A love hate relationship with promposals

Hayley Parrish


A Taco Bell-inspired promposal through the use of careful planning and a car. Photo by Kirby Lawrence

What the heck is a promposal?
Remember the scene in the first
princess diaries movie, Lily’s broth-
er brought Mia that pizza with
M&M’s and it was really cute and
unique and set higher standards
than just standing outside a girl’s
window with a boombox play-
ing her favorite song? Well may-
be you don’t remember that but I
do. I have always wanted a pizza
that says something cute, however
I’m beginning to question what
these high standards have gone to
through the current generation
and hype around prom. Prompos-
als- cute? Stressful? What’s next?
What happened to just getting
asked to a dance? Where did these
grand gestures come from? Weren’t
those saved for like, marriage pro-
posals? Apparently not; with the
increase that girls have spent in the
last 10 years it’s no surprise that
the game has been upped for guys
as well. If prom is the night girls
get to look like princesses then it
makes sense that they would like
to be treated like queens. Flow-
ers, balloons, food, forcing your
friends to participate, planning it
out, little cute rhyming poems, get-
ting someone to record it- we want
the whole nine yards! However this
can be added stress onto an already
stressful time.
“I think [promposals] are a pretty
common expectation. I see how it
would stress some people out but I
think it is fun coming up with an
idea and the girl is pretty excited.”
Said HHS junior, Alex LePeter. A
valid point, I guess.
It isn’t enough to just be asked
to prom anymore. It about getting
asked in a cute way and being able
to post it on twitter or instagram or
put it on your snapchat story. What
if Johnny asks Stacey in a better
way that Zach asked you? Johnny and
Stacey aren’t even dating; he showed
up to her house with a choreographed
dance routine with all his lacrosse
friends and Zach just made you a dumb
rhyming poster. Now Stacey has more
likes on her picture and she gets
more peer validation. Well where
is your validation? Where is
your princess moment? Now it’s
ruined, all thanks to Stacey and Johnny.
Johnny doesn’t even go here and
now she gets to go to two proms and have even
more pictures to post on Instagram.
So what if promposals are cute and
memorable!? They’re superficial!
Forget the plot of “Pretty in Pink”,
Blane never even asked Andie. No one
would dare to just show up alone anymore.
Blane was loaded, he totally could’ve
rented a horse and been her knight in shin-
ing armor when she was fighting with
Duckie, just saying. And for-
get that handmade dress- totally
uncool. Heath Ledger in “10 Things
I Hate About You” got it right with
his musical number that included
interrupting soccer practice, the
entire marching band, and dance-
running from the police. Take notes
boys. Take detailed notes.
I mean, don’t take notes. Because
prom is superficial and promposals
are only an extension of one’s own
insecurities in needing validation to
know that they are special and need
to dedicate an entire night to being
a princess. It also perpetuates the
gender roles of guys pursuing girls
and girls waiting to be asked by
prince charming and makes it hard-
er for people to go as just friends. Or
something like that.
Okay I guess it’s a way that some-
one can make another person feel
special by planning out some kind of
gesture and giving them something
cute to show off to their friends
and family. Proposing can also take
away some stress because someone
is more likely to say yes if you make
a big scene about it instead of just
asking them or texting them. And
it can also help keep romance
alive in teenage relationships.
And I’ve seen plenty of times
where girls have promposed to
guys. Besides, Kat and Patrick in ‘10
Things I Hate About You” are a way
cuter couple than Andie and Blane
of “Pretty in Pink”. Alright prom,
you win this round. Promposals can
be cute and thoughtful. I guess.


