Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

Depending on your age, this time of year can mean many different things. It can mean time to plant your garden or hose off the patio furniture. It can mean time to swimsuit shop or time to make your summer travel plans. However, if you are a high school junior or senior, this time of year means one thing and one thing only: prom. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some of us spent prom night at home watching horror movies, eating Mint Milanos, and dreaming about how much Tom would regret not asking me after I make my first billion creating a social networking website…theoretically speaking. Nevertheless, most kids that age, whether in groups or on dates, go to their high school prom. It is the ‘date’ aspect that I now find interesting.

When I was in high school and it was prom season, I got a phone call, asking, “Hey, do you want to go to prom?” And I would answer, “Sounds good.” That was that. Hardly the stuff of great romances, but I had a date to prom. Apparently, now things have changed.

To say that inviting a girl to prom these days requires a grand gesture may be the understatement of the 21st century. I’m not quite sure when it began–and I’m sure most of the teenage boys in America want to beat the living daylights out of whomever started it–but now an invitation to prom makes a marriage proposal at a sporting event look like small potatoes. I have heard stories of ‘police officers’ pulling girls over and issuing a ticket, only to have the girl look at it and see ‘prom?’ written on the slip of paper. Boys are spelling girls’ names out in candles along the path to their front door and skywriting their invitation in the clouds above their houses. There is one story that involves a duckling and several dozen roses that I’m still not sure I fully grasp.

Well, I feel sorry for the boys–how high can they set the bar? What next? The boy in gladiator garb riding a chariot pulled by a team of horses riding across the front lawn? A Mission Impossible ceiling drop in the middle of the night? I don’t know. It’s all very fun and creative (and completely premised on an affirmative response, might I add), but in a strange way it kind of makes me miss the phone call.