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Old 09-01-2019, 11:17 AM
Esprise Me is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
Celebrate it? Sure. Of course it's a big deal. But in just the last few years, these sort of events have become increasingly standard. I think of them as "look cutes" --events where you want everything to be super produced and creative and slick, so everything "looks cute" in the pictures. Many involve custom props and professional photographers.

Here's a list. I have starred the ones that existed fifteen years ago.

High school--
  • Promposals
  • Senior Pictures*
  • Reaction vids for college acceptances
  • Graduation*
  • Graduation party*
Prom-posals not only existed 15 years ago, but were expected at my high school. I graduated in 2002. My sophomore year, the band and colorguard went to Hawaii for a competition, and one of the guys got the pilot to work a prom-posal into his announcement ("folks, we're about to begin our initial descent here, so if you could put your seat backs up and your tray tables away, and Stephanie, if you could go with Jared to the prom, that'd be super.") Ah, the last days before 9/11 when you could just poke your head into the cockpit with a request like that. My boyfriend at the time had a bit of a brain fart; he was normally very romantic, but hadn't thought anything up for asking me to the prom. He just immediately leaned over, while everyone was still awww-ing for Stephanie, and said, "oh yeah by the way will you go to the prom with me?" I was disappointed; my friends were horrified. He did come over a week later and decorate my house with streamers and pinwheels and signs asking me to the prom after he realized this was A Thing You Were Supposed To Do.

Incidentally, 15 years later, when my now-husband and I first started discussing marriage, I was completely over the proposal. I didn't like the idea of the man being the one to ask, I didn't like the performative aspect, and I didn't like the idea of treating such a serious decision like a surprise party. (In defense of my younger self, prom-posals were for boyfriends and girlfriends; you didn't put someone on the spot who might say no.) My now-husband affirmed each of my concerns and agreed that doing it in public or posting videos wasn't his style either. But he said he still loved the romance of the surprise proposal, and there could still be a serious adult conversation beforehand; the surprise could just be when and where the proposal took place. Half-seriously and half-calling his bluff, I suggested I could propose to him instead. He agreed without hesitation. And when I was ready to marry him (it took me a little longer than it took him), that's what I did. It was pretty low-key; I don't think anyone else at the restaurant knew what was up. I got him a watch and had it engraved, since he didn't want a ring. We enjoyed our little secret for the evening, then called our families the next day. We held off on the social media announcement. It was perfect for us; a little bit old-fashioned in the lack of attention-getting, a little bit modern in the lack of sexism.

Anyway, I have no real problem with people throwing themselves parties, but find the gender-reveal party squicky for the gender-norm-enforcing stuff. Wouldn't it be great if all new parents got nine months of practice loving their future kid without being able to lean on gendered assumptions of who that kid would turn out to be? If every family had male and female names picked out, or just one name that could go either way, and spent some time switching or using gender-neutral pronouns? Wouldn't that be a great exercise in loving your kid unconditionally, and being prepared to accept them for whoever they are--male, female, cis, trans, nonbinary, gender-conforming or not (some cis het women are still tomboys; some straight cis boys like pink), gay, straight, bi, traditional, or just plain quirky (as my mother learned, even your girly, cishet daughter who does get married after all might still break your heart by refusing to wear white.) How about we try that?