Popping the Question

September 16, 2012

We ask and get asked a lot of important questions in our lifetime.

“Do you wanna grab coffee sometime?” “Paper or plastic?” “Do you want fries with that?” “Will you marry me?” “What do you want for Christmas?” “Credit or debit?” “What is the meaning of Life?” “Who am I? “(Insert another existentialist question.)” “Yes or no?” “Where are you going to college?”

One of the most relevant questions to my generation at this day and age and during this Fall season is…”Will you go to Homecoming with me?” Seven little words that can be said in so many different ways and responded to in only a few…”Yes.” “No.” “I’ll have to think about it. (AKA: A prolonged no.)”

In this post, in honor of the Homecoming Season, I’m going to be writing some of my favorite ways that guys at Gull Lake have asked girls to dances. And maybe we’ll take a little trip down memory lane and see the different ways that this Idiot has asked his dates. They get pretty embarrassing.

Here we go…

The Test Question

Remember Adam? The kid who almost ran me over in my Freshman 24 Hour Marathon? The one who made me drop the Baton? Well…he can be a bit of a sweetheart. In his Senior Year, he asked his girlfriend Morgan to a dance with the help of one of his favorite teachers, Mr. Blackburn. Adam requested that Mr. Blackburn put a question on a quiz that read: “Will Morgan go to Homecoming with Adam?” Morgan, of course, answered “Yes.” She got the question right. And for those of you out there who mate are “mate-for-life” types…Adam and Morgan were recently engaged to be married. So, clearly, The Test Question works…

Sticky Note Scavenger

One year, this kid name Chris made quite a grand gesture in his Homecoming request…or maybe it was Prom. Who knows? Bottom line is: it was a school-wide event. It was hard to walk down the hallway that day without seeing countless guys strutting around with two sticky notes taped proudly to their chests. The idea was simple enough. A girl, Emily, was given a note at her locker at the start of the day that contained two differently colored sticky notes. The note read that Emily had to find the matching set of sticky notes to find her prince. By the end of the day, Emily had found her suitor…and denied him.

Perhaps this isn’t the best method…

Shin Tape Surprises

This is how I asked a great friend and teammate of mine, Emmi, to our Sophomore Homecoming. There’s sort of a running joke in our school that the Cross Country Team is…sort of like a Cult. The Cult works from within. More often than not, you’ll see that guys on the team ask girls on the team, instead of pulling from outside the Cult. My Sophomore year, I was no exception. Something you should know about Emmi is that she’s quite fragile. Particularly her shins. So, knowing that Coach Portis was going to be taping her shins to prevent shin splints, I gave him one strip of medical tape that read “Emmi, Homecoming? -Brian”. When Coach Portis placed it on her shin, she said “Yes.”

Whiteboard Revelations

Sticking with the Cross Country Team, I remember my Freshman Year when Cameron also used Coach Portis to aid in his asking Ali. On the Cross country Team, involving Coach Portis in a Homecoming request is almost synonymous with asking a girls father for approval. Anyway, Coach was giving us the game-plan on some meet we were going to run at the next day. At the end of the meeting, Coach said: “Oh yeah, One last thing.” And he reached down (Coach Portis, along with all the Science teachers at Gull Lake High School, has about six huge white boards that slide up and down to reveal or hide anything that may be written on them) and pulled up a white board that said: “Ali, Homecoming? -Cam” And she said “Yes” too.

Secret Service

I’m pretty sure there’s a by-law in the Bro-Code that says something about never denying a fellow Bro when he needs you to be his Wing-Man. Anyway, in my Sophomore year, Jeremy asked me to help him in asking Erin to Homecoming. With some aid from many of Erin’s friends, we discovered that she had a weakness for chocolate. So, Jeremy went out and bought a bar of chocolate. He asked me and another Jeremy (Jeremy C.) to act as sort of a “Secret Service” or personal guard. Jeremy C. and I approached Erin with black t-shirts and aviator sunglasses, completely straight faced. She gave us the most peculiar look before Jeremy C. and I turned towards each other, nodded once, then stepped aside to reveal…Jeremy in a suit, holding a bar of chocolate. “Erin? Will you go to Homecoming with me?” And the answer was “Yes.”

