Now, that's not true everywhere, but still football season is a big deal and so is HOCO or homecoming. In fact the HOCO and Friday Night Lights season is so huge that several books have been written about football (Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger, Always A Catch by Peter Richmond, The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, Bleachers by John Grishman, and Concussion by Jean Marie Laskas to name a few) and so many movies have been written about dances like homecoming (Pretty in Pink, Never Been Kissed, and of course Carrie). Thus, fall for high school students is both a busy and stressful time.
As a mom of a high school football player, I find this time of year to be so alien. (I don't have brothers and was never into football). The lingo and the experience is lost on me, but I still try to rejoice in his excitement. Try as I might I am really still just clueless when it comes to football, but the HOCO buzz I can follow and I do. Every year my son asks a girl to the dance and because I live in the south, every year I make a homecoming mum (which is fake flower glued to cardboard with bears, stickers, trinkets, and three feet of ribbon glued to the bottom of it). People think they are tacky and pointless, but I think they are kind of fun and rather beautiful.
Even though my son and I embrace the tradition, every year I listen to my son and his friends talk about girls at their school - nothing bad - it's just that they complain that girls always complain that no guys ask them out, but when the guys finally do ask the girls out, the girls tell them boys no. Ah, yes. That is high school as I remember it. The people you want to ask you out never do and the ones you don't do. Sigh. That's life. Still it makes me really want to write a book about HOCO from the south's point of view and it has to have mums - lots and lots of mums.
And OMG. Have you seen how the poor guys have to ask girls out to the dance these days? Yeah, that has to be in the book. I know a boy who asked a girl to the dance by throwing a back of chips at her with note attached. She said no. It wasn't a very good way to ask. He then went through three more girls before he finally gave up. And sadly he isn't the only story I know like that. Many other boys have been shot down because the girl didn't like the way the guy asked her to the dance - although that might have been a polite way for the girl to say no. Whatever the case, that's a lot of pressure on these young men.
And then of course what's HOCO without drama? I can't even begin to tell you how much drama is involved in the dance and related activities. Like did you know that not only do they go to eat (often in limos), and then to the dance, but then they have after parties? Holy cow! Really? And then there is always someone who doesn't like someone and they then refuse to go somewhere if that person is there and then all the plans change. Goodness!
Yes, if ever I have the time, I think it would be fun to write a book about a truly Southern HOCO experience. I think it would be funny and enlightening to people from different parts of the country. I often giggle whenever someone new moves to town and I have to show them pictures of mums off the they internet. They are often just blown away. I think it is funny. Not sure if the kids find it so funny, but maybe someday, they will look back and laugh at the time when they did something like hit some girl in the face with a back of chips that has a scribbled note reading: "Will you go to homecoming with me?"
Or perhaps it would be fun for Mitchell to write the boy's book - Friday Night Lights book and I can write the sister book from the girl's POV and it would center more around HOCO because while prom is all about the dress, HOCO is all about the mum.