Promposing with a cappella choirs and flash mobs: What the kids are doing today

I was fortunate enough to go to high school in the late ’90s– a glorious time period where everyone thought that enthusiasm and appearing to put effort into things was for squares. We were jaded, we were angsty, we were full of apathy, and WE LIKED IT THAT WAY.

Promposing with a cappella choirs and flash mobs: What the kids are doing today

I’m racking my brain, and I cannot remember one person having a “Super Sweet 16″ party or getting all Patty Simcock/Quinn Morgendorfer “OMG! Prom will be the greatest night of our LIVES” about things. That was something people on TV shows did. TV shows that we all thought we were too mature or counter-culturey to watch by then.

We had more important things to care about. Like Freeing Tibet and also Mumia, trying to be bisexual for political/Ani DiFranco-related reasons, and writing sad poems or practicing “Spin the Bottle” on the acoustic guitar for the coffee shop open mic night. Not to mention all the weeding out of “poseurs.”

Things are different now, obviously. I mean, Public Enemy is performing in giant Dorito vending machines, pretty much all of the Ramones are dead and there are just Kardashians everywhere. It is a brave new world, for sure.

As an old person and curmudgeon, I am totally weirded out by the promposal thing. If for some reason you have been avoiding even knowing what one is, here is an example:

I wonder if Guy Debord ever imagined this would be the natural evolution of Situationist pranks. Anyway…


But seriously. The thing that bothers me about this whole thing, more than anything, is that it makes it basically impossible for the girl (or guy) to say no without looking like a total jerkoff. I mean, sure, if the person is your significant other and obviously you were going to prom together, that’s one thing. But half of these things are directed at people the promposer barely knows—like this kid who apparently only met this chick once when she served him french fries:

Of course, it also happens to celebrities like Kate Upton. Who are then expected to acknowledge said promposer and act all flattered.

I feel like it’s really bad manners. It’s purposely putting someone in a really uncomfortable situation. Like, either they have to spend a “magical evening” with the promposer, or they have to look like a big meanie/make someone look like a fool in front of lots of people and on camera. To me, that would be horrifying. Also horrifying? This:

There are few things I would dread more in the world than being personally serenaded by an off-key men’s a cappella group in public. In fact, it’s going on the list of phobias right now.

Here is my promposal to the teens of today: go with a bunch of friends in someone’s mom’s van, stay for a half-hour, complain about how lame it is and how much everyone in your school sucks and then go to the gay bar, or to a park to smoke pot and drink Natty Ice and Boone’s Farm. LIKE NORMAL.