Friday, May 12, 2017

Will you read this with me?

I feel entitled to tell you that there is a terrific sense of entitlement in this country. Sure, we are guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinefs - it's written down somewhere - but really, there has to be a limit to it.  Sure.  The Bill of Rights covers a lot, but you can read that six ways to Sunday and never find a passage that would indicate that the Hollywood celebrity of your choice bears an obligation to attend your high school prom as your date.

But, give a young man a phone and a YouTube channel, and there you go. 

Image result for promposalsJacob Staudenmaier, a high schooler down in Arizona, where the cacti grow tall in the searing sun, decided that Emma Stone would be the perfect person to take to his prom. He made a "La La Land"-style video to proffer the invitation.

Jacob is 17, and in ten years he stands a good chance of being 27, but the next decade will be much better for him if he readjusts his sights a little. He's begging a big movie star to put her life aside for a couple of days and fly home (she's from there) for a weekend of dancing and unlimited breadsticks and salad bowl at Olive Garden. And in return, she would receive what? I mean, sure, the breadsticks and salad, maybe a nice veal parm, but it's an unfair position for her to be in. Jimmy Kimmel explained put it this way, "In fact, this is a hostage situation, because if Emma Stone didn’t write him a letter, she would look like a jerk."

Emma had the grace to reply with a very sweet note:

"Jacob, thanks for making the greatest proposal I have ever received… I can’t tell you what an honor that was and how much I smiled through that entire beautifully orchestrated video. I’m in London working, but I hope you have the best time at prom, and I’m grateful you thought of me. Thank you. ... Love, Emma.

Juniors and seniors in high school of all genders have enough going on at this time of year, with college applications and college acceptances and final GPA standings and I don't know what-all else on their minds. I believe that this "promposal" craze is not so good, because it's a sort of emotional blackmail. "You're gonna turn me down in front of all these people?" is not the best foundation for even one evening of dancing and frolicing.

CNN had a story concerning a student named Abby Rodgers, who was out with a guy who stuffed his car with stuffed animals and flowers as an inducement to prom with him. She said yes, "because it was such a nice gesture and he was so sweet and brave to go through with it."

Image result for promposalsAs the glow of the moment wore off, she realized she did not wish to attend the prom with Mr Stuffacar, and thought that the prom was not something she wished to go with in the company of someone she was not that close to.  

So, maybe next year, could we cut down on the elaborate production numbers and grandiose promposals?  Some smart school will start a trend and make this sensible, I hope.

It's just too much at that age.  

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