the girls to band together and say to the boys, "no more promposals, guys, just ask us".
Anyway, all I can say is that I'm thankful that my children came of prom age in a simpler time.
I know we did have a photo taken at the prom, but I think I must have tossed it, probably because my prom night turned out to be the worst night of my life. Or so I thought at the time.
Tune in tomorrow for the devastating details. :)