Local students take prom to the next level with "promposals"

Update: The name of the female basketball player mentioned in the first graph was corrected.

BENNINGTON — Just as the buzzer echoed throughout the Mount Anthony Union High School (MAUHS) gymnasium, senior Dylan Blowers walked onto the basketball court with flowers and a poster as the student section cheered, "Brenna! Brenna!"

Blowers asked Jessica to prom after her home playoff game in February in front of everyone – a trend high school students are latching onto across the country.

"One night I was thinking about it and I decided that I was going to ask her to my senior prom this year," Blowers said. "I Facebook messaged her and asked her if she would go again ... and she said that she would."

The students attended prom before, but Blowers wanted to make the request official, something another student did just recently.

Inviting someone to prom in an elaborate fashion – typically involving props such as a police officer, a celebrity, poster or flash mob – is known as a promposal. In a CNN article by Emanuella Grinberg, promposals seem to be too intense for some teens because in the moment the answer is yes, but after processing the act, feelings sometimes change.

The first reported story on promposals, that the Washington Post dates, happened in 2001 when a student recited Adam Sandler's song in "The Wedding Singer" over the loudspeaker. A student representative told the Dallas Morning News that millennials wished to do things "bigger and better" and that prom is a time "where you can get to really show off – your date, your clothes."

The rise of social media in 2006 and 2007 is how the trend became mainstream. Teenagers were then able to view other promposals and expand off those ideas. Other displays include billboards, yards filled with balloons and announcements on planes.

MAUHS senior Tyler Walsh researched popular ways to ask a girl to prom by using Pinterest, a social network that allows users to pin, share and discover interests on virtual bulletin boards.

"It was pretty creative," Walsh said. "Last year, my junior year, I didn't buy into the whole proposal gig, and just straight up asked a girl, and people thought I was crazy. The whole idea has become a standard for teenagers today, with an origin that I think no one knows of."

On April 25 Walsh showed up to his desired date's house with a poster that had eight different types of candy on it. The poster read, "Hey Sugar Babies. Please take a Fast Break to read this. I'd give up a 100 Grand & search the Milky Way for you. I adore you to Reese's Pieces. Please be my Lifesaver because I need a Sweet Tart for prom. If you say yes it would make my prom Extra special." Next to the last line there are two boxes with "yes" or "yes" to be checked.

"Personally I think it is a bit much, but since this is my last prom," he said, "I figured I would follow the trend. I fully anticipate for everything to follow through as planned."

A senior in Arizona asked his longtime girlfriend to prom by including a trip to Hawaii in the offer. A girl in California asked her boyfriend by getting a police officer to arrest him while the girlfriend waited outside with a sign that read "Davyeon, can I cuff you at prom?"

From Hoosick Falls High School in New York, junior Michael Haynes went the personal route and surprised his girlfriend with a sign, rose and Michael Kors necklace.

"She was extremely happy with the way I asked. She didn't only like the gifts, but she loved that I went out of my way to make her feel special," he said. "I believe promposals are a very kind gesture and should continue to be done, but only to the extent of how important the individual means to you."

Haynes and his girlfriend have dated for two years. He enjoys the idea of a promposal, on a smaller scale, and believes it will transform into the traditional way high school students continue to ask each other.

"Not only are they an almost definite yes to prom, but I also believe that they make the person being asked feel significant knowing that there is someone that will go that extra step to make them feel that much more special instead of taking the simple route of just asking," he said.

A lot of thought, creativity and dedication goes into getting a date.

— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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