Madeline Wheeler


The illustrious Randolph Macon Fountain plaza. Photo by http://www.trover.com

You know what prom is? A waste
of time.
You spend $50+ on admission into
a warehouse in Doswell. They do not
feed you, and they play bad music un-
til your ears bleed. You have to buy a
dress that looks the same as everyone
else’s in a different color for upwards
of $500, and you will never ever wear
it again, because it will become butt-
ugly to you in a year. Some donkey
asked you with a box of boberry bis-
cuits and you said yes because those
buttery mounds of heaven melt in the
mouth with their sweet vanilla icing.
And then you beg him to take you
home because he insisted on picking
you up in his huge new truck daddy
bought him instead of letting you
drive alone.
Would you like this to be how
your night turns out? Of course not.
Do something else with your night. Is
your brain too frazzled from AP class-
es to think of anything fun to do? Do
not fret, our resident expert on thrills
has got you covered.
Wear something amazing that
you feel confident in. Do not feel
the pressure to buy an overly adorned
dress dripping in diamonds and se-
quins. I suggest you to wear some-
thing a little nicer than normal, just so
you feel more special, as you should.
Do your hair and/or makeup a little
more special than everyday. Again,
this is still your special night, just
more intimate and personalized for
the ones that chose the path less trav-
Go to a club or small concert ven-
ue. Bands play real, live, breathing
music every night at small venues.
The loudness will not make your ears
bleed, rather, it will excite them
to the point of leading you to jump
up and down. Try out The Canal Club
1545 E Cary St, Richmond, VA 23219,
Strange Matter 929 W Grace St, Rich-
mond, VA 23220. Or if you are feeling
real adventurous, take a hike up to old
Fredericksburg. There’s also Art Mart
1405 Princess Anne St, Fredericks-
burg, VA 22401
Eat out at the restaurant of your
dreams. Read up on the best restaurants
in the city and take your date there
(this applies to guys and girls- no one
has more control over the other). Charge
up that bill with non-alcoholic
fun drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert.
Have no mercy, this is prom night.
Check out The Maple and Pine
201 W Broad St, Richmond, VA
23220, The Roosevelt 623 N 25th St,
Richmond, VA 23223 or Julep’s 420 E
Grace St, Richmond, VA 23219
Go to Randolph Macon and get
in the fountain at night. It’s beauti-
ful colors will make you happier than
any bright colored lights in the ware-
house. The college atmosphere will
be refreshing and get you excited for
what it to come. Scandalously mess-
ing yourself up in the crystal waters of
a private college fountain will make
you feel like you are in a movie.
Go to Waffle House in Ashland
after you get wet in the fountain and
order everything on the menu. Movie
scene or what?
Get on Instagram and find a prom
after party to crash when it gets late.
Silly string and boxes full of glitter
will get you far. If you are looking
for the old school vandalism vibe,
bring eggs, toilet paper and a car to
do wheelies in people’s yards. Steal
a car if you want to, but only if you
want to.
Go to a store, fancy hotel, or art
museum and fall asleep in the dress-
ing room/bathroom until morning.
You think I am joking, I am not jok-
ing. This will be the best night of
your life. Make it as such that you
attend The Jefferson Hotel 101 W
Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220 or
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 200 N
Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220.

Blasts from the past: the prom edition

Madison Lee


Marty McFly’s parents dance at their prom, which had an “Under the Sea” theme, from the 1985 film, “Back to the Future.” Photo by xfinity.com

