I’ve been blogging long enough that my boys all assume by now if something big is happening in their life it will be transferred to my blog. When Jordan asked to borrow my pocket camera before the homecoming football game his reason was, “I need to get you pictures of us for your blog.” Homecoming in Texas is an overgrown beast, a species I don’t recognize from my days of homecoming games. I would lean out there and say it’s more extravagant than prom. The problem with this for those families like ours who arrive in this foreign land with these weird beasts in hiding, is that we aren’t educated about it, we are just thrown in and left confused. We had homecoming court, where a king and queen were named at half time, a football game, and a dance, which no one ever attended.
Here the students begin a month in advance to prepare their weekend activities. The first meeting is held by the girls, and together they decide which boy will ask which girl to homecoming. The boys wait for their instructions and shrug. This is hysterical for me to watch play out. The boys play dumb knowing the girls like to be in control anyway, so they don’t have to be decisive. Once the “friends” are paired up they get busy. The girls go dress shopping immediately so they can tell the boys what color their tie should match. The boys then have to begin budgeting how they are going to pay for all the fun they are planning. For four weeks Jordan was eager for me to hire him for garden work every weekend so he could earn enough to pay for it all.
The boys wear a suit, which they probably only wear once or twice a year, most likely to grow out of it before the next opportunity arises to wear it. We had Donny’s suit from last year altered to fit Jordan this year. Craig bought him a new tie and shirt, had the shoes polished, threw in a dress belt and called it good. The boys are easy.
Now for the Texas culture I will never understand: Mums and garters. I won’t explain it. You will have to look at this picture. The boys have to order this “thing” for the girls taking hints for all the trinkets they want hanging from it like bubbles, games, toys, whistles, bells etc. Ok, now, the thing costs close to a hundred dollars for the boys to pay for so the girls can wear it to school. The day of homecoming the girls wear overall jeans and pin it to the bib and wear it all day long, and then again to the game that night. It’s got to be just awful for the girls who wanted to be asked but didn’t get a date to go to school without a mum. I know the school looks the other way when students are suddenly sick that day.
The next day I am sure the girls spend it at the salon, but the boys hang out and get dressed fifteen minutes before the scheduled pictures. This year the pictures were in our gardens so we spent the day making the gardens picture perfect. At five o’clock fourteen tenth graders arrive looking their best with parents trailing behind with cameras. Then the dreaded posed pictures begin. Blah. I’m not a real lover of posed pictures, but sometimes it’s just got to be done.
Some parents can’t get enough, so eventually the kids are grumpy begging for the photo session to be over. Sometimes the parents are finished when the kids are just getting warmed up for the cameras. You never know how these things will go.
The parents then decide how to carpool the kids for the rest of their evening fun which includes a fancy dinner where they pretend to be adults in a restaurant and spend sixteen shocking dollars for a piece of salmon smaller than a fist, on to the dance, and then the afterparty at one nice parent’s home. The big question of the evening was who is going to go pick him up at midnight? Not me. I go to bed at nine. Craig hung his shoulders and by default set his alarm.
Was it all worth it? I believe other than getting out of bed five minutes before leaving for church to make the 8am service, yes. He had a great time with his friends. “Did you have fun dancing?” “NO! We didn’t dance, yuck, we stayed away from all those wierd grinding people and hung out by the food.” Grown up, and yet, not so much.