You’re epic. Prom with me?


Graphic illustration by Sharlene Chen

Askings bring liveliness to Lynbrook’s campus, returning with balloons, crowns and Mario Kart with shopping carts.

Meera Nambiar and Samyukta Sarma

“YES!” As formal dances return to Lynbrook’s campus, asking culture has returned with balloons, crowns and Mario Kart with shopping carts. 

After Winter Formal and with Junior Prom around the corner, askings are on the minds of many students. The return of school events and an increase in the number of couples on campus have generated excitement around askings leading up to Winter Formal and proms. 

“Askings are a fun high school experience,” said junior Lucy Barnes, who was asked by senior Muyi Lin. 

In one of the first public askings of the year, Lin wore a king costume from the drama department and rode into the quad on a scooter, surrounded by friends dressed as knights. Economics and Government teacher Jeffery Bale introduced Lin with a megaphone. 

“Now, I speak my dream to thee,” Lin said. “How about Winter Formal with me?”

The scene ended with Barnes being crowned queen. The two won the Winter Formal asking competition organized by ASB Social, but Barnes feels that askings are not about the contest.

“I don’t think the contest was a driving force,” Barnes said. “It was more that people wanted to show their genuine affection and appreciation for someone and be like, ‘This is my person.’”

While askings are primarily about the couple, they can become enjoyable for all when involving a community of friends and teachers.  

“I think it’s a great way to bring people together and provide something fun to campus,” Bale said.  

Bale recalls one of his first years teaching when he had his own experience, requesting another teacher to co-chaperone prom with him as friends. 

“Some students were trying to get me and another single teacher to go and chaperone together,” Bale said. “So, I did an asking where I made her a book that was delivered to her classroom. It was huge, and all the students felt involved.”

When senior Farhaan Khan asked junior Avishi Reddy to Winter Formal, he recruited many of his friends to set up a Mario Kart-themed asking for Reddy. Khan, dressed as Mario, raced against senior Yixuan Wong, dressed as Bowser, in shopping carts decorated like karts. The race was officiated by junior Esha Dasari and included classic Mario Kart items such as green shells and banana peels. 

“I chose Mario Kart because it was a joke between us,” Khan said. “It was one of the things we talked about before we started dating. Avishi joked, ‘Oh, I’m really good at Mario Kart. I’ll beat you at Mario Kart.’ It was just a thing we had. So I thought it would be a cool theme for the asking.” 

Khan’s sign read, “Be the Peach to my Mario,” and Reddy cheerfully agreed. 

However, not all askings are a fairy tale. Oftentimes, students say yes to an asking even when the feelings are not reciprocated. The presence of an audience and the grandeur of an asking could pressure someone into saying “yes,” even if they are not comfortable going with that person. The fear of making the other party feel bad, in public or in private, can also contribute to a “yes” answer. When the response is “no,” the result is often embarrassment. 

“When you do it with so much hype and in public, and it is not appreciated, it amplifies the rejection,” Bale said, speaking from personal experience of witnessing askings gone wrong. 

Not all askings had a grand scene like Lin and Barnes’s or Khan and Reddy’s. Private askings, such as freshmen Yamani Huang and Richard Yuan’s, can be short and sweet. 

“It was kind of funny because Richard asked me in Chinese, and I thought that was pretty cool,” Huang said. 

The welcomed arrival of askings on campus have made one thing clear: Lynbrook askings go all out. Whether through a large public display or a few sentimental words, askings are something to look forward to every year.