Homecoming weekend is coming up, and that means there’s a dance on the horizon. J and his girlfriend will be going, but only after he executes “The Ask”.
Asking a date to attend a dance these days isn’t a matter of just, well, asking. It’s a big production which is only limited by the creativity and the resources of the person who is doing the asking. D once presented a friend with a huge, ten-pound chocolate bar which was covered with a homemade (and adorable) wrapper that said, “HOMECOMING?” He asked his prom date to the dance by arranging to be a guest on the high school morning news brief which went out to all of the classroom television sets. I’ve heard of all kinds of elaborate schemes, and my opinion on this new tradition wobbles back and forth between annoyance and acceptance.
The annoying thing about “the ask” is that I believe it paves the way for higher expectations with each subsequent ask. Also, I feel like the kids who aren’t as thoughtful and creative have one more thing to worry about when it comes to acceptance by their peers (Will she say yes? Will I even come up with a good enough idea? What will others think?).
That said, it’s better for me to accept it, I think. For the most part it is really a cute tradition. It’s harmless, it’s fun, and there are way worse things these kids could be doing.
That’s why I helped J blow up 72 balloons yesterday, so he could stuff his girlfriend’s car with them–and a pair of scissors–this morning before school. She’ll have to use the scissors to pop the balloons, because some of them have little, rolled-up pieces of paper in them containing various messages, one of them being “Will you go to Homecoming with me?”
We already know she’s going to say yes. Last week they discussed shopping for a tie for him that will match her dress, even before the balloons were inflated. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me, either.
Last night I said to him, “You know, back in the old days when we wanted to ask someone to a dance, we just…asked.”
“I know, Mom,” he said, “The times are changing.”
I guess I’m okay with that.