Sequined gowns, sharp tuxedos, colorful corsages, sleek limos, the hope for a special slow dance. Prom season is here, and the high school juniors and seniors across the country are preparing for the quintessential teenage evening by making a crucial choice, not who to bring as a date, but how to ask.
Men spend weeks preparing to pop the question and propose marriage, but a new wave of proposals, “prom-posals,” are making their way across high schools, and they’re just as elaborate, if not more extravagant.
At one Tennessee high school, a hopeful 18-year-old came out on stage after a high school musical performance to get down on one knee with a ring and pop “the prom question” to his girlfriend, who worked with him on the show.
“She got all teary and said yes,” the high school student said in an Associated Press article. “It made my day just knowing I did something memorable and she really enjoyed it.”
Other students use fortune cookies, scavenger hunts, flash mobs and planes with banners flying behind them to ask their desired peer to prom.
At one Canadian high school, the student council gave away half-price prom tickets for the best prom-posal.
“In a sense, they’re like training wheels for the marriage proposal,” one 17-year-old said. “It’s good practice for the boys.”
It’s this idea of “practice” that makes me raise an eyebrow. Apparently the bar has been raised since my high school years when you were overjoyed merely to be asked to prom and not critical of the way he asked. How much higher can the bar be raised until a high school ritual begins to mirror a defining, holy moment when a couple becomes man and wife?
Prom has already become an over-the-top show for many high school students with parents dishing out the dough to pay for elaborate dresses and dinners. The term “prom-posal” shows that the lines between prom and a wedding are becoming blurred.
There’s a difference between prom dances and wedding dances, just as there’s a difference between wedding planning and marriage planning, and it’s up to us to teach that to the younger generations. Prom is a ritual. Marriage is a covenant.
CatholicMatchers, if you’re a single mom or dad, have you had to curb your high schooler’s prom expectations? And for all members, how do you feel about the new wave of prom-posals?