Warning: Potential Grumpy Old Man Rant
So a couple of weeks ago some teenage guy posted a question on the dating advice forum on Reddit. Honestly, I usually just avoid even answering questions from teenagers, sometimes it’s hard for me not to sound like a condescending adult (which I am), because they’ll act like everything in their life is SO SERIOUS, y’know? When they talk about being in “love”, it’s hard not to smirk. A boy will talk about getting rejected by a girl who just sees him as a friend, and say things like “I’m trying to get over her, but I’ve just never connected with any other girl the way I’ve connected with her”, and I’m just like, you’re 17 years old! Or the ones who act like they have so much experience. “I’ve had a 3 year relationship before, so I know what it’s like.” Yeah, don’t expect me to be all impressed that you “dated” someone from the time you were 13 until you were 16, that hardly makes you a relationship expert. But sometimes I do try to help.
So this kid posted a question (which has since been deleted, so I can’t quote it exactly), which is that he has long been interested in some girl at his school. They know each other and talk sometimes, but they’re not close friends or anything. But now with Prom coming up, he wanted to ask her. He had made big sign, and he was planning to buy some flowers, and then ask her. But he was too shy to do it at school in front of everyone, but wasn’t sure what other options he had of when to do it. So I just said, forget the sign and the flowers. Don’t try to make a big spectacle about this. From my understanding with these “promposals” they’re generally done with established couples. Kids who have already been dating, and are likely to go to the Prom together, so the actual asking is just a formality (just like most wedding proposals). I said since you don’t really know this girl all that well, and therefor don’t know if she will want to go with you, don’t put her or yourself on the spot with some fancy sign and flowers. And then you will be embarassed if she says no, and everyone sees you standing there with your sign and flowers. Just ask her like a regular person, and then it won’t matter where you do it. You can ask her in school, no one else has to even know what you’re talking about. If she says yes, great, you got a date. If she say no, you shrug and move on. So here’s about how the rest of this discussion went:
KID: So I just walk up to her in school and say “want to go to prom with me?” That’s it?
KID: I appreciate the advice and it is helpful but I really want to make it special
ME: It’s the experience of going to the prom itself that is supposed to be special. Focus on that.
KID: I just don’t think asking her like I’m ordering food at McDonald’s will be very memorable.
ME: Jesus. Look, you’re the one here asking what to do because you’re too “shy” to do it in front of anyone. So you either get over it and go ahead and bring your big sign and flowers to school tomorrow to ask her, or you forget the theatrics and just ask her like a normal person. The choice is yours. But either way you’d better do it soon, because the longer you wait the bigger the odds that someone else will ask her first and then you’ll have missed your chance. So just do it.
Yeah, my frustration came out.
Two other people joined into the thread to agree with me, telling him to forget the sign and flowers and just ask her. And that’s when the kid deleted his submission and comments (real mature, right?). But, in all seriousness, this whole “Promposal” that has popped up in recent years is not such a good thing in my opinion.
Yeah, yeah, I get that it’s all supposed to be in good fun, and romantic, blah blah blah. But I do feel it puts unnecessary pressure on teenagers. Like in the Reddit example, this kid was acting like I was nuts for suggesting he just ask a girl. Like I said, the Prom itself was supposed to be the special night, the memorable event in your life. Now that’s not good enough? You also have to make a big deal about how you ask or are asked by someone? As if there wasn’t enough pressure just to get a date. Now here’s one more thing for kids to compare themselves to other kids on, to judge over who had the best Promposal in their class. They have to dry to out-do each other in this way?
I just think it’s too much.
And not every kid thinks these things through intelligently.
That’s right. White boy uses a watermelon, a box of fried chicken, and a sign made out of packs of kool-aid (calling her a “chick”) to ask Black girl to Prom. She said yes.
If that’s a little too subtle for you, and you don’t see what the problem with that is, then how about the non-Black boy who asked a Black girl to prom, with a sign that said I Prefer Dark Meat and a “crown” from Kentucky Fried Chicken.
And do I even need to say what’s wrong with this one?
Or, my personal favorite, the White girl who had a police officer come in to school and arrest her Black boyfriend, including putting him in handcuffs and taking him outside, and then reveal that it was all just part of her Promposal to him:
Yeah, that happened.
I know those are bad examples but, overall, I still think this is one new “tradition” that kids would be better off without.