Thursday, October 1, 2015

En Vogue and Homecoming Proposals

It's Homecoming Season for high schools and colleges across America.

I loved Homecoming as a high schooler. I think I went to one dance with a group of friends and then all the rest were with Spouse and our crew. I don't remember a whole lot about them. I imagine there was plenty of En Vogue and Snap! and, Lord help us, Billy Ray Cyrus to burn a calorie or seven we didn't need to burn.
Go ahead, take a dance break. Free your mind. The rest will follow.
Also, I know every single word to that song and don't remember it being so racial! Ha!

Anyway, I've always loved homecoming and dances.
After Meghan was born, Spouse & I took our first date night to chaperone the 8th grade dance at the school I had been working as a substitute teacher. That crew still remains to be my favorite graduating class and to this day I am distraught I can't find the video of all of them singing "Something Like That". (Their 10 Year Reunion is this weekend and I'm dying.)
In 2008, while working for a non-profit focused on promoting healthy lifestyles for teens by delaying sexual activity, my super friend and I chaperoned the high school homecoming dance and ended up being invited by 25+ students to go to dinner with them and take photos.
Is this the cutest bunch you have ever even seen?
Look here. I'm not saying we were celebrities or anything,
but our cheeks hurt from all the paparazzi. I kid.

Yes. We did this. Truly. You have to know that to pull this off,
we had a fantastic relationship with the school
and the students and were welcomed.
It was truly the favor of the Lord.

Just for fun, I had to include these.
These two couples are married now. Good gracious.

All that to say that I have always loved the HoCo Season.

Until my child is now in high school and there is
homecoming and dresses (she doesn't love dresses)
and hair (she wears her hair down or pony only)
and plans (um, who's in charge here)
and boys (and a dad, let's not forget).

But, that's not what gives me pause for Homecoming.
She's going with a good friend and she'll rock a cutesy dress.
I'll have someone else do her hair and she won't argue and she will love it.

I've seen this trend building for the last few years and it makes me concerned for our young men! Listen. There are so many areas in which I support raising the standard for young men.
We need to see more young men with a strong work ethic, ambition, and integrity.
Yes, let's raise the standard! (Moms of girls, who's with me?!)

This, though, just makes me nervous for these boys!
I blame the Pinterest.

Who's smellin' what I'm steppin' in?

It's the Homecoming Proposals

Granted, some of these are just so cute. Whoever did the first maybe 1,000 of these personalized proposals were probably thoughtful, romantic little pioneers and I want to hear all the cool stories! Of course, these aren't just limited to Homecoming, so let's hear them.

But, beyond that, I'd like some thoughtful dialogue about it because here's what I see:

A product of the "text generation". 
Is this further reducing the amount of real voice to voice communication for young people?
There is something to be said for the actual nerves and sick stomach that come with looking
 someone in her eyes and using words from your mouth
and asking her for a date or a seat or help with homework problem 13.

More pressure.
As if that's not enough pressure, this could add to it.
It takes so much for a guy to ask a girl out. They are risking a hard blow to the gut.
For these guys to have to get artsy and creative and make a sign for social media's sake is just too much. People will know you are friends (recommended) or dating because you will show up at the dance together. There will be pictures then. Does it all have to be a dadgum production?

The moms are doing it for them. 
I know this is true at least some times. The moms are doing the Googling ideas and buying poster board and stencils and candy and bears. Now, I love it when a young man goes to his mom for help with sort of thing. It's sweet. It shows he knows he's out of his pay grade and he needs an expert. Sure, go help him gather supplies. I'm talking about the helicopter mom who's orchestrating the whole thing and driving the Sharpies. He needs to drive the Sharpies, Mom. Or at the very least enlist a good artsy friend to help him out.

Y'all, we haven't even gotten into the Homecoming Mums in Texas.
That was an education. Hashtag Texas Forever.

I know Anne Shirley wasn't talking about Homecoming when she said,
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
but this is just fun.
It just doesn't have to be so much everything to be fun.