Monday, February 03, 2014

So many decisions: Real flower or artificial? Long or extra-long streamers? Lights or no lights? Over-the-shoulder or traditional corsage style?


I can't remember why this is in black-and-white; color would have revealed the full, garish spectacle of this item pinned to my clothing so much better. It's a mum, which is a Thing in Texass for the Homecoming football game. The town's young men go to one of the florists, fill out a lengthy order form, and pay all their Pizza Hut moneys for these monstrosities, which they then give to their girlfriends. It's not a casual undertaking; it's for Serious Couples only. And of course, the size and weight of your mum is indicative of your boyfriend's love for you (just like with engagement rings!). The only year I actually had a boyfriend at Homecoming was the fall of my senior year. I thought mums were hilaaaaaarious, and I thought he did too, but apparently he felt obligated to get me one, and make it big (I realized much later that this situation might have been engineered entirely via the ratfuckery of this one alleged friend of mine, who went with my boyfriend to order the fucking thing, but alas). I felt like a prize heifer taking a stroll down the midway with her minder, the whole time we were at the game. And when the boyfriend broke up with me a few weeks later, in a fit of teenage revenge-thirst I chucked it out into the very busy road in front of my house, where it met the fate of several of our favorite household pets over the years (but in a funny and satisfying way, instead of gruesome and sad, eh wot).

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Blogger francine said...

This is the best piece ever written about mums. All truth. I need to upload some more of my photos. There were girls that had so many, they hung them on hangers and carried them around. We ended up with a lot which was annoying. We had big and little sisters on dance team so we exchanged mums for that, secret pals in student government so we did them for that (boys wore garters on their arms), and then if you had a boyfriend, you also got one then. My mom would just cut up our old mums each year and repurpose all the cow bells and plastic footballs and beads and ribbons for the new mums she had to put together. And those mums would die about 5 minutes after they left refrigeration and then would shed all over you the rest of the day. Two of my friends went to a NIN concert instead of homecoming one time so the guy made his girlfriend a NIN mum that was actually pretty funny.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Sarah Brown said...

We didn't do mums in Tulsa but I remember seeing all the photos from my Texan cousins with them.

Also, I had an oversized leather jacket (from Sam's Club, I think) that I wore in high school and my dad has worn it ever since. He's 6'4" and it fits him perfectly, and it cracks me up every time I see him in it that this was once A Thing for 14 year old girls.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Francine: OMG yes, I need to see some mum pics from you! It sounds like at your school, mums were almost like Valentines are today, ha! But way, way more expensive. I like that your mom got into the mix -- my mom was crafty like that, but I'm not sure it would have occurred to any of us to stray from the Florist Shop Mafia. Also: I DIE for an NIN mum. Diiiiiiiiie.

Sarah Brown: What was WITH us and leather jackets? Particularly ones that were Dad-sized? Was there, like, some movie we all saw at the same suggestible moment or something? I honestly can't even remember my motivation, except the general feeling that I had to wear stuff no one else had, and I was pretty sure nobody else was going to be wearing their dad's beat-ass old cigarette-smelling patched leather jacket, right?

12:27 PM  
Blogger francine said...

I know my mom ordered from the florist a few times too, and I know she ordered from friends who made them because that was also a "thing". You'd go to Michael's to buy your own jingle-jangles from the season homecoming mum section and then would take them to some other mom person's house to make your mum.

And I had a leather bomber jacket in middle school that I LOVED. It was a big deal to get one and it seemed like everyone was wearing them. But then I grew 7 inches from 6th grade to 8th and gained about 20lbs, and by the time it got cold in 8th grade, I couldn't raise my arms or bring them in front of me if I was wearing the jacket and it had to be retired.

8:32 AM  

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