Dear Gwen & Cleo,
Prom is just around the corner, and I don’t think anyone is going to ask me. I have a couple of guys that I could go with platonically, but I think they’d rather go with someone else. Besides, I don’t want there to be pressure to be “more than friends” after the dance. I would rather be asked than ask someone. What should I do?
Let’s get one thing straight: it is perfectly fine to go alone to prom; you will have just as much fun going with your friends, I promise! Don’t be worried about what the pictures will look like; no one will care! If you don’t let it bother you, then it won’t bother anyone else. But if it is really important for you to have a date, you should also know that it is 500-percent OK for a girl to ask a guy. Society expects that the guy plan out a creative “promposal,” but they would be happy to hand that job over to someone else. Prom is an exuberant amount of unnecessary pressure on everyone–don’t let it stress you out! As for the after-party, you are in complete control of what you do. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable doing. Let yourself have fun and just be in the moment. Whether you end up having a date or not, prom is about celebrating with your class before everyone graduates. Just have fun and be safe!
I, too, hope for things to work out perfectly with absolutely no personal effort; alas, I still do not have a million dollars, and Harvard hasn’t responded to my application that I sent them in the form of 42 emails, saying, “Please.” Sometimes you have to work to get what you want. If you want to go with someone who you are not friends with, while also having no romantic expectations, I strongly advise you to pay a homeless person to ask you to prom. Trust me, your friends will be SO jealous when 39-year-old Jeffrey rides his shopping cart drunk through the school screaming nonsense at you; prom invitations should only be accepted if they are spontaneous, random, and completely impossible to understand. If you are crazy and are for some reason opposed to this, just ask someone yourself. Waiting around to be asked by someone who doesn’t exist is not fruitful or realistic. This is the biggest decision you will ever have to make, so make it well.