It’s hard
to believe that the teachers that we
now regard as ancient were once our
age enjoying all the ups and downs of
high school. Prom is a memory shared by
most everyone whether they have a
wonderful prom filled with laughs
and romance or a night of disaster.
It is a night when persons from ev-
ery clique come together to hopefully
enjoy a night of friends and fun: the
populars, the jocks, the nerds, the art-
ists, the musicians, the overachiev-
ers and those innocent ones who are
simply trying to make it through. No
matter where our teachers fit in dur-
ing high school each one has a unique
prom story.
For history teacher Brian Letour-
neau, his eleventh grade prom be-
came a night to learn a valuable les-
son about the world of girls. Young
Letourneau was a devoted baseball
player honored with the privilege to
escort a senior from the soccer team
to her big night.
However, the his team’s playoffs
were scheduled the same night, caus-
ing him to miss the traditional pre-
dance photo shoot and limo ride.
While this was no big deal for Letour-
neau who would have another chance
the next year it was one of his date’s
final high school memories. He spent
the night receiving the cold shoulder
from his date the entire night.
“Even though I had missed the limo
ride and the pictures she was with her
friends she was happy there, but she
wasn’t very happy with me,” Letour-
neau reflected.
For Phillip Gross disaster struck
after prom when each of his dates de-
cided to go a different direction and
look at other options. Gross attended
three of his high school proms. While
being interviewed he struggled to re-
member if he had attended
one during freshman year with
his senior girlfriend, but finally de-
cided it all began in his sophomore
year. His at prom experiences were
nothing special complete with danc-
ing, extravagant wardrobes and pre
prom pictures. However, each year
after prom young Gross was thrown
into the depths of the friendzone by
his girlfriend at the time saying that
long distance dating from college
simply wouldn’t work. While this is
a well formulated it is still unknown
Gross’ dance movies was a factor in
his prom misfortune. Although Gross
did not have the greatest prom expe-
rience, he literally had a girl falling
for him at homecoming. During the
pre-homecoming dinner his date’s
heel became caught in the stairs and
wasn’t able to catch herself due to the
limited motion caused by her dress.
She was unscathed, but it was re-
vealed that Gross was not her prince
charming by the way he missed out
on creating a magical moment of sav-
ing the damsel in distress.
Unlike both of the boys, Amy
Birdsong was able to enjoy a night
of nerves and excitement. She was
asked by her longterm boyfriend to
which she accepted. At the time she
was an underclassman making it even
more thrilling. It was a conventional
night of traditional prom activities,
but the charm quickly wore off by
her second prom. Sometimes a once
in a lifetime experience should only
be a passing moment instead of an
annual activity. Birdsong went to
three of her high school proms with
the same guy. Even though she was
happily in a relationship, the thrill of
prom quickly subsided by the second
and third time.
Prior to her senior prom her boy-
friend took her out to a supposedly
romantic meal at the Jefferson. Un-
fortunately, after spending over $100
the couple was unsatisfied because of
the small portions. The two were so
hungry that they ended up eating a
post dinner dinner at the fine estab-
lishment of McDonalds. However,
the story had a fairytale ending when
the two young lovebirds got married
and lived happily ever after despite
the disillusion of prom.
“The first time I was very nervous
because I was going to senior prom
as a freshman and by the third and
fourth year it was really boring be-
cause my boyfriend was older than
me and didn’t know any of my friends
so I either had to babysit the boy-
friend or ditch him for my friends,”
Birdsong described.
While some are able to look back
fondly on their memories of prom
others loathe and would advise the
youth to avoid it at all costs.
“Break up before the prom and
invest the money in penny stocks,”
Jeffrey Fogg, the marketing teacher,

Do’s and don’ts for prom

Jordan Clark

When it comes to prom there are
many things one should do to get
ready. After all it is supposed to be
the best time of one’s life. Here are
ten Do’s and Don’ts on what to do for
When asking someone to prom,
having confidence in your words is
key. Do not stutter on your words.
Practice what you are going to say to
your closest friend or family member
so that you can hear what your words
will sound like out loud.
Be sure that when you pick a dress
not to spend a fortune on it. Instead
go to a place like Macy’s or Dillard’s,
where there are cheap and affordable
prom dresses. After all you’re prob-
ably only going to wear it once. With
the money you saved from shopping
affordably you can put it towards col-
When picking out shoes, go for
comfort because you know eventu-
ally that the sky high heels will hurt
your feet and you will take your shoes
off. Which will lead to you forgetting
them on the dance floor. Instead buy
small heels, flats or go for some con-
verse that you can dance the night
away in.
Get your nails done a couple days
before prom so you can beat the rush
of late prom goers, who do not know
how to plan. Never do your nails
yourself because they will chip more
easily. There is always the choice of
going with plain nails.
When doing your make up go for
the more natural tones and easy on
the bronzer. Go for the more natural
palette of makeup. Never go for the
electric palette because no matter the
color you will look like a clown. For
spray tans, go three days prior to the
event so it doesn’t get on your dress
and so that the fake tan smell will be
Gentlemen, when renting or pur-
chasing your tuxes make sure your
ties or bowties match the girl’s dress.
NEVER go for a camo tuxedo.
As you decide on a hair style do
something that you will be happy
with. Keep in mind that you have
to have your hair up in that style all
night long. If there’s one thing for
hair styles that you should never go
for, it’s a bump-it.
For pictures, go to a place that will
have a nice background, but where
you will not see other prom groups.
Perhaps a person in your group has
a nice yard or maybe a small park
would do. Do not pay for professional
photography. It’s just not worth it.
Reserve your dinner at a decent
place, such as Roma Restaurant or
Cheesecake Factory. Depending on
the place, you’ll need to call in a res-
ervation a couple weeks prior to the
date. Never go last minute to a fast
food restaurant.
Lastly, enjoy yourself at the dance
because you are only young for so
long, but do not do anything over the
line like drink and drive. Stay safe
and smart while having a fun time
with friends.

