Promposal Culture

Jacob Kim, Staff Writer

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Ethan Arnold ’19 was not planning on doing anything big or elaborate to ask Grace Crain ’19 to prom. He figured it was just implied that they were going together because they were dating. But, after some prodding from a friend, he changed his mind and figured out how to ask her in a way that they would both enjoy. Arnold chose to take the route of a very simple promposal. He wrote the word prom on a piece of notebook paper, bought his girlfriend’s favorite deodorant and drove over to her house to give it to her.

 The term promposal is a pretty straightforward term – it is the marriage of the words prom and proposal. In essence, it is either a guy or girl doing something that can be as simple as making a poster, or as extravagant as spelling out the word prom with candles in their date’s driveway. 

The phenomenon of promposal culture began due to an internet trend, where pictures and videos of the most creative asks were featured and viewed by millions. The craze spread nationwide, and has been adopted by a majority of Johnston’s very own students. This past spring, promposals were taking place anywhere and everywhere throughout the town. Traditionally, it is the guy who asks the girl to accompany him to the big dance. However, there were a few cases here in the school where a girl asked the guy instead.

Macie Gay ’19 was one of those students who broke traditional gender roles and asker her date to prom. Gay asked her boyfriend, Vinnie Aspengren ’19, to the big dance by dressing up in an inflatable t-rex costume along with making a sign. “I didn’t think anything of it (was out of the ordinary),” Gay said. “I just thought it was funny.”

Aspengren’s initial reaction to his girlfriend’s promposal was one of confusion as he was not expecting it. “I opened up my front door and there was one of those dinosaur costumes there and I didn’t know what to think,” Aspengren said. However, looking back on it, Aspengren sees the humor in it.

Riley Sackett ’19 played the more conventional role of guy-asks-girl when asking Valley student Gabby Manna ’19 to prom. He kept it simple while including some humor in it, with a sign that said ‘Prom? yes= smile, no = do a backflip’. “I didn’t really want to do it, but someone needed me to for a school project,” Sackett said. “I figured I’d at least have fun with it.”

Promposals, despite their popularity, do not always resonate with older generations, who often times think that the whole ordeal is overdone. “If you want someone to go to prom with you, you need to do it face to face because it’s more meaningful,” business teacher Rod Wiebers said. “Nowadays, people are more elaborate with their promposals than their actual marriage proposals.”

Even though promposals have become a staple in high school culture, they are really nothing more than playful, creative ways of students asking each other to dances. “It’s just one more thing to stress about, so you might as well make something you enjoy,” Arnold said.

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