First stop: French class. Second stop: your best friend’s locker. Third stop: cafeteria. It’s your typical teen’s schedule, except when it’s really a scavenger hunt, and the finish line is being asked to prom.
As the “last hoorah” for high schoolers, prom is an obsession-inducing occasion, especially the “ask.”
Once upon a time, asking a date to prom was trouble-free.
“Hey! Want to go to prom?”
But now the pressure is on to make the “ask” as extravagant and creative as possible. Whether it’s mapping a scavenger hunt down to last few seconds, clearing an entire beachfront in order to engrave “PROM” in the sand, or breaking and entering a locker to leave clues— the more ploys and tactics used the better.
The proposal phenomenon grew from the dream of being swept off of one’s feet to a Cinderella-like ball. And it all starts with an over-the-top proposal to catch the eye of a desired date. Some favorites:
- Using pepperoni to spell “PROM” on a pizza
- Channeling your inner “Lloyd Dobler,” and blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” on a date’s front lawn
- Organizing a scavenger hunt that involves composing an original love poem in French, hiding a bouquet of red roses in her best friend’s locker and then mastering the butterflies that have turned into elephants in your stomach and popping the big question in front of everyone in the cafeteria, “Will you go to prom with me?”
- Sneaking a “PROM” announcement into the school morning report.
- Spelling out “PROM” in candles on your date’s front lawn.
- Covering your date’s car with Post-it notes that have “PROM” written on every one.
- Sending your date flowers that coincide with the letters in the word “PROM” (Peonies for “P,” Roses for “R,” Orchids, “O,” and Mums, “M”).
- During the 7th inning stretch at a baseball game, at the end of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” have the announcer ask if your date will attend the prom with you.
Kate is a freshman at University of Wisconsin in Madison. She attended Lake Forest High School. She is currently taking classes in the communications program and plans on applying to the Journalism School next winter. She is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. To balance life as a college student, Kate loves to run around beautiful Madison.