Thursday, April 24, 2014

A proposal

Every day when I drive to work I pass another high school: Principia. Lots of cars turn in and pull out, and I watch their maintenance guys resurface the football field and I see their students running cross country and I wonder what kind of a school appears to have stables (with actual, live horses) right there on the campus. Today as I drove by, I saw a boy standing about 50 feet from the entrance to Principia. He was holding a large piece of posterboard that had, "Hi LAUREN" written in magic marker. I figured there must be something going on so I slowed a bit and began looking for the next sign. Right inside the entrance stood another boy with another posterboard that read, "PROM?" He was also clutching a bouquet of flowers.

I thought that was very sweet, and I remembered some girl asking a Priory boy to prom last year by creating an old Western style "WANTED" flyer with his face, and then sticking one on every car in the parking lot. She had also arranged to have his friends plaster them around the inside of the school. I'm not sure if he was mortified or if he thought he was a stud for getting that kind of attention from a girl. Probably the latter.

The thing is, I don't remember this whole big deal about "promposals" when I was in high school. And I should remember something; I went to three proms my senior year, for Pete's sake. I think my promposals were something along the lines of a phone call that included, "Hey. Wanna go to my prom?" Romantic, no, but it did the trick.

I wonder if things aren't getting too crazy with all this stuff. The boys I saw this morning played it pretty simple - they were cute and adorable without going over the top - but I've heard stories and read articles about kids going to extravagant lengths just to ask someone to go to prom. And it's not like it's typically an unexpected request. These are girlfriends asking boyfriends and vice versa. When you're already dating someone it's pretty much a given that you're taking that person to prom, right? So what's with all the hoopla? And does that put undue pressure on the kids who a.) aren't all that creative when it comes to asking someone and b.) don't have the money to go all out by making 5,000 copies at Kinko's. What about the one girl who gets the "Hey. Wanna go to my prom?" phone call while all her friends receive elaborate proposals.

These are kids, after all. Teenagers. I saw one boy in the dining hall today who carefully fixed his lunch, which consisted of one large plate with a dozen hash brown patties stacked on it. Nothing else. These are boys who think it's fun to have contests about who can stretch a mozzarella cheese stick the furthest before it snaps. It's not like we're talking about an abundance of sophistication and class here.

Also, news flash to the teenagers: most of you will end up hating your prom date usually within the first year of college. I know this from experience. Not to be a downer, but let's be pragmatic. Save the proposal antics for the one that really counts: the marriage proposal. That's the only one you'll remember anyway.


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