Confession: I love homecoming. I love the giant mums, with their giant shiny ribbons and their giant clanging bells. I love the tension in the halls; will the boy I’ve never even spoken to, but loved from afar, finally realize his deep, everlasting love for me and ask me to be his date? Will anyone ask me? (That answer was a resounding NO). I love the pep rallies, I love screaming excitedly at the sky and cheering for football games I otherwise cared nothing about. Most of all, I love spending hours getting jazzed up in my fancy Camille dress, standing with my friends in a teetering row as we struggle to pose and stay upright at the
same time, and laughing as our hips bump while we try to whip and nae nae (more like the Macarena but I’m trying to be hip and cool here, ya dig?).
What I regret about homecoming was that at the time, I didn’t realize how much I loved it. I let myself get swept away in the agonies of buying an out of season sale dress, of having to ride in my parents white conversion van while my mom and her friends hung out the window singing along to Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”, and worst of all, the absolute horror of being forced to after party with my mom and her friends, who still hadn’t moved on from “Fat Bottomed Girls”.
With homecoming season once again upon us, I’m seeing this same script acted out everywhere and it’s hard for me to watch. I wish that I could hug the girls who didn’t get asked and tell them how much more fun they will have dancing wildly with their closest girl friends. I wish I could unfurl the sweaty, knotted fists that hover centimeters away from their dates nervous palms in a dangerous, dangling anxiety. I wish I could tell them all that the night will be okay, it will be fun, and I wish that they would listen.
Homecoming doesn’t have to be this huge, overblown event. Homecoming is magical for all of the moments that you don’t meticulously plan. The moment you share a smile with your mom as you all awkwardly pose with backyard shrubbery, or the quick flash of ice through your veins when your crush bumps your elbow at the punch table. There is nothing more beautiful than the wild laughter of youth, as it spins and turns in swirls of tulle and silk across a dance floor that never ends.