General Etiquette > Family and Children

How strong was DD's "no" for prom? update 102

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DD is a jr, age 16, at a private school where she is rather quiet.  She has a "boyfriend" that is not allowed to date till he is 18, but they hang out at shared activities and our families are mutual friends, but most of the kids at her school do not know about him, because she is...quiet.  He does not attend her school.

Prom is coming up, and he will be in another state at an international competition.  So, knowing she was not going to prom, and was not interested in going with a group of girls she is not really friends with, she accepted a babysitting job a few weeks ago. 

cue last Monday-

Fellow junior boy, let's call him "Jay," stopped by her locker before school and asked, "hey, if you are going to prom, could you and I go together?  Let me know so I can decide which car you want me to drive."

DD-" I have babysitting, and another activity (day of shooting with Scouts); I am not going."

cue Wednesday-

Jay, "I bought prom tickets just in case.  Let me know if you can go."
DD, "Okay??"

cue Friday night (no school Th or Fri)-

Jay's mom calls me.  I have not worked with her, could not pick her out from a line up, do not know her.  She asks if I have some time to talk.

Her story-

Jay asked DD to prom, and she agreed.  Jay had worked out who they were going with, had rented a tux, had made dinner reservations, and had texted DD that afternoon to check on her dress color.  DD had responded, "I am not going.  Sorry!"

And now, Jay is mistrustful and unsure of himself and "may not have the courage to ask another girl out because of this, and DD really set him back."

I was quite surprised, because all I know of this guy is that he is also in advanced classes and can be an annoying know-it-all, likes to talk a lot, and on class trips, sometimes wanders off following randomness. 

DD was out with a girlfriend (from yet another school) so I told the mom I would wait to speak with her, but that I had heard NOTHING about prom, and told her of the babysitting job right off the bat.  I did NOT mention "the boyfriend" because it was not relevant. 

Mom continued on that as a mom of two older girls now in their 20's that she would want a mom of a 16 year old  to know if their daughter was saying yes to a date and then not respecting that, or to make NO be a no.

I assured her that I would speak to DD, but since I had heard NOTHING about prom, I could not answer for her.

She continued repeating how upset her son was, and I let her go on.  I asked what should be done and offered DD for pay for tickets, or to cancel her babysitting job and make her go (but she does not have a dress) or, what??  And mom finally said that she wants DD to speak with Jay. 

And say what?

DH and I spoke with DD that night, as did DS, a senior, who also knows Jay only vaguely.  We all agree that her Wednesday, "Okay?" was not a firm NO.  But, how should DD proceed?

She said she did not tell us, because to her, asking someone out for a date includes asking the dad for permission, and then asking in a nice way.  (DS took a small bouquet of flowers for his date, after asking her dad for permission, and who all was going as a group date.)(His date is strictly a friend.)

She said his was less casual that asking to go study at a coffee shop.  No details, they do not talk, she does not consider him a friend.  I asked how many classes they shared, and once she counted it up, was quite surprised that it was four!! 

It was now late Friday night and too late to do any calls.

Sat was egg hunt help at church and then DD had yet another babysitting job.  Then today, Easter.  We are soon going over the DH's parents for the rest of the day. 

So, what does DD tell Jay tomorrow at school?

Sorry, of course, but for what, other than "not saying NO strongly enough."?

**I just asked DD if anyone at school knew he had asked her.  "Maybe (name) because her locker is next to mine and she might have heard when he asked?"
Then she asked what I was doing so I showed her this post, and she agreed it was correct.  I solemnly swear I have not changed anything and just added the *** part now.

So, what for Monday for DD?

Oh, prom is this coming Sat., the 26th.  School is small, less that 100 students per grade.

Prom is at a downtown hotel. 

By saying "I have babysitting, and another activity (day of shooting with Scouts); I am not going," should have been all the answer he needed.

On the other hand, when he said he bought tickets "just in case," (which I think is a manipulative move on his part), she probably should have reiterated that she was not going to prom.

I wouldn't discuss the matter with Jay's mom at all, and I wouldn't tell your DD to bring up the topic with Jay.  I would advise her that if Jay brings up the subject again, that she should say "When you first asked me on [day] if I would go to the prom with you, I said no because I had a prior commitment."

At the time he asked her, your DD told the boy she 2 other events, and that she was not going to the prom.

Then he said a day or 2 later that he bought tickets just in case, and then told his Mom that essentially your DD led him on? Hmmm, he's really wanting for your DD to go with him isn't he. It seems to me that he told his mom so that she could add her 2 cents ?

He didn't want to take DD's No as really a No.

Oh, one more opinion of mine.... Do not reimburse the boy for the ticket.

Saying "OK" on the second just-in-case ask ('cause that's what it was) is most definitely not saying "No."

I agree with his mom (who shouldn't have called you) that she needs to be clear, explicit, and probably apologetic.

"Jay, I'm sorry I wasn't clearer before. I am not going to go to the prom with you or anyone else. I'm busy that night. Good luck finding another date."


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