The Problem With Promposals

By Lainie Pennington, Copy Editor

You’re an average teenage student, most likely in your junior or senior year of high school. You’re sitting in your eight period math class, daydreaming about prom—which is just around the corner—instead of focusing on your calculus problem. Just then, the loud roar of an engine comes from outside. Rose petals begin raining from the sky. You and your classmates crowd to the windows and see what’s causing the commotion.

Outside, your crush is wearing a tuxedo and shy smile on their face. In their hands is a sign with only an arrow painted in glitter, pointing towards the sky. You look up and see a single word scrawled in smoke from the jet you heard earlier, asking, “Prom?”

If you have an Instagram, you may have noticed an increasing number of “promposals” littering your feed. Usually done in a style similar to marriage proposals, this elaborate way of asking someone to prom usually involves some sort of clever sign, maybe even flowers or gifts. While promposals may look good on the internet, they’re unnecessary, expensive, and can put people in uncomfortable situations.

The pressure to do a promposal puts the potential asker in a difficult situation. If you want to make a sign asking the pivotal question, you would need to buy a poster, markers, glitter, or any other kind of decoration, which can stack up a sizable bill. Then there is the cost of flowers, chocolates, or maybe something even grander (did you see the video of the guy who rode up on horseback?). A bouquet of flowers is expensive! For teens trying to save for college or who simply want to spend their money elsewhere, this can be a problem.

Then comes the ordeal of actually asking your chosen prom date. Let’s say the person from our little story earlier isn’t your crush. This poor lovesick teen has just blown his savings in skywriting, flower petals, and a rental tuxedo to ask you to prom. The whole school is watching what will happen next. You could reject them or end up going to prom with them when you were really building up the courage to ask another person. While maybe the average promposal doesn’t involve jets, there is still a lot of anxiety and pressure involved in the transaction. Asking someone out is hard enough, then add the very public manner of promposals? Not to mention that the crowds, expense, and effort put in by the asker might put the person being asked in an awkward situation. What if they feel obligated to go with someone they don’t want to just because they did an expensive, elaborate, and public promposal?

There’s nothing lame about simply using your words to ask someone to prom. People have been doing that for decades with great success. Find a quiet place, ask the question, and enjoy some genuine human connection. If they say no, only you have to know. That being said, if you know that a promposal is what will make your date feel special, then go for it and Instagram that adorable picture of your glittery sign proudly. Just make sure that the actual prom night is just as spectacular.