Prom guilt trips make it impossible to say no

Jake Hamilton , Opinion Editor

A typical Spanish class. Some students are studying vocab while others do “resumenes.” Just a normal day until… What’s this? A mariachi band bursts through the door. They’re strumming guitarras and shouting impassioned lyrics full of “amores” and “corazones.” Heart-shaped tacos are handed out by a short guy with a sombrero. And in the front of the class, one student with a single rose in his mouth and a big sign asking “Jane Smith, will you go to prom with me?” (in spanish of course).

She says yes and the whole class thinks its the cutest thing they’ve ever seen. Everyone’s happy, right? Right?!

Now brace yourself my sentimental readers, because I’m about to say something sacrilegious. Maybe, just maybe, there’s another side to these extravagant ways of popping the question.

Already, half the girls I’ve talked to seem only a fraction as excited for prom as they once were. Closer inquiry showed that they were all faced with a similarly over-the-top display when they were asked to prom. For some it was just not the specific guy they were hoping for; for others it was a guy they didn’t even like at all. Either way, when the question is presented in a way so overwhelming, so public, so “cute,” they just had to say yes.

So here we get philosophical: if they felt like they had to say yes, was it really even their choice at all?

Obviously there are exceptions to this. For couples or people with close relations, it makes sense to show how much you care with a grand promposal.

The problem is when its a last resort. When the guy fears rejection, he goes hail-mary on one large and public display. This puts the weight of the situation on her, more often than not, guilt-tripping her into giving a big fat yes.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. The unpopular other side that most have been trying to ignore.

It happens far too often, and could be easily avoided. Guys shouldn’t overcompensate to make an uninterested girl say yes. Subtle ways are effective, and more personal without a grand-stand audience. Also, girls shouldn’t feel obliged to say yes to every grand and public gesture. It should be taken as a question, not a moral struggle.

Rejection builds character, just look how good I turned out. There’s a forgotten value to the word “no.” It shows honesty, respect.

That’s far more valuable than “cute.”