I heard through the grapevine that it is officially homecoming 2021 here at SRU (or “slip,” as you young folks tend to say).
As a 30-something, married, commuting mom of five, I’m not very well-versed in what homecoming in college actually means.
I know there is a big football game, possibly a couple of crowns awarded and lots of social activity, but aside from that, I will most likely be spending homecoming seated on my living room couch, eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon and watching the new Sopranos movie.
I do, however, recall my high school homecoming days. I recall them all too well.
My date for my first ever homecoming dance was a good friend of mine, who oddly enough is an SRU theater graduate. I was a freshman, and he was a sophomore.
We had become friends through classmates that identified both his and my complete obsession with Celine Dion. In fact, our first encounter involved a show-down of Celine Dion trivia on a bus ride to a choir field trip. I think he won the showdown, which does not surprise me. I know what you’re thinking: “Can I be you, just for a day?”
So, anyway, my date for my very first ever homecoming was a theater loving, Celine Dion obsessed good friend of mine.
I was so excited to find my dress, but as the oldest in a family of five daughters, I was working on a limited budget. So, instead of going to a fancy department store or boutique, I went to a tiny, old fashioned dress shop owned by a sweet woman of Italian heritage that shared her home with her shop. I picked a long-skirted, maroon taffeta dress that was so stiff that when you took it off it kept it’s human-body shape.
I thought it was a decent choice, even though it smelled of spaghetti and meatballs for three years after I bought it.
I did not get my hair professionally done, my nails were “press-ons” (which really should be called “fall-offs”) and my make-up looked like something off of American Horror Story.
But I was getting flowers, we were riding in a convertible and I was going to get a nice dinner (chicken salad with ranch and a shirley temple) in a nice restaurant, which was the very place that I would work at several years down the road and develop a strong distaste for homecoming night.
I truly don’t remember much about the evening. I think the dance was fun? I don’t remember if we slow-danced, which is maximally awkward and uncomfortable in ninth grade, but I do know for certain there were snacks. We also definitely took a photo together, in which my date-friend is an entire football field shorter than me in the photo.
He laments, to this day, about this traumatizing experience where he was made to appear miniature next to his gargantuan homecoming date, but overall, I believe we had a good time.
We ended the night by going back to his mom’s house and, you guessed it, doing a three hour Celine Dion karaoke challenge, during which time I blew out my vocal cords and couldn’t talk for four days.
I am guessing that SRU Homecoming does not involve MOST of these qualities, but that it is equally enjoyable.
So, whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun, be safe and represent our school well. The mom in me needs to interject, sometimes.