“All the girls thought it was sweet, and the guys were like, ‘That was tight.’”

That’s how a Prince William County high junior characterized to a Post reporter the elaborate stunt that one of his classmates pulled off. That classmate coordinated the flight of a helicopter over Patriot High School’s football field and the “parachuting” of a stuffed animal with a note requesting that a girl attend the Fall Fest with him.

Now, so say students interviewed, all the girls are “jealous” and all the guys feel stymied at their own conventional gestures. The hero has promised to one-up even himself for the prom, according to today’s Post story.

Romance or excess? (Dayna Smith/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

First, of course, is the appalled reaction of many adults who remember a time when “sweet” meant a shaky voiced proposal at the other end of a phone line. This helicopter seems to be part of a larger trend to embrace, rather than curb, teenage impulses.

It was just last spring, remember, when a Visa report found that parents were spending, on average, more than a thousand dollars on their kids’ prom. That was a spike of more than a third from the previous year, and in the middle of a recession.

“The parents and the principal and the school system should have said NO! We seem to have lost our ability to say no to our children anymore,” wrote one of the many like-minded commenters to today’s story.

Then there are the details of this particular incident that make it less romantic and more troubling. The boy’s father, who approved according to The Post, is a senior official in air operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It’s unclear how or if his position played a role in the coordination of this frivolity.

More, the school principal approved. An official whose daily job it is to reign in teenage drama said this was A-okay.

Now, the school is teeming with “jealous” girls and boys motivated to go for broke. And, it’s only September.

It’ll be a long year at Patriot High.

What do you think of the helicopter proposal?

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