Good, Bad, and Ugly: Prom-ise we can help!


Madeleine Pham

PROM STRUGGLES: Asking someone out to prom can often be a handful

With prom season fast descending onto Northwood, we’re sure many of our devout readers are currently struggling to secure those last-minute dates and put together their promposals. But beyond giving you the best date advice beforehand, being the thoughtful individuals that we are, The Howler team is also responding to those whose prom experiences may be lackluster. Here’s our best and worst advice to readers who may find themselves a little lost this season. 


Dear Howler, 

There’s this boy in my AP Chemistry class who I’ve been SO obsessed with the entire year. He’s so tall and blonde and dreamy and cool and smart and handsome and perfect. He’s got the side profile of a Greek GOD and the physique of an Olympic swimmer. His quads are toned and his abs are ROCK SOLID. And to top it all off, he can recite the entire periodic table in under 30 seconds. Oh, did I forget to mention? I’m 99% sure he has a girlfriend. Should I still shoot my shot? 


Aykneed Hermandez

Good (Eugenie Chang): Ask around to confirm whether or not he actually has a girlfriend. Better yet, just walk up and ask him straight to his face. There’s nothing wrong with being direct, and plus, you get all the benefits from initiating a conversation! Maybe you can slip in a little hint about how much you love the periodic table while you’re at it. After all, if you’ve never seen her, all this “girlfriend” talk may just be a huge rumor. 

But on the off chance that he actually has a girlfriend, do NOT proceed. “Homewrecker” is not a label you want attributed to you, and trust me, no man is worth that inevitable confrontation at prom. Stilettos are sharp, you know? In all seriousness, there are plenty of fish in the sea, and you should just move on.

Bad (Elena Higuchi): You’re only 99% sure that he has a girlfriend? If you ask me, that just means there’s a big chance that he’s available. Think of it this way, even if he is in a relationship, his current girlfriend is CLEARLY not doing enough. If she was a good girlfriend, everyone would be 100% sure that they’re dating. You’re better for him anyways. There’s still a 1% chance that he’s single and a 99% chance that you’re a better fit for him. Go for it, girl!

Ugly (Annabel Tiong): Use his talents against him. First of all, those rock solid abs? They’ll be perfect for bashing in his girlfriend’s favorite perfume bottle, which will cause them to break up. That periodic table obsession and Greek GOD profile? He must have an ego through the roof. Get a rigged, extra fast timer, dare him to go to prom with you if he doesn’t finish in 30 seconds, and bam. Nothing but net, and you can pay for the perfume later. 


Dear Howler,

I’m currently writing to you from the bathroom of Coto De Caza. Today is prom and there’s a few minor issues. One: my date spilled strawberry lemonade on my clothes. Two: my date smells a little like a racoon. Three: my date’s ex is here and they made me hold their bags, coats and drive them to the venue. Four: my date is slow dancing with their ex and they banished me to the bathroom. Am I being a pushover right now? Should I confront them? 

Deeply devastated,

Eykennot Rheedaroom 

Good (Eugenie Chang): If they really do smell slightly like a raccoon, it’s probably better for you to keep your distance at least for tonight and have a sincere conversation with them after prom is over. You should absolutely express your feelings to them properly, but the flashing lights at prom don’t exactly exude seriousness, and honestly, you shouldn’t let them taint your fond memories of prom. Their abandonment of you is a reflection of their lack of maturity, not yours, so take the high road but still show them what they’re missing out on. Grab a few friends, make your way back to that dance floor and dance like there’s no tomorrow!

Bad (Elena Higuchi): Look, spilling shaved ice on you was an ACCIDENT! They were just so excited to take cute couple candids where they feed you and accidentally spilled some. Harmless mistake. Honestly, you shouldn’t be so harsh on your date! They’re probably a little pungent smelling right now because they’re sweating out of nervousness! You make them feel so shy and flustered. I suggest telling them that they smell good so they’ll sweat less. Lastly, I think you’re so sweet and considerate for helping your date and their ex. You’re not being a pushover at all! Take a little nap and find comfort in knowing that you are proving to your date that you’re an incredibly kind and patient human being. 

Ugly (Annabel Tiong): Are you stupid? You need to get revenge on your poor nostrils for the racoon smell. There’s this saying, if someone slaps you on your left cheek, slap them on both of their cheeks. One: take strawberry shaved ice and cover their entire desk with it afterwards. Two: Rent a live racoon and slip it into their backpack. Three: Hire a random hot person to make them jealous. Four: Slow dance with them, film it and lock both of them in the bathroom. The end.


Dear Howler, 

I have a dilemma. After three months of nonstop planning, sacrificing my sleep schedule and skipping school to the point of being designated as a “Chronic Absentee,” I came up with the perfect plan to ask my one and only true love to the biggest event of my entire life: high school prom. It was going perfectly: I bought them a Squishmallow, a bouquet from Trader Joe’s, a new necklace and also commissioned my dateless friend with good art skills to make a poster for me. And guess what—they said yes. They said yes. You’d think everything would be smooth sailing, but then I realized something. I have commitment issues. I thrive for the chase, you know? I need to be deviously planning because I don’t know if they want me. So now that we’re busy getting matching outfits, I want someone else. What should I do? Where can I get refunds on Squishmallows? 


Comet Mentissues

Good (Eugenie Chang): Start by revisiting what qualities about them made you so attracted to begin with! There’s got to be some reason why you threw away your education and depleted your bank account for their promposal. Sometimes all you need is to concentrate on their strengths to revive that feeling of young love. Do they make you laugh? Are they thoughtful? Hone in on that reason and hold on tight. At worst, if you realize your love was really more like an obsession (hint: it probably was), clarify that you’d like to go just as friends and explore other options later to avoid hurting their feelings. While you’re at it with the introspection, you should probably tackle those commitment issues. 

Bad (Elena Higuchi): You should just pretend to like them and go with them to prom. Plus, you don’t need to hang out with them after photos. Just disappear into the crowd and find new people to chase! Life is all about the chase, so follow your passions. 

Ugly (Annabel Tiong): Ralphs, Costco, etc. Depends where you bought the Squishmallow. Also, you could try reselling on Ebay. I don’t see why you can’t just find someone else to go with and then leave your current date hanging. Set up an AI language bot, perhaps ChatBPT or whatever the most popular one is right now, to respond so you don’t have to bother or feel bad, and then live it up with your new date! In fact, you could even take it a step further by finding multiple new dates, telling them all to wear the same color, inviting them to the same place and playing a cute little prank. Otherwise, best of luck living that cheetah life. P.S. Chronic absenteeism can easily be solved by bargaining with the State of California.