Your Lawfully Wedded Prom Date


This time of year often warrants frantic texts between friends and trips to craft stores to ask that special someone to be your prom date. Whether small or grandiose, these gestures are known as “promposals.” The word promposal was coined by Canadian reporter Zosia Bielski in an article she wrote for Globe and Mail in 2011. “Texting it doesn’t wash any more, boys,” she writes in the first line before describing the longstanding tradition in high schools. Inspired by the growing trend of splashy marriage proposals, promposals make finding a date a public affair that can either be fun, stressful, or perhaps a bit of both. 

This year, most Morris Hills students opted to visit their partners at home for a promposal away from the watchful eyes of their peers. Arush Jain and Eric Schmidt shared that they both went to their girlfriends’ houses with cute posters and presents. As one would expect, they said yes. Over at Knolls, students also hopped on this trend. My friend Umika Singh, a senior at Knolls, promposed to her best friend Amanda, even texting Amanda’s friends to come from Newark for the perfect surprise. “I feel like school dances are so much better with friends. Seeing her surprise after putting lots of effort into planning was so worth it,” said Umika.

From scavenger hunts to showing up at someone’s door with a sign, high schoolers get creative. “Some are cute, some are cringe,” shared Senior Melinda Turner bluntly. So, what separates the adorable from the deplorable? For Assistant Editor and my personal gossip buddy Ayah Khamis, proposals should be intimate and simple. “I think it’s embarrassing to stand there like it’s an 80’s movie with music and cars,” said Ayah. “Just be sweet and think about what that person likes.” I asked her what she thought about the classic poster, to which she responded, laughing, “Don’t come to my house holding a sign.”

For fun, I asked my AI bot on Snapchat to give its advice. It replied, “You could spell out ‘Prom?’ with candles, decorate their locker, or even make a scavenger hunt.” I had hoped for more out-of-the-box ideas, but that’s what you get when you ask a tool that learns from humans. 

As I prodded my AI for more ideas, I realized that I love a promposal as much as the next person (and discovered that balloon bouquets are apparently a thing). Promposals may be gaudy, but isn’t that what prom is all about? It isn’t convenient to spend money on newly lacquered nails or a bedazzled suit, but it’s perfect for a high-spirited night of celebration. Prom is a big deal, so it makes sense why students may want to invite a date in the most showy way. 

While some may argue that it’s a bit much for a teenager to have a flash mob or write their date’s name on the beach, a promposal doesn’t have to go to the extreme. They are a way to show your date that you care about them, even if you aren’t hyped to slow dance to yet another Ed Sheeran song at the end of the night.