Mount Si High School – Perfecting The Art Of The Prom Invitation

When my oldest child entered Mount Si High School three years ago, I was surprised by the elaborate lengths the kids went to with their dance invitations.  Over the years, I’ve seen a car filled to the last inch with balloons, baseball players holding up invitation signs during a varsity game, invites spelled out in cookies – even rooms decorated with the help of sneaky parents.  Gone are the days of a boy simply stopping you in the hall and bravely asking that sometimes nerve-wracking question.

I am convinced, though, that the boy who invited my daughter to this year’s prom might go down in the MSHS Prom Invitation Hall of Fame.  It all started last week with a text asking for mine and her father’s permission to take her to prom. For Nick Crandell, starting out on the right foot is an understatement.  He then told us the plans for the evening and how he wanted to actually ask her, which involved us.

My daughter’s prom date is a great kid; one that listens.  He revealed that she had told him about a special place her dad took her the prior week; the spot they went to talk after an emotional, unfortunate event.  It’s a place special to my husband – and maybe anyone who grew up in West Seattle.  Nick said she confided in him about the whole night and how beautiful she thought this spot was.  He wanted to ask her to prom there.  Her dad and I would come up with a cover story to get her back to that special place and he would be waiting, with flowers and his invitation.

That beautiful spot my daughter and husband love is not in the Snoqualmie Valley.  It’s in West Seattle near the home where Annie was born, the place we started out as a family.  Hamilton Viewpoint sits in the North Admiral District of West Seattle overlooking Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline.  It might possibly have the best view of Seattle – or maybe that’s a bias of West Seattle natives.  Regardless, getting Annie there would take some creative thinking.

“Mission Prom Invitation” happened last night right before sunset.  Her father told her they needed to go to Seattle for a cashier’s check to pay for a car repair – and that for insurance purposes the auto shop wouldn’t take a credit card or personal check.  She’s been driving for less than two months.  There were no questions.  The cover story was bought “hook, line and sinker”   The arrival time was coordinated via text from Snoqualmie and Nick made it there with my, for once,  surprisingly accurate directions.   The viewpoint was packed, typical of West Seattle on the first warm spring day.  He found the only open bench and sat waiting with red roses.

My husband got Annie back to the viewpoint easily.  It was a beautiful night so even she wanted to see the view another time; this time in the daylight.  There was only one open parking spot near the bench.  She refused to pull in, saying there were too many people so they should just drive through.  After several “stern” parking requests from her father,  he finally yelled, “park right there!”  Nick was only 15 feet away, but she still didn’t see him.  Why would she?  They were 45 minutes from home.  Then in typical teenage daughter defiance, she refused to get out of the car – not wanting to be seen with her father.  Her dad finally gave up and in utter frustration said he was getting out to “go talk to that guy right over there! ”  He pointed to Nick, who was by then walking toward the car, flowers in hand.

She was shocked, surprised and thoroughly happy.  I’m still not sure if she cried.  To top it off, after about 45 seconds she stopped, looked at her dad and said, “Wait, you never had to get a cashiers check.”  Duh!

This was one of those life moments.  Something I am sure my first-born child will remember her whole life.  Maybe she’ll  take her own teenage daughter back to Hamilton Viewpoint some day and tell her all about how Nick Crandell, Mount Si Senior Class of 2012, pulled off a perfect and meaningful prom proposal.  Maybe she will even remember that her dad dropped everything to get her to that spot.  A mom can hope…

MSHS Prom Invitiation 2012 at West Seattle's Hamilton Viewpoint

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  • This story just made my day! Have a great time at the prom, Annie! From what your date has done to invite you I can only imagine that it will be a perfect night…

  • Danna, what a great story! So glad you shared with us! Annie is such a great gal and deserves a great date to prom!!

  • Jim reminds me of a couple of other wondderful dad’s I know! Annie is so loved…she will always remember Nick’s invitation and so will mom’s everywhere:)

  • Living Snoqualmie