You know you’re old when… Homecoming means…

You know you’re old when… Homecoming means a trip home from the hospital or nursing home instead of the big game and a dreamy date.

Our oldest is going to the homecoming dance this weekend and it means several things; some of them good, most of them bad. At least that’s my take on it through the parental lens.

Remember when you were the one getting advice from overbearing, protective parents? Now I’m the officious, defensive parent pushing abstinence and saying quirky little things like, ‘Remember who you are,’ or ‘what would Jesus do?’ which has always been a good laugh for me because what would Jesus really do if he found himself in the middle of a sea of raging hormones with house music pulsating in the background and a mob of teens doing pelvic thrusts and fist pumps in skinny jeans and strapless dresses?

What is the deal with ‘day-dates’ anyway? I went to school on an island where getting dressed to go anywhere was a production and the main event of the evening was getting a bowl full of chop-suey, chicken and taro and navigating your way through the crowd without spilling any on your flip-flops. If you’re one of the lucky few like me who has never experienced a day-date, it is a frivolous, financial black hole where young people spend the entire day flirting and acting like grown-up’s as a precursor to the actual dance. Oh, and it is somehow customary to go to dinner before the dance too. I don’t get it but I’m an old soul and none of this fanfare makes a whole lot of sense to me.

Yesterday Super Mom and No. 1 went shopping for his first ever homecoming dance. Unfortunately, No. 1 exhibits a lot of my compulsive tendencies and Super Mom’s hypersensitivity to details. He’s so excited! But true to his Matua roots he shows very little excitement when I’m around but when he’s with Super Mom he can hardly contain himself. Super Mom thinks it’s cute; I think I’m in trouble for the next decade because we have four more boys to immerse in the “Let’s Make a Homecoming King” program.

Aside from the day-date phenomenon (or debacle) there is also the great production that goes into asking a girl to the dance. We live in Utah and the culture here demands that everything you do is ‘cute’. I don’t do cute so it’s all on Super Mom to up the ante on the cute-o-meter. No. 1 and his friends had a lot of fun putting together their creative ideas to ask girls to the dance which was funny to watch because most Polynesian males (his group consists of three Poly brothers who are also on the football team) can beat the crap out of a football or a rugby opponent but we have a hard time tapping into that feminine side that brings out the creativity and tenderness. Gruff and macho = Good. Soft and sensitive = What The? So when you ask us to draw sweet little posters and buy candy and flowers or put some get up on to ask a girl to a dance we’re either going to think you’re crazy or we’re going to laugh in your face…or both.

Do you want to know how serious these people are about this stuff? One kid said he went to a girls’ house and asked her parents if it would be okay if their daughter accompanied him to the homecoming dance. I like it – direct, formal and most important, inexpensive. The answer came from her mother, “No. Go home and think of a more creative way to ask my daughter to the dance.” The kids’ response? He asked someone else. (giggles) Burn! Eat that Nutso-Mom and Soon-To-Be-Not-Going-To-The-Dance-Daughter. Why are you gonna do that to your daughter? Hmm, I wonder if someone is still sore that she didn’t get a bag of feathers on her lawn with a sign that said, “I’d be tickled to death if you’d go to the dance with me” some forty-odd years later. Wow! Lady you just killed your daughter’s social meter.

It’s all for fun, right? You’re only a teenager once so you may as well have fun being a kid and I’m all for it. While they’re out on their day-date, having dinner, dancing the night away, I’ll be in my comfortable chair with a pad of paper and a pen writing down all the reasons why mom and dad should have disowned me when I was a teen.

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11 Responses to You know you’re old when… Homecoming means…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ya out here if u don’t do it creative ur lame. It’s hard to think up ways. U would think jus being asked was enough to be excited about. A lot of guys are to chicken to ask as it is and now they have to put a spin on it. It’s asking to much. Glad #1 is excited n Super mom is here to help. Take lots of pics. Have fun #1.

  2. As a parent of 4 boys and 2 girls I can definitely say homecoming was more fun for me when my daughter went. The boys (aka the parents) had to pay for everything! Unless it was Sadies or Morp. Wt? I agree you’re only a teenager once but damn! Lol.

    • Seti Matua says:

      One thing I forgot to include is, what happens when the girl they ask says ‘no’ or vice-versa? Not so fun and way too expensive for parents unless of course your son/daughter has saved up enough to foot the bill. Crazy!

  3. Lei says:

    This was such a fun read — all of this Utah/high school dance/ date (and even football) culture is so NEW to us. We often find ourselves asking WT??? I’m glad we’re not the only ones that are zero on the cute-o-meter. Hope No. 1 has a great time.

    • Seti Matua says:

      Oh trust me, I could have gone on about this but I didn’t want to be at it for hours and bore you with the details. We really need to change this thinking…if its possible. Thx Lei

  4. t says:

    I’m in total agreement with you! After seeing some of the functions my children have gone to, i quite often find myself telling them how cool it could’ve been if they were around back in the days before “kids” became extinct and were replaced with mini-me’s.

    Of the (3), only my daughter really buys into the whole new scene. And recently, when she told me that she was already making plans for her “Sweet 16” bash, i said “that’s great honey – you’ll have a full three years to save for it!”

    • Seti Matua says:

      Awesome! It’s getting out of hand. I think more parents need to tell kids that if they want to be extravagant they better start forking out some cash. They tend to appreciate it more don’t you think?

  5. Alex Arona says:

    Sole Seti,
    We had this discussion with some friends over the weekend. We have a nephew that lives with us (kalofa e) and he is planning to ask some girl out to the homecoming dance. My wife and a family friend were giving them some “cute” tips on how to ask a girl out to a dance. I started to laugh and told them that growing up in Samoa, we just ask the girls and that was it.

    We didn’t have to take them out to dinner nor did we have to rent a limo so all of my friends could go in style. My dad would simply drop me off at the school hall, so did the girl’s parents and we danced the night away. After it was said and done, we parted ways and walked home. Just like the samoan saying Seti…”e uma o tama, o teine”.

    I have to admit that I am turnign in to my father, I told my daughter that when it’s time for her to go to any dances, I will have to interview every boy and I may have to drop her off..LOL.

    • Seti Matua says:

      Bro, I do not envy you. After these last few weeks, I can’t imagine what it would be like for a father with a daughter or daughters. I think the experiences we had as kids in Samoa kind of makes this so out of the ordinary and bizarre because that was my experience too. You respectfully ask her out, you go there and enjoy the evening and then you go home…or else you get puka’s on your eyes from the girls dad, uncles and male cousins. LOL I hope our kids can survive us! Faafetai uso!

  6. Lloyd says:

    I have 4 sons, and Prom about killed me. Their mother, on the other hand, thought it was great!

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