I'll tell you all about it in a minute, and let you be the judge, but first? A step back onto Memory Lane, if you will... to the days when we were all (gasp!) teenagers.
Recognize this stuff? Anybody else remember hanging rolls of crepe paper across the ceiling of a knotty pine-paneled basement with your friends the day before a party? Our favorite trick was to twist two different colors together for an extra special touch of sophistication. (That's what we thought at the time, anyway.) As the evening wore on, the streamers would inevitably stretch and sag, until they literally brushed the tops of our heads while we danced. That didn't stop us from stringing them up for the next party, though. It was part of our thing.
You know what? As all-important as they seemed at the time, I honestly don't remember much about our proms. (And NO, the fruit punch wasn't laced!) Do you? One thing I do remember is how stressed a lot of the girls got ahead of time, because they were worried sick that no one would invite them. I dunno. Maybe the guys were stressed too, and worried about being rejected?
So what happens when teenage boys treat a prom like it's another extension of football? What if they rent a fancy venue, huddle there in their suits and ties...
and go through an NFL-like draft pick process to decide who to invite to the prom? I introduce you to... the prom draft.
I kid you not.
For an undetermined number of years, that's exactly how some... but not all... boys at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California have been selecting their prom dates. Based on draft pick number, which is determined by drawing either a lottery-like ball or numbered slip of paper, the boys take turns selecting their dates from the previously-ranked favored pool of girls. In keeping with NFL draft rules, boys also have the option of forking over money in exchange for a more favorable draft pick. This year, one boy allegedly paid one hundred and forty bucks for the privilege of picking the higher-ranked gal of his dreams. (They'd never even spoken to each other before! Do you think she accepted...?) The whole procedure is done with much hoopla and fanfare, and they even go so far as to report draft pick results via Twitter. Nothing more humiliating than being selected last... unless it's having that information disseminated to all your twitter-pated friends, eh?
When I read about this in the newspaper, I got to wondering. What criteria do you think the boys use in those girl-ranking sessions of theirs?
On the other hand, the ranking might have gone something like this:
"When Mary Lou walks, she has a mighty fine backfield in motion. I think that merits a decent number, don't you?"
"Nah, she follows a strict blocking below the waist policy. Nothing happening above the waist, either. She's good to look at, but doesn't go in for any holding at all."
"I agree," another stud muffin added. "She's a stickler for pass interference. She's been known to rough the passer upon occasion, and gave one guy a shiner for a little innocent illegal use of hands."
"Oh, man, I had no idea. That makes her a strike out, as far as I'm concerned."
"Dude! Wrong sport! Get with the program."
"Oh, right, sorry. My bad. Okay, a low number it is. Besides, I heard she's never on time. Nothing I hate worse than having to put up with a delay of game..."
Okay, so I have no idea how those sessions really went. But word has it, there may not be any more prom drafts in future years. The school's principal... a woman... found out about this year's draft, and wasn't any too happy about it. You could say she stepped in, blew the whistle, and called a penalty on the practice. Even threatened to cancel this year's prom. Whether she did or not, I don't know, but now some school board members are talking about instituting mandatory ethics classes to teach students what was wrong with this whole draft scenario in the first place.
What do you think about those prom drafts? Innocent fun... or insensitive, and highly insulting to females? Did you go to your prom? Remember much about it? I remember I had a lot of good clean fun, and maybe that's enough. I don't think I would've appreciated being entered in some juvenile draft for the entertainment of the boys in our class, though. (Unless, of course, I was ranked number one... HA!)
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined; no sleep until morn, when youth and pleasure meet to chase the glowing hours with flying feet. [Lord Byron]
It wasn't that no one asked me to the prom, it was that no one would tell me where it was. [Rita Rudner]