Reasons why prom is a no-go for HHS students

Sallie Sledd

Want to spend tons of money for
one night that may or may not be a good
time? Want to feel pressured to look or
act a certain way? Then go to prom.
Prom is hyped up so much that students
feel pressure for their junior and senior
prom to be “the best nights of their high
school career”. If they don’t live up to
the expectation, students feel like they
did something wrong and are let down.
There are also risks relating to post-prom
plans. Underage drinking and bad decisions
run rampant at these events. And what about
the ridiculous expenses of prom? Dresses
can cost upwards of $500 and tuxes are also costly.
Adding those expenses to the price of a limo
and/or a nice dinner equals a recipe for
Junior Addison Schmitt is not plan-
ning on going to prom for several rea-
sons. “I just find it awkward and bor-
ing,” Schmitt said, “I’m just not a fan
of dancing and dressing up.” She also
believes that there are bigger societal
issues surrounding prom.
“The stigma surrounding prom that
puts pressure on girls to find a date and
look beautiful and spend a lot of money
on the perfect dress; I just don’t agree
with it,” Schmitt said.
Junior Alan Meade agrees with
Schmitt, but for a different reason. “I
don’t like how boys are expected to ask
girls to have dates because if I wanted
to ask [Michael] Farber to prom I feel
like that should be totally accepted,”
Meade said. He also finds that prom is
overrated for the expenses it requires.
“Prom sucks because it costs a lot
of money and it’s just not cool for all
the guys to have to spend that much
money. I like to keep my money other
ways,” Meade said.

Top promposal ideas for the 2016 season

Rahul Zota


Senior Morgan Webster’s homemade promposal sign that he used to ask junior Gianna Balducci to prom. The sign references the theme of the 2016 SFX theme, Pearl Harbor. Photo by Séarlait Coffey

With prom season on the horizon,
come great promposals. Having trouble
asking that special someone? Look no
further, help has arrived.
1. The Yogurt Trap: First you find
that special someone and make sure
they like frozen yogurt. Second, you go
to their favorite froyo shop. Third, select
a cup size and write “PROM?” on the
bottom of the cup (Do not forget to fill
up the cup with yogurt or this all falls
apart). Fourth, you wait until that spe-
cial someone finishes that froyo. Fifth,
you make reservations at your favorite
restaurant, for your prom dinner. If they
don’t finish their yogurt and get to the
bottom, then you probably don’t want
to take them to prom anyway. No one
wants to dance with a square.
2. The Puzzler: First, you find that
special someone and make sure they like
puzzles. Second, you find a professional
puzzle maker and get a puzzle of you
holding a sign saying “PROM?” Third,
you take your special someone to a
special place (make sure it has a table
big enough to fit your whole finished
puzzle). Fourth, you guys finish the puzzle
together. Fifth, you tweet about your success.
3. Baby kittens. Enough said.
4. The Post-It: First, you go to Of-
ficeMax and buy a lot of Post-Its, with
two different colors preferably. Sec-
ond, you find your special someone’s
car. Third, you spell out Prom with the
sticky notes. Fourth, you sit and wait
and wait and wait until your special
someone comes to their car. Fifth, you
surprise them–be prepared to clean up
all the stickies.
5. The Lumberjack: First, you get a chest hair
booster supplement and eat it. Second, you find a
razor. Third, you shave “PROM?” onto your chest.
Fourth, you show that special someone your chest.
Fifth, you celebrate by eating pancakes.
6. The GOAT: First, you buy a goat. Second,
you dress the goat up to be cute as heck. Third,
you make a sign saying “PRAAAAAAAAAM?”
Fourth, you feed the goat for his great work.
7. The Horse Head: First, you buy a horse mask.
Second, you make a sign saying “No horsing around,
I’m DYING to go to PROM with you.” Third, you say
“Wee Snaw” and gallop away like a majestic creature.
8. The Tennis Ball: First, you buy a lot of
tennis balls. Second, you arrange the tennis
balls saying “PROM?” Third, you tell that
special someone if they beat you in tennis
they have to go to prom with you. Fourth,
you forfeit and get hype, because you are
going to prom.
9. The Tackler: First, you get a football.
Second, you get a super arty pen. Third,
you write “Will You TACKLE PROM with ME?”
Fourth, you tackle your special someone
and it turns into a great hug.
Still having trouble asking your special
someone to prom? Well I got news for your
pal, I got 99 problems, but how you decide
to prompose won’t be one.

Step by step prom day walkthrough

Georgia Geen

Macy’s, Lex’s and Promgirl.com
have all been picked clean. The floral
departments at every local grocery
store are in ruins while workers painstakingly
assemble last-minute boutonnieres and corsages.
As the sun approaches the middle of the sky,
hairdryers click on in unison. It’s prom day.
Deciding exactly when to start the
one-woman assembly line of makeup and hair
is one of the more tedious decisions that many
girls face leading up to prom. While it may
seem minor, starting to get ready too late
in the day can lead to your date waiting
uncomfortably in your living room while
the glue dries on your false eyelashes.
Jumping the gun can end up wasting precious
hours of a foundation’s staying power.
Going into a salon for a professional
up-do is a safe option, but sometimes
the results can look cookie-cutter.
The price tag also makes it less attractive,
since it just adds to the usually hundreds
of dollars that are spent on prom. Needless
to say, appointments should be made far in advance.
Makeup is a similar story: trekking out to
Sephora or the Macy’s beauty counter are ways
to ensure professional-grade looks, but the cost
can be very high. YouTube offers a plethora of
beauty tutorials that can be replicated for less
money than an appointment with a makeup artist,
but more effort and practice is needed on
the part of the individual. Getting ready
with friends can also be the highlight of
the entire event, for some.
After getting ready, two more essential
steps follow before the actual dance commences:
pictures and dinner. Parks or a well-maintained
backyard are common options
for group pictures, but an alternative
backup plan should be established in
the case of rain. Forming prom groups
is often a very chaotic process, espe-
cially for those who have multiple
friend groups. That doesn’t mean that
you can’t spend time with all of your
friends in one fashion or another.
Getting ready with one group and
then taking pictures with another is a
good way to spread your time.
The restaurant selection depends
on a multitude of factors, includ-
ing your group’s food preferences, the
number of people and the level of
formality desired. The irony of
showing up to McDonald’s in full-length gowns
and tuxedos can add to the collec-
tion of prom memories, but a nice res-
taurant can add an element of serious-
ness and class to the night.
With so many moving parts,
sometimes the dance itself isn’t even
the highlight of the evening. Even
for those who aren’t pop music afi-
cionados, concluding the school year
(or for seniors, all of high school) by
dancing with a group of friends and/
or a date is an experience that many
students don’t want to miss. But if the
deafening bass and crowds of dancers
are a little too much, there’s no rule
against leaving the dance early.
After the cars or limos roll
out from the venue, a multitude of op-
tions open up. Many students throw or
attend parties after prom. Some gath-
erings are much more casual, just a
handful of friends watching movies together
before a late night Waffle House run. However
you conclude your prom night, remember
that safety is the most important aspect, but
don’t forget to enjoy yourself and make memories
with your closest friends.

Best places to go for food and clothes

Caroline Tucker


Galaxy Diner in Richmond ‘s Carytown. Photo by Searlait Coffey

When June rolls around, students
are thinking of one important thing.
Prom. The very exclusive dance for
only juniors and seniors.
Many different aspects go into making
and enjoying prom. For girls, it’s the
dresses and if you have a date or group,
then it can be the dining experience.
Now usually prom dresses cost $100 and
can even go up to $400 or more. That’s
a lot of money for one night, even if
it is an important one. But lucky for
you, there are other options than spending
a part of your college fund to pay for a
dress that you’ll wear once.
“My dress costs $78 and I found it
at Bygones in Carytown,” senior Han-
nah Sayles said. “I was walking around
Carytown one day and saw a cute dress
in the window, so I just walked in.”
While Sayles found hers in passing
by a shop, Abby Cosgrove, another se-
nior, already knew the store where she
purchased her own gown.
“I found my dress at Ross, a store in
Virginia Center Commons, and it was
$35,” Cosgrove said.
Though some girls may believe that
a cheap dress means cheaper quality,
both Sayles and Cosgrove believe that
price doesn’t determine craftsmanship.
“I believe that not every dress you
buy has to be super expensive. Espe-
cially for prom. I believe that my dress
is very well made for how much it was
and fits me and my personally very
well,” Cosgrove said.
Another important part about dress
shopping, it’s not just about the mon-
ey. How you feel in the dress is the
most important part to this long and
complicated process, you have to love
what you wear.
“I love my dress so much, it fits me
and who I am amazingly,” Cosgrove
These students do not feel the need
to spend a large portion of their sav-
ings on the dress that they will wear
one time. Some are fortunate enough
to have parents pay for their dress and
accesories, but others compensate for
the dig in their waller by selling their
used dresss the following year.
Apart from finding the perfect
dress, dinner is an important part of
the evening. The average cost per cou-
ple is $75 for dinner. If you’re going as
a couple, that’s $75 out of your pock-
ets, ladies and/or gentlemen, and if you
and you’re friends are going as a group
that could be double, triple or even
quadruple times the original amount.
Instead of going to McDonald’s to save
yourself from paying $75 for a meal,
there are other enjoyable options to
have dinner at.
“I went to the Galaxy Diner for
dinner [last year]. The total cost was
around $25. I had a hamburger and
Kirby, my girlfriend, got Mac and
Cheese. It was really good,” senior
Reggie Mouton said.
Finding alternatives to expensive
restuarants can prove to be a struggle
especially when there are tasty options
such as Boathouse or Roda’s available.
But really if you are with a great group
or date it does not matter where you
are dining, as long as the company is
So you don’t have to dump out all
of your college savings for one night
of fun and glamour. There are many
options for cheaper dresses and food
choices that don’t break the bank.
You’re welcome.

What to expect: Neon Lights

Peyton Upshaw

Prom is just around the corner;
here’s the inside scoop. This year
is going to be different than every
other year in the past and
it’s certain that it will be
great. The junior class is in
charge of prom planning, as always.
The HHS Prom of 2016 will be held
on June 4. The venue will be Meadow
Event Park which is the area
where the state fair is held. It is
also the same location that last
year’s prom was held.
This year a list of prom themes were
submitted by the junior class to the
senior class, where the seniors were
given the opportunity to vote on which
theme they would like to have. In the
end, the theme that the senior class
ended up agreeing on was “Neon Night
Life.” Neon Night Life means that it
should be a darker dance with neon
lights, pretty self-explanatory, right?
It is expected to be a great night for
everyone due to the unique theme of
the dance. The furniture is going to be
glow in the dark in order to add to the
effect of the “Neon Night Life” theme.
At prom there will be a senior
tunnel which will have stars and the
names of all of the seniors on it for ev-
eryone to walk through and marvel at.
When seniors are leaving prom they
will be given their parting gifts. This
year, the senior parting gifts are mason
jars. Something new that is happening
this year at prom is that there will be a
Junior Prince and Princess along with
the standard King and Queen.
“It’s going to be fun because there
will be a lot of people and food and
overall a really good atmosphere,”
prom planner Rutvah Shah said.
The seniors are ready for prom too.
“I’m looking forward to the music, I’m
sure they will play a lot of different
types of good music. I’m also look-
ing forward to taking pictures with
my date in my prom dress, it’s a once
in a lifetime thing you know?” senior
N’kiera Gresham said. Everyone else
should be excited too, prom is a great
night for making memories that you
retain for your entire life. Memories
are great, and Coach Bill Wheaton
has some great memories of his se-
nior prom seven years ago. “It was a
pretty fun dance and a lot of people
were there. I remember this huge
chocolate fountain right in the center
of the room. I didn’t eat out of it, I just
looked, it was pretty cool.”
Wheaton is just one of many adults
who rejoice on their senior prom.
Make sure you go this year, it’s bound
to be great.

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