The Proposal

Today, in preparation for writing this post, I asked a lot of people at school what their favorite “Homecoming Request Stories” were. In my first class, Leah told me a story that I couldn’t help but share.

Leah had been sitting at her lunch table, believing it was a day like any other. Suddenly, Will approached her and got down on one knee. I can’t imagine this was received supremely well by Leah’s surrounding peers. “Leah? Will you go to Prom with me?” Will asked as he opened a ring box that had one little word inside it: “Prom?” She said “Yes.”

Wait,” I said upon hearing this story, “That worked for you?”

“Well…yeah,” Leah said.

Peacocking

Back to the whole Cross Country thing, there was this kid named Ryan. When I first met Ryan, he was one of the quietest, most introverted kids I’d ever met. As time progressed, however, Ryan became more and more outgoing. It wasn’t long before Ryan was an energetic, talkative comedian who could make anyone laugh. One of the most outstanding examples of his transformation is the manner in which he asked Cara to his Senior Homecoming. Ryan laid across the hood of his car with a rose in his mouth and a sign that read: “Homecoming?” How could Cara say “No”? Of course she said “Yes.”

The Holly Invite…Invite?

Still on Cross Country stuff. So, my Sophomore Year, Sam B. (now the fastest runner on our guys team) asked Carly (not my Carly) to Homecoming. The Gull Lake Cross Country Varsity Team (7 guys and 7 girls) makes a yearly trip to Holly, MI to run in the Holly Invitational. The Team leaves the night before the meet and spends that night in a hotel before getting up early the next morning to go run. In Sam’s Freshman Year, though, he spent part of the night before plotting his Homecoming request. Carly was lead into her hotel room by the girls Team and the windows blinds were pulled aside to reveal “Homecoming?” spelt out in signs held up by the guys Team. With Sam holding the question mark. An instant “Yes.”

Poetry

My Junior Year, I asked Sarah to Homecoming. And I did it in a pretty sappy fashion. I stopped her as she was walking to her car for her off-campus class. “Sarah? Do you mind just listening to this poem for AP Lang really quick?” I asked, “I’m afraid it doesn’t sound good.” “Sure…?” she said. And I dove into it. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember what the poem said, nor do I have a copy of it…but I guess it worked? I mean, she did say “Yes.” I seem to recall I was trying to be clever by having the poem describe exactly what I was doing in that moment. It was entitled: “The Question”, I believe, and it was all about a boy asking a girl a question: “Will you go to Homecoming with me?” Anyway, that’s that sappy little method.

The Power of One Direction

This is perhaps one of my all-time favorite methods. Jeremy C. (the one I mentioned before) had a friend pull his pickup truck right next to the school. At the end of the day, Katie was pulled out into the cold (it was snowing) by some of her friends. The pickup truck instantly began to blast “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and Jeremy C. and a gang of his Basketball friends broke out in an impressive synchronized dance. Luckily, this was about the time that I happened to waltz out of the building. I watched as Katie stood mesmerized by the show being put on in front of her. One particularly hilarious moment was when the boys ripped their shirts off…I don’t think they counted on snow being in the forecast in the middle of Spring. Anyway, I could spend all day describing their dance…or I could post the amateur video of it. The quality isn’t all that great, but you’ll get the general idea…

Click Here for Hilarity

He’s Got Balls

For Brady’s Junior Prom, he decided to ask a girl with his balls. His foam balls, that is. Brady wrote P-R-O-M-? on five different foam balls and stuffed them into Kelsey’s locker. When she opened her locker, the balls tumbled out. Not many girls can say “No” to Brady’s balls. And Kelsey was no exception. She said “Yes.”

Puzzle It Together

The following method is probably the most all-encompassing, crowd pleasing, and commonly used creative request. This method takes on many different shapes and forms but has the same basic principle: the recipient of the request receives one part of a larger message in each class, slowly clueing them into the overall statement of: “Will you go to (Homecoming, Sno Court, Prom) with me? -Suitor” Whether it was Ryan asking Ali with his little present boxes full of compliments, or Jonah asking Joy with his balloons, or Lam with roses, or Grant with actual puzzle pieces, or Nate with easter eggs, all these methods will almost guarantee a “Yes.” It’s creative. It’s fun. And, with a little thought, it can be personalized to any girl.

Popping The Balloons

Dallas asked Cara with balloons. But perhaps he should’ve been more clear with what he wanted her to do with the balloons. Each balloon, tied to her car, contained part of “Will you go to Prom with me?” (So, it kind of fits in the last category.) After what seemed like a million years of us (the Cross Country guys) huddled together, watching Cara from across the parking lot as she confusedly stared at the balloons, she finally understood that she had to pop each balloon. With some encouragement from us, (“Use your keys!”) she finally got the message. (Works on two levels, see?) Cara burst all the balloons, Dallas rolled up in his car, approached her with a bouquet of flowers, and asked. She said “Yes.”

Stringing Them Along

At the end of a school day that seemed very average for Stephanie, she was handed a very long piece of string. The string stretched down the hallway and out of sight. Stephanie was instructed to follow the string to find her suitor. One floor down and a hallway over, Brandon was frantically pulling flowers out of his locker and holding tightly onto the other end of the string. Stephanie followed the string until she found Brandon, waiting with a smile and a bouquet. “Stephanie? Will you go to Prom with me?” Brandon asked. “Yes,” she replied.

Plan B: Just Go For It

In the end, what’s it all really about? It’s about expressing from one person to another: “Hey, I think you’re pretty special. I wouldn’t mind spending an evening with you.” Or maybe it’s about something more. Who knows? Bottom line is: A boy is asking a girl to join him in a night of frivolity. There are a lot of crazy ways that a guy can ask a girl. A lot of crazy ways. But, in the end, there’s nothing wrong with just…going for it. I’ve done it twice! The first time, my initial plan fell apart. So, I just went for it. I went over to Kelcey’s house my Freshman Year and knocked on her door, flower in hand. And, in front of her whole family, I asked her to Homecoming. And she said “Yes.” For my Junior Prom date, Valerie, I was at my off-campus class and I just decided one day that I had to man up and do it. Unfortunately, the girl I was going to ask was already half-way to her car…about to leave. I bolted from the classroom without an explanation and chased her down…followed by half the class. Oh well, she said “Yes.” And one of my best friends Jeremy did the same thing with Grace. And they’ve been dating for almost a year now. So, it works. It works to just go for it. You could spend all day planning some silly way to ask a girl to a dance and, trust me, she’ll totally love it, it’s worth it to do that occasionally; but never forget that the reason she’s saying “Yes” isn’t because you wrote “Will you go to Homecoming with me?” on a few different pieces of paper that people handed to her throughout the day…it’s because she wants to go with you. Never be afraid to just…well, you get the idea.

In the end, Homecoming and Prom are an awesome time in a High Schoolers Life. Even if you don’t end up asking someone or you don’t get asked, I think it’s awesome to be surrounded for a few weeks by spontaneous bouquets, balloons, notes, messengers, secretive teachers, signs, hidden clues, strings, roses, balls, poetry, One Direction, sticky notes, and proposals. Because it’s all about gestures. It’s all about making someone smile for a day.

Making someone smile by letting know that there’s someone in their High School who cares about them. Someone who wants to spend a night with them. Someone who wants to dance with them.

That’s pretty special, I think.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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