The Prom Proposal

When one mother had the chance to make her daughter's prom proposal really memorable, she was all in.
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When my daughter started looking at prom dresses I was nervous. What if she didn't get asked? Would she be crushed? Maybe it wouldn't be the end of the world -- she could go with a group as they all seem to do these days. But it was her senior a mom I wanted everything to be perfect. And yet with matters of the heart, you really don't have any control.

So I was relieved when I got a phone call from a good friend of my daughter's. The pal wanted to drop off a letter she had helped a young Romeo write. It was an invitation to the prom. But this Romeo, the friend explained, didn't just want me to give the letter to my daughter. He knew I was taking her on a weekend-long trip to Paris (her graduation present) and he wanted me to give it to the pilot to read on the plane. He also wanted it all to happen before the plane took off so my daughter could text him her answer. Even my jaded 50-plus-year-old heart skipped a beat. Not only was my baby girl going to the prom, she was getting a Fantasy Island proposal.

"Will she be happy this guy wants to take her to the prom?" I said, displaying my ignorance about my daughter's social life. "Oh yeah," said her friend. And I smiled. Who doesn't remember the heart-thumping thrill of a boy you like asking you out? There were no words to describe that kind of emotion: It was all tingly nerve endings and butterflies in the stomach.

Still, not everyone thought this loudspeaker proposal was a good idea. My husband, Bob, and my two best girlfriends said my daughter would be horrified to have the pilot single her out. After all, she's a teenager. She gets embarrassed when I sing along with the car radio. So I revised the plan in a way that was still public-ish but less mortifying. I would ask the gate agent to call her to the desk on the loudspeaker and then read the sweet proposal face-to-face.

When we arrived at the Air France gate, an agent with trendy glasses was dealing with a phone crisis. He waved me away, telling me to return in 15 minutes. Then, double horror, the flight was delayed, "indefinitely." A mob of people with connections swarmed the gate agent. Rats. My romantic plot didn't have a chance.

We were rapidly clicking past our original takeoff time. I worried the prom proposer would think his invitation was a no-go -- my daughter ought to have texted her response by now. I broke into a sweat. What to do? We still didn't have a departure time.

Continued on page 2: 


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