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Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
weirdmom
Posts: 7575
weirdmom Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 4:53 PM Quote
I did not realize this was a uniquely Texas/southern thing until I made some joke to Meridith about homecoming mums and she didn't laugh. Since she, an American, was horrified when I explained this tradition to her I am really curious to see what the rest of the world thinks of this tradition that made me want to puke every fall.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the homecoming mum. First, a brief explanation from a pro-mum website. I bolded my favorite parts.

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A homecoming mum is an oversize mum corsage decorated with three-foot long streamers in the school colors, bells, charms, banners, little plush animals done up in bows, sparkly letters, even Christmas tree lights. It is usually worn in the middle of the chest like a breastplate with the streamers flowing down the front of the body almost touching the ankles. It is, in short, a fashion statement.

But homecoming mums are so much more than that. They are a sign that somebody loves you. They’re no longer given only by boyfriends. Mums can come from friends, your mom, dad, aunt, or even a booster boy (a boy-friend who is not your date).

Anybody who's anybody wears one, or two. These days, a homecoming mum can cost more than $100 and weigh as much as 12 pounds! Homecoming mums have become a status symbol for many junior high and high school students. Designs change every year. The more original, the better.
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Teddy bears were really popular items to put on there. I don't recall ever seeing any Christmas lights but that would have been awesome. Your name and your date's name was usually on the ribbon. Also lots of mini cow bells. The day that they were worn at school the halls sounded like a barn.

For the record, I never wore one of these. I guess no one loved me. Actually the one year I had a boyfriend at homecoming I told him I would rather die than wear that. Given he was pretty punk there wasn't much chance he'd buy me one anyway but I wanted to make that very clear.

I assure you these images are not jokes.

http://www.thechristys.net/uploaded_images/Homecomingmum-793722.jpg

Here is an example of the male homecoming mum.
http://www.royales.org/images/2005mumsale.jpg
