Other ways to invite girls to prom
» Joshua Lallman, a junior on the Millard West High basketball team, surprised his girlfriend, cheerleader Emily Kubo, with a message on 16-foot balloon that he placed outside the entrance to the school’s gym before a basketball game. Joshua borrowed the balloon from his dad, who works for a company that uses it for promotions. Joshua, who has been dating Emily for about one year, spelled out his invite on the balloon: “Emily Kubo Will You Go To Prom With Me?” He signed it, #24, his number on the basketball team.
» Anton Rice, a senior at Gross High, sent his prom invite to girlfriend, senior Anne Grzywa, all the way from Disney World in Florida. While on a family vacation last month he had his photo taken in front of Cinderella’s Castle holding a sign that said: “It would be magical if you went to prom with me?” He posted the photo on Facebook for Anne to see.
One guy spray painted his prom invitation in bright orange 3-foot letters on a soccer field.
Another belted out a Frankie Valli song as an invite during halftime of a basketball game.
And another used Cinderella's Castle at Disney World as a backdrop for a photo invitation posted on Facebook.
Remember when asking a girl to prom meant nervously calling her on the phone? Or maybe cornering her in the hallway between classes?
That is so 2008.
Local high school students are now taking prom invitations to a whole new level.
Creative. Surprising. Public.
That's what these invites are about.
"Girls want something fun,'' said Nate Crnkovich, a junior at Gross High School. "It's kind of an expectation."
Hear that, guys? You better bring your "A" game.
The prom invites are just one example of how milestones and events that were once low-key are getting more elaborate. Couples are hosting parties to announce their unborn baby's sex, pregnant women are posting photos of their growing tummies on Facebook and parents are organizing expensive high school graduation parties with disc jockeys and sushi.
Sociologists and communication experts have noticed the trend and say people are increasingly wanting to stand out, to have more publicity around their lives.
"It's a desire for uniqueness," said Dawn O. Braithwaite, chairwoman of the department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Creating an event that's bigger or different makes it more valuable to those involved, she said.
Social media websites like Facebook and YouTube are playing a role, so are movies and TV shows.
YouTube, for example, is filled with prom-invite videos.
Is there one of a guy and his buddies springing a prom invite in class by singing a 1950s doo-wop song?
What about guys delivering an invite by throwing down some Justin Bieber-style dance moves in the school hallway?
Local high school students say social media is helping spread prom invitation ideas. But sites like Facebook are also giving people an outlet to express themselves that they didn't have before, said Lisa Crockett, a psychology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Center's Internet and American Life Project, said sites like YouTube can change social norms. Watch enough of those elaborate prom invite videos and suddenly it seems perfectly normal to ask your girlfriend over the school intercom so 1,500 of her closest friends can share the moment.
Crnkovich, the Gross High student, spray painted an invite on a grassy field so girlfriend Allie Young, a junior at Gross, would spot it before soccer practice. In orange letters, each 1-yard long, he spelled out, "Allie Prom?" He also painted his name and drew a big orange heart — after getting permission from the coach of the girl's soccer team.
Allie spotted the message, then saw Nate walking onto the field. She gave him a hug — and a yes.
She said there's no doubt that girls expect creative invites. Public invites like hers are more common, she said, among couples who have been dating a while, like she and Nate.
But even if prom would be a first date, guys know girls want something special, even if it's private, like painting the invite on a poster and sneaking it inside her locker.
But it's not just the boys who are getting creative.
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