DRACUT -- Don't just ask your girl to the prom. "Do it big," urges Dracut High senior Zach Bassett.
Unlike, say, 20 years ago when a simple and straightforward question-and-answer between a boyfriend and girlfriend, asked privately before or after school or between classes, might have sufficed, the cellphone cameras and social media surrounding today's teens have inspired them to transform the prom proposal into creative performance art that can be digitally replayed forever.
Bassett contacted The Sun last week asking for our assistance in popping a one-of-a-kind prom question on his girlfriend since freshman year, Katie Brooks. Namely, publishing a photo showing Bassett atop a giant snowman, constructed on "what was probably the last-ever snow day of my senior year" (he should probably check the forecast). Constructing a stand to be seen above the 12 feet tall snowman's head, Bassett displayed cards that read: "Katie Brooks. Prom?"
(The Sun has not contacted Brooks to ask her thoughts about Bassett's proposal for this article, for obvious reasons.)
"I'm almost 100 percent positive that she will say yes," Bassett said Wednesday.
Despite having a "yes" answer nearly in the bag, Bassett and thousands of other senior boys nationwide similarly invest much energy in coming up with new and innovative ways to ask girls to the big spring dance.
"The first, most important thing about prom dates is the way you ask the question," Bassett
In other words, it sure beats a bouquet of roses and a lousy card, Bassett said.
The Dracut High prom is the Dracut senior prom is at the Seaport World Trade Center on May 30.
Bassett said several Dracut High classmates have also gotten creative with their prom proposals in recent weeks, including one buddy who romantically ambushed his girlfriend after she had stayed after school for extra help and emerged from Dracut High's front doors.
"My buddy had his friends park at the end of the parking lot facing the front of the school, with lettering on the cars' windows for when she came out that spelled, 'Will you go to the prom with me?' with a big question mark," Bassett said. "He also had her favorite song playing on the radio of his car as she came out. There was a whole bunch of kids gathered around. It was pretty cool."
One classmate placed a giant teddy bear in front of his girlfriend's locker before popping the prom question, Bassett said.
Another member of Dracut High's class of 2013, who runs track with his girlfriend, arranged for the staff of the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston to display his prom proposal on the center's giant digital message board, Bassett said.
"It's all about coming up with new, innovative ways to ask someone," he added.
To date, Brooks has patiently been giving Bassett plenty of time and space to pop the prom question, he said.
"She knows something's coming. She just doesn't know how or when," Bassett said. "I thought this, a photo in The Sun, would be great. The more publicity, the better -- The kind of thing everyone will gather around to look at."
Follow John Collins on Twitter at johncolowellsun.