Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let the money sucking begin.....

Well, Boy Child started (gulp) high school this year.  My usual philosophy with life changes, transitions, etc. has been to face them head on, embrace them, try not to spend too much time grieving for the past, and view it all as a big adventure.

But then, along comes Homecoming.

I find the absurd a bit hard to embrace.

I must admit that much of the absurdity mostly comes from the comedy that surrounds navigating unfamiliar waters with a Boy Child.  Mostly, the male species aren't totally observant, and they also don't communicate real well.  If it wasn't for the Mommy Network keeping me clued in, I would have no idea about all the processes and rituals surrounding Homecoming.

Talk about putting a lot of stress on people, especially the kids!

So, apparently you just can't ASK a date.  There have to be gifts involved.  Flowers, teddy bears, candy, I don't know really.  We went with the single rose.  Twice.  Forgetting one's cell phone makes it hard to arrange a suitable between-class meeting place and so the rose languished in the backpack.  $5.40.

Another early morning visit to pick up another rose ($5.40 again) and hopefully there will be good news today after school.

Next up are the logistics.....  where to eat, who else to go with, where is the after party, coordinating clothing, coordinating transportation.  For both the Friday game AND the dance Saturday.  It's a money sucking marathon, homecoming.

But here is the most absurd thing.  The dreaded MUM.  You know that quaint fall tradition of wearing a chrysyanthemum corsage to football games?  Well, in Texas, bigger is better, and apparently the lowly mum isn't enough.  It has to be A Mum.  What is A Mum, you ask?  It is a tacky conglomeration of ribbons, sparkles, feathers, charms, mini teddy bears, blinky lights, you name it - if a hot glue gun will hold it on, it can go on A Mum.  The bigger, the better.  Or maybe not.  A freshman Mum shouldn't be too big, but if it's too small, it could be mistaken for a boy's Mum.  Yes, boys wear them too.

Now, hold on to your wallets - the price range of A Mum is anywhere from about $60 to a few hundred dollars.  One mom I know thought she could make A Mum for less....  not so, she actually wound up spending about $20 more on all the ribbons, etc. and didn't have much in the way of leftovers.  Crafty ladies and smart floral shops buy in bulk and crank 'em out during Mum season, but you have to reserve your order early.  Was homecoming this stressful back in the '80s?  I think not.

I know.  It's unbelieveable.  Don't believe me?  Just do a quick search on "Texas homecoming mums" and check out the photos.  I took the liberty of grabbing a few for you to look at - I'm not making this stuff up!  Enjoy!  Meanwhile, I will be selling a kidney to fund homecoming.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Party, party, party

Aidan started high school this year.  *GULP*  He decided to go our for the swim team.  They've been in the water two weeks, and already there have been three parties.  This is one social group!  Later this month, they'll go on a trip together, and next month, the boys will all go camping together.  I'm told this is a loosely disguized hazing trip, but hey, the noobs gotta pay their dues. 

Last week I received a call from a senior swimmer.  He was a charming mix of awkwardness and politeness.  "Um, is this Mrs. Glynn?  Can you talk somewhere where Aidan can't hear?"  Oh, gawd, what did he do?

"Well, um, next weekend, um, we are going to kidnap all the freshmen at like 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning.  Do you think you can, like, um, maybe leave a door unlocked?"

Visions of masked marauders entering my home, the dogs going berserk.  Hefty seniors dragging an underwear-clad Aidan from his bed with a pillowcase over his head, struggling and screaming.

"And, um, Mrs. Glynn?  Maybe if you could put together a bag with clothes and shoes for him?"  And his cell phone, money, and maybe a weapon.....

"OK, well, here's my phone number in case you need to call me."  And then the comforting phone call from his mother, 20 minutes later, to confirm our address.

Needless to say, sleep was not my friend at 5:30 this morning, so we got up to await the intruders.  Several cars pulled up to the curb and 3 figures hurried through the darkness to our door.  I let them in, they politely removed their shoes, quietly greeting me good morning.  They had masks for themselves, and a blind-fold for Aidan.  Given that two of them were girls, we relaxed a little.

I didn't follow upstairs, not wanting to appear to be the dreaded helicopter mommy.  But I'm pretty sure I qualify anyway, as I was snapping photos as they came down.  Only the fact that Aidan was blind-folded allowed me to do this.  For all he knows, it was other kids taking pictures.  I made sure to keep quiet, so he wouldn't even know I was witness to his abduction.

They kept him out about four hours.  Driving around getting other kids, going out to breakfast, and then team-building activities.

While Aidan already has a pretty nice group of well-rounded kids as friends, I'm glad he's got this new group too.  A mix of all ages, and kids that "get" the swimming thing.  Now, if we can just navigate homecoming, and the grades, it's going to be a good year.