A crowd gathers around a row of boys, who are holding up posters that are hidden by the backs of curious students. A few students roll their eyes and pass by them to get to class, while most teens stay put to watch the surprised girl be led through the crowd and towards the boy holding the last poster. With the audience hoping for a positive response, applause and shouts of encouragement are blared throughout the courtyard. The girl says yes, and everyone cheers.
This is a typical case of a Winterball invitation, in which boys (and girls) ask potential dates out in either extravagant ways or with sweet, less flashy invitations, like surprising a hopeful candidate in class with a bouquet.
Surely, there are those bitter about not being asked, but it’s hard to say that any such invitation wouldn’t flatter someone, right? It’s only pure jealousy when a student walks by and rolls his or her eyes – or the student is actually sick of the constant routines throughout the weeks of November and December.
Regardless, it’s quite an anxious time for many students. Winterball is the first formal dance of the year, and getting a date can be nerve-wracking. However, many still want the moment captured.
Emily Nguyen, a junior and club president of Photography For A Cause, has taken pictures and recorded invitations for a small fee that goes directly to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I want to get memories captured, and with good quality. Being involved in something so special makes me happy,” said Nguyen.
When asked why she chose St. Jude’s, she replied, “It was the first organization that came to mind, and a good first cause to donate to. There will definitely be funds for other organizations in the future.”
Many say the asking-out experience is more heartfelt when only a small audience is around. Logan Smith, a senior, asked his girlfriend Megan Warhurst, a sophomore, to Winterball by walking into class a few minutes late after requesting for teacher Carmelina Frasca to write “Will Megan say yes?” on a projector screen, and then walking in immediately afterwards with a bouquet.
“It’s embarrassing asking in front of everyone,” said Smith. “And, having it in a small class is more intimate and special because we know the people in our class. It’s awkward to ask in front of strangers that just don’t know us and want to get in our business.”
For those who get rejected, life may seem dark for a couple of days, but, as many frequently say, life goes on. Just having the guts to ask anyone out, in front of a lot of people or only a few, is something that’s actually pretty commendable. So those certain rejected people have complete permission to walk away from Winterball proposals with a scowl and an eye roll, and sigh a relief when the Winterball hype is finally over.