The Homecoming “Ask”

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There’s a social scourge plaguing high schools that calls for immediate eradication. I’m talking about the new(ish) ritual of asking a girl to homecoming. No longer can a boy walk up to a girl at lunch or after class and casually go, “Hey, do have a date for homecoming?”

No longer can the girl respond with a nonchalant, “No, not yet.”

No longer can the boy volley back, “So, like, maybe do you want to go together?”

(Excuse me while I get a bit misty eyed because this almost sounds like my husband’s marriage proposal.)

The simple, low-key, “Do you want to go to homecoming?” is no longer acceptable. A production has to made out of the “ask” and the more elaborate the better.

A guy can go lower tier and do a sign on a piece of poster board that has a cute saying, usually related to food, as in – “I do nut know what I’ll do if you don’t go to homecoming with me.” This sign, of course, must be accompanied by a dozen Krispy Kremes. (Don’t make the rookie mistake of getting grocery store doughnuts.)

The more impressive “ask” involves some sort of public male groveling. Like the sophomore who staked out the front of the school in police tape, did a chalk outline of his body, with a sign that read, “I can’t live without you for my homecoming date.”

Now, I know these two examples are just darling, right? And provided the girl with an Instagram opportunity where she can show off how she was asked to homecoming. But, I as a mother to both a teenage girl and boy, I’m here to tell you this is all wrong.

In fact, I was so curious about how asking a girl out became an event so photo-op worthy that you could make a coffee table book out of all the pictures, that I did some research. It appears, all of this started about 10 years with the “Promposal” and of course, in a surprise to no one, was fueled by the Internet. The better the promposal the more of a chance it might go viral.

And, I’m going to have point a finger at all the moms out there. This Broadway-esque production of asking a girl out would have not taken off without the help of mothers.

No boy would ever be able to pull any of this off, let alone think of an idea, without his mom doing all the heavy lifting. Because is there any life form lazier and more clueless about the world-at-large than a 14-year-old male? Seriously, they’re still formulating fart jokes. To expect a freshman boy to come up with a cutesy, lovey-dovey homecoming date “ask” falls under the category of never going to happen. In fact, most of the “signs” I see on Instagram are, without a doubt, written by women that were drilled in the ways of cursive handwriting back in the 1970’s.

The reasons I think this jacked up way of asking a girl out is fraught with peril is multi leveled. Primarily, it means fewer girls will get asked to homecoming or prom because most guys when it comes to dating are a combination of slackers and scaredy cats. What man, never mind teenaged boy, wants to risk doing a big la-di-da production and then get shot down. I mean, hello, that’s going to hurt. Who can blame them for staying home, eating Cheetos and playing Halo 3?

The long-term implication is that, I believe, it impedes the teaching of a life lesson all girls should master sooner than later – men, as a general rule, are not gifted romantics. Learn it and move on. Don’t be standing around waiting for Lance Romance to show up because you know what happens when you do that? Mr. Right just walks on by and you don’t even notice. Then you end up on the Bachelor looking for love and embarrassing your family by being topless in a hot tub, one millimeter away from full nipple exposure, making out with some sleazy dude on national television.

I have been married for multiple decades and I can honestly say my husband, the best of men, has only done something romantic maybe three times. And each time it scared me. I thought he was being all smoochy sweet because he had a head injury and was suffering massive brain trauma.

Now, to really take a walk on the unpopular side I will propose to you that the more romantic the man the less you should trust him. Because you know who was described as being a killer romantic? Ted Bundy. (And please, I beg of you, no emails telling me how romantic your husband, a non serial killer, is. I’m talking in general terms here. I know romance is out there, just not at my house.)

So let’s join together parents and urge our teenagers to kick it old school. Boys just ask a girl out and for you girls out there isn’t it more important to just to go to the game and dance than wait it out for an “Instagram worthy” ask?

Let me answer that for you. It’s yes.

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14 thoughts on “The Homecoming “Ask”

  1. H.S. Teacher says:

    Amen, amen, amen! The real problem here are the mothers. They get way to involved in all aspects of their children’s lives including dating. The high school I teach at had to ban asking a girl to homecoming on school grounds due to the over the top “asks.” Which, by the way, were all orchestrated by mothers. Ridiculous and sad.

  2. Mindy says:

    You are right on. My son is now graduated from high school but he and his friends would never ask a girl out for homecoming or prom due to the production of getting a date. They all thought is was “stupid” but I’m sure they secretly lived in fear of getting shot down after creating, what pretty much amounts to, a scene to get a date.

  3. mommy of 3 girls says:

    And then there are the mums (if you’re a Texas girl). I would rather not have to buy my daughter a back brace after she trys to haul one of those things around. When did these over-glorified corsages grow to a point that they need neck straps? Those monstrosities look like repurposed float decorations.

  4. Peyton Price says:

    Convo at my house:
    Son, are you going to homecoming?
    I don’t know what everybody’s doing yet.
    You know you can ask a girl. Just one. It’s called a date.
    I said I DON’T KNOW!
    OK then.

  5. JodiA. says:

    Amen!! I have four boys and one girl. It is true that fewer girls get asked because of this insanity. My sons have said that the whole thing is too stressful and expensive for a “lame dance” and since their friends seem to be also hanging out on the night in question, I have to assume that they feel the same way. Poor daughter wants to go, buy knows, that unless she is steady dating a guy, she won’t get asked.

  6. Donna says:

    Reading this, “Because is there any life form lazier and more clueless about the world-at-large than a 14-year-old male?”, while looking at my 14 year old son who just walked in the house, grunted at me, plopped down on the couch (can’t they just sit?), and started playing video games on his laptop…Which is just what he will be doing on Homecoming night as well I’m sure.

    Perfect timing. 🙂

  7. Kathy says:

    Love all the comments and so true! I am an older parent with a pre-high school son. I can only imagine his response to the question “So, are you going to the homecoming dance and with whom?”

  8. Lorie says:

    As a mother of three teens….Amen, Amen. I will argue about Mom’s evolvement though. In my experience, it’s other high school girls who help plan and execute these things. My son had an epic homecoming ask that was 1/2 page yearbook worthy in 2013. It involved a 30 foot sign, a bunch of friends, and half time at the first football game. How did this mom find out about it? Instagram :-/

  9. Cindy says:

    Personally, I think the entire Homecoming thing is ridiculous….from the king and queen of popularity, to the mums (there is a picture of a girl,in Southlake, Texas with a mum as wide as 2 people!) and now the “ask.” When I was a kid our mum was just that, a mum with a ribbon. We had no king and queen and the dance was low, low key and I loved high school.

  10. Erin says:

    When I was in high school (mid 90’s, also in Johnson County!) my HS actually had contests for the “most creative” way to ask your date to the dance – I remember them doing it twice. But nothing as elaborate as what kids are doing now….

  11. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the heads up. My Grand daughter is going to the Home Coming dance tomorrow night solo. She said lots of girls are buying their own tickets. She’s a Freshman and she’s so naïve. I love her for that quality and I hope the dance is fun for her and the others. I have seen those over the top date requests and it sure does put the boys in a spot. I wish the Internet didn’t play such a big part of it but it’s all about your moment of fame to the younger folks. Dig me … look at me, I am someone. I don’t get it… Learning to be social with other people face to face is an important skill, social media is not helping anyone truly connect in meaningful ways. As for the ‘Cruise Director moms’ they need to chill out, they had their chances long ago.

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