“Promposal” Season Strikes Campus

As Spring Term comes to a close and textbooks shut and dorm rooms are emptied, Seniors look forward to the last day of finals. Later that evening, many will first walk promenade across campus, then head to the State Room in Boston for a night of photos, dinner and dancing. Every year, this special experience starts not on Prom night, but as Seniors begin asking their dates in fun and unique ways. Some decided to let the community join in on the fun by asking their dates publically in Paresky Commons, while others decided on a more private yet just as special “promposals.” This week, The Phillipian tracked down a few Prom couples to snatch their “promposal” stories. SLAMming Her Way into Her Heart Farris Peale ’14 also reached out to her friends to help ask her date, Kayla Thompson ’15, to Prom. Peale asked the Co-Heads of SLAM to perform one of their sideline cheers in Lower Right, adding in the words “Kayla” and “prom” to the typical chant. “SLAM came into Lower Right and did their routine. Then they parted and I walked through. I had brownies that said ‘prom’ on them because she wanted food to be involved somehow and so then I offered her the brownies. She actually didn’t say anything but I took it as a ‘yes,’” said Peale. “I was not expecting to be asked in this way. I was kind of speechless for a while but I was also really happy and excited. Nervous too because I wasn’t sure what she was going to do but I knew it was going to happen that week. And I was a little disorientated from walking around campus blindfolded for a while,” said Thompson. Ripped Shirts and Ripped Bodies Alec Tolentino ’14 brought the spirit of this year’s Andover Football team to Lower Right of Paresky Commons in asking Emma Crowe ’15 to Prom. “I got the boys from the football team to help me do the Haka, our ritual before every game this season. However, instead of Ilalio leading the haka, I learned the words and lead it myself. I was really looking for another reason to do the Haka again and this just seemed like the perfect reason,” said Tolentino. At the end of the Haka, Alec and five of his teammates ripped off their shirt to spell out “PROM?!” with the letter painted on their chests. Alec got down on one knee and handed Crowe a rose. “Emma really loved the Haka. I could tell how surprised, happy [and] excited she was because when I popped the question, she couldn’t speak, she could only nod. The look on her face was my favorite part of the whole thing,” Tolentino continued. Crowe wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I’m guessing he chose to do the haka because the couple of minutes following the Exeter football game were some of the most exciting and happy moments of our relationship, as cheesy as that sounds. He was so excited and I was so proud (and having heart palpitations) so it was a super memorable moment for both of us.” Haphephobia: The Fear of being Hugged Ben Yi ’14 employed his skills in moviemaking to ask Sam Goldberg ’14 to Prom. Yi created a short video entitled, “Why You Should Hug More, Sam Goldberg,” and gave it to his friend, Alex Tamkin ’14, to show in front of Goldberg and Tamkin’s Art 409: Video II class. “Sam and I have an inside joke about how she doesn’t like hugs. So I filmed a bunch of people hugging on campus, explaining satirically and scientifically why she should hug more often. After the video finished playing in her Video class, I, with the help of many friends, asked her to Prom by giving her flowers and cupcakes,” said Yi. Yi came into the classroom at the end of the video asking for a hug and a “yes” to the question “Will you go to Prom with me?” Goldberg said, “I actually was expecting to be asked during video class because my teacher told me she would give me three cuts if I missed class that day! But I had no idea the hugging video was coming.” Zombie Attack Taylor Chin ’14 asked Jamie Chen ’15, Editor in Chief of The Phillipian volume CXXXVII, by asking 20 of his friends to dress up as zombies and surround her while she was eating dinner in Paresky Commons. He got the idea from the TV show “The Walking Dead.” “I was dressed in a SWAT vest and a helmet, and I had a NERF gun. They went in and were converging on Jamie, and then I came in. I had a rose in my teeth, I shot all of the zombies, and I then asked her to Prom,” said Chin. To make the zombie attack seem as real as possible, Chin provided his friends with ripped shirts and pants. He also brought bottles of fake blood for his friends to smear across themselves. Chen wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I didn’t expect something so elaborate and public, but it was perfect. It was funny, romantic, creative and totally a surprise. Taylor kept all his plans a secret from me, and I was actually getting pretty nervous and frustrated that it was taking him so long. It was definitely worth the wait.” 120 Seconds Grant Bitler ’14 asked Alec Kingston ’14 to Prom by taking her on a date inspired by an episode from the show “How I Met Your Mother,” which both Bitler and Kingston regularly watch. On the show, two of the characters go on a two-minute date, and Bitler organized a similar event for Kingston. “I set up a dinner that lasted twenty seconds, and a movie that lasted twenty seconds, and a stroll that was supposed to be a minute but actually lasted five seconds, and then a dance that was like two seconds,” said Bitler. Kingston said, “I was completely blown away because I had been bugging him for weeks [to ask me] and it was later than a lot of the other [asks]. It was nice because it was something that you couldn’t really Google or find on the Internet. ” Back to the Beginning Andrew Yang ’14 asked Emma Mehlman ’14 by spelling “Prom?” out in the newsroom with munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts. Both Yang and Mehlman were News Editors of The Phillipian volume CXXXVI. “One of her friends suggested [the idea] to me, and I figured that I might as well do it in the newsroom because that is really where I met her and got to know her,” said Yang. Mehlman said, “Andrew and I have talked about going to Prom together for a long time throughout [our work on] The Phillipian. We went to Sadie [Hawkins Dance] together this fall, and then there was a little bit of confusion right at the beginning of when Prom-asks started. I think he thought that I was going to go with someone else.” “He also knows that munchkins are my favorite food,” she added. Cheesy in Every Way Trying to appeal to Maddalena Albera’s ’14 Italian roots, Zen Wolfson ’14 mixed both humor and food to ask her to Prom. “I know this is cheesy, but will you go to Prom with me?” said Wolfson with a large pizza in hand. Wolfson showed up to the Great Lawn where Albera and friends were sitting and presented her the pizza which had olives on it spelling out “PROM?” Wolfson also recruited friends to stand behind him holding up several other items of food. “My logic was that Maddie is Italian so I should do something that’s very Italian based. I went downtown and bought everything that seemed Italian. So I got a pack of bread because it said Italian on it, Milano cookies and a box of pasta. I had friends hold up the Italian stuff while I opened the pizza box and asked her to Prom,” said Wolfson. The plan almost got derailed because of a delayed pizza delivery. “I ordered from King’s, and it was like 30 minutes late. While I was waiting in my room for the pizza to come I was frantically messaging people to make sure she stayed where she was because it was kind of cold outside and people were starting to go inside. And then right when they were about to leave the pizza arrived and everything worked out fine,” said Wolfson. Personalized Campus Tour Dan Wang ’14 asked Emma Kukielski ’15 to Prom with a personalized tour that took the pair to significant places in their relationship. The tour started at CAMD where the two have spent a lot of time and moved to locations such as Bulfinch, Steinbach Lobby, the Flagstaff Quad and the path to Holt Hill. “I came up with the idea because I wanted something that showed how much I care about her. My first thought was a scavenger hunt full of inside jokes, but I decided I wanted something we could do together. And since we’re both Admissions Ambassadors, I decided to give her a tour!” said Wang. “My Precious” Renee Lamarche ’14 used another surprise approach to her prom-asking when she asked Rob Irvin ’15. “He is really into ‘Lord of the Rings,’ so I made this big banner that said, ‘Be the Gandalf to my Frodo.’ He rows crew, and I hung it off an overpass that they row underneath. He rowed by and saw it. He was really excited and happy, and he gave me a thumbs up to say yes,” she said. Irvin said, “I had no idea it was coming. As we were rowing under a bridge, my coxswain kept yelling at me to look up… The ‘Lord of the Rings’ reference was just icing on the cake.” He added, “All my coach said was: ‘Now we can start practice.’ It turned out he was in on it the whole time. Great wingman.” Better Late than Never! Stephen Moreland ’14, Editor in Chief of The Phillipian volume CXXXVI, hopes to ask Leah Shrestinian ’14 to Prom through this article. Moreland said, “Leah, will you go to Prom with me?” Shrestinian has yet to respond.