People Tell Us the Depressing Ways They Were Asked to Prom

"At my high school, a boy asked his girlfriend by writing 'prom?' in marker along the shaft of his penis."

by Annie Armstrong
Apr 5 2017, 9:45pm

Photo by Daniela Friedson

Prom season is almost upon us! 

If you believe the media, this means teens will be using all kinds of charming and creative methods to ask people to be their dates. Like hijacking a live TV broadcast or filling a school corridor with hundreds of balloons or enlisting the help of Bryan Cranston.

These people are definitely a minority. Most promposals are weird, awkward, depressing affairs. Like, at my high school, a boy asked his girlfriend by writing "prom?" in marker along the shaft of his penis, before asking her to give him a blowjob at lunchtime. She said yes, and, amazingly, they're still together five years later. 

I wanted to find out if anyone could beat how depressing that promposal was, so I asked people to submit their own miserable stories. 

My date had a police officer walk into a class and casually ask for me to come outside in front of everyone. It was frightening. I thought it was definitely something important and urgent that needed my presence. However, when I walked outside, it was just this guy Robert smiling outside with a sign that said, "Will you go to prom with me?"

-Ariel, St. Louis

The theme for the prom was "under the sea," so a boy had a brilliant idea for a creative fish-themed ask. Apparently if you put a fishbowl in the freezer, the fish will freeze in place while they swim or something. So the kid froze a fish bowl with two fish in it and wrote "prom" on the bowl in marker. He put it in a girl's locker expecting her to open it soon. She didn't open it till the next day, when she found a stinky bowl of dead fish with the marker dripping off from condensation. She wasn't sure why it was there or who it was from, and needless to say, she did not end up going to prom with him.

-Samy, Boston

My boyfriend Robert sent me a Snapchat of his ass asking me to prom. My dad was looking over my shoulder and saw it (he always hated him). So then I replied with a picture of my dog's ass and said yes.

-Emily, Athens, Georgia

About seven months after a service trip I attended, I got a Facebook message from some guy's mom that said, "Hi Annie: Could I give you a quick call on your cell—I had a question—if you could send me your number or call me," which was very weird and random for a number of reasons, mainly the fact that I hadn't spoken to her or her sons in seven months. I texted her, and immediately she responded and asked me if I would say yes to attending prom with her son, who she said would be too shy to ask me—or anyone. Side bar: Her boys were twins, and I was never sure which one she was referring to. I didn't even talk to her son directly until the night of prom. And, of course, his mom was there, taking pictures and facilitating conversation. It was every girl's dream, and I lived it.

-Annie, Chicago

I asked my boyfriend to prom by wiring "prom?" in hair in the shower (pictured at top of page). He'd always get on me for how I leave hair in the drain. He was super annoying about it.

-Daniela, Allston, Massachusetts

One of my guy friends cleared out our journalism classroom, then led me into it like he was leading me toward a bed covered in roses. When I got inside, I looked down on the table, and there was a Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell with the word "prom" spelled out in hot sauce on it.

-Julia, Los Angeles

For my junior prom, I had someone text me saying, "Well, my friend doesn't have a date, and you don't have a date, so you guys should just go together so you don't look like losers." I agreed.

-Ryan, Everett, Massachusetts

My date wrote "PROMegranate?" in Sharpie on a plastic pomegranate and left it in my mailbox.

-Becky, Storrs, Connecticut

My boyfriend Jack pretended to be passed out drunk on the front lawn of one of my friend's parents' house on spring break and then told people to tell me I needed to go take care of him. When I did, he had "prom?" written on his chest. Imagine how nervous high school me was of getting in trouble because my drunk boyfriend was passed out in a yard.

-Sadie, Atlanta, Georgia

My junior year this boy asked me to prom by taping pieces of 35mm film to the board in the classroom I had photo in. Turns out the fuck used one of my film rolls that I hadn't developed yet, and my roll was ruined.

-Jess, Marietta, Georgia

high school
senior prom