Then, he liked a girl.
And she liked him back.
So, here we go again, on the homecoming roller coaster ride that only Texans can do.
Last year, the "ASK" involved a small gift. This year, the tradition seems to have morphed into a memorable event. Things like many candles lit in the girl's front yard. A scavenger hunt. Convincing the teacher to add it as a question to a test. Surprise is key. Aidan hatched and discarded many different ideas, all involving varying degrees of props, supporting cast, financing and originality. His final production involved half-naked men and body paint.
Just in case you couldn't tell, lying on your side to see the video, the boys all came out of the locker room of a swim meet and lined up in front of the stands where The Girl was sitting. Some kind of tribal yell, and then they ripped their shirts off. They each had a letter of H-O-M-E-C-O-M-I-N-G on their chests, with Aidan as a "?". Definitely points for originality. Good thing she said "Yes!" with such enthusiasm, being a public event and all.
The next "event" on the agenda is The Ordering of The Mum. There are all kinds of rules surrounding The Mum and it's best to get professional help. The Mum Lady does a remarkable job and produces a quality product, no two alike. Also to be accomplished is The Purchsing Of The Tie so that it will match the date's dress.
While all this is going on, the kids (and I suspect, the Mommies) start tossing around ideas for The Schedule of Events for the Saturday night of Homecoming Week. Appently, "nobody" actually attends the dance anymore. Each idea is more elaborate than the next, and all involve much carting of kids to and fro by weary parents who have been carting to and fro all week. This year, somehow, the Saturday Night Events got moved to a town all the way on the other side of the lake. Somebody wanted to take photos at the Botanical Gardens over there, even though several generous families all offered their very lovely (and local!) yards for this segment of the Festivities. Also on the evening's agenda is dinner out, bowling, and an after-party at one of the kids homes. Oy.
As we enter the homestretch, the events come fast and furious. Next up is The Presenting of The Mum, which happens on Thursday, so the girl has the
chore pleasure of wearing it all day at school on Friday, after which it gathers dust on her bedroom wall. Mum Presentation takes place at someone's home and involves several couples. The girls, all a-twitter, gather in one room, while the boys enter and conceal The Mum in another room. Parents orbit in the margins of the room with cameras ready. The boys enter and give The Mums to the girls and there is much "ooooh"ing and "aaaaahhhhhh"ing with exclamations of "It's so pretty!" Everybody dons their Mums, poses for photos, then removes The Mums for intense examination of all the details.
Oh, the details!
THIS is why one hires The Mum Lady. I sooooo could never pull this off myself. All the bling, all the braids, all the special tassles, boas, sparkles. Oy!
These are all the special braided ribbons.
Various plastic symbols
The mum included a horse head (she rides), a jaguar jewel tassel,
and the teddy bear had a crystal tiara
Ribbons with their names, and even a whistle - in case she needs to get someones attention
A feather boa on a silken silver cord, and much artistry with the ribbons
There is even candy embedded in the Mum. And bling. Lots and lots of bling.
Friday, the school halls and classrooms are filled with Mums. There are students hiding beneath them somewhere. One smart teacher made the kids remove them and hang them up on the wall.
Each Mum seems more absurd than the next. I'll get off my Mum soap box, but will leave you with one last image, all from our local high school.
Finally, Saturday arrives, the day everything has been building towards. Apparently, the girls all start getting ready about 10am. There are hair appointments, mani-pedi's, and makeup parties.
Since I had been a "conscientious objector" to the complexity and geography of the plans, my only role for the evening was to drop Aidan off at someone else's house where the first leg of the evening was to begin. The Photo Shoot. From there, they were taken to a restaurant for dinner, and then moved on to the bowling alley. After bowling, they returned to Flower Mound to hang out at one boy's home for the "after party." All transportation provided by parents with more generous spirits than I.
I know I'm being kind of snarky about all this. I will add that Aidan and his very nice date had a great time. This is an awesome group of kids and as a parent I want to be supportive of them since they ARE so great. I know they get tired of hearing "Back in the day, we didn't expect all this rigamarole!" I don't know how or why or when things got so complicated.
But, as always, at the end of the day, I am grateful. Grateful for my healthy kids and that they continue to make good choices, including surrounding themselves with great friends. Grateful that we are able to provide them the evening they want. And yes, I am grateful that it's over.
Until next year. When I will experience this again, adding the perspective of my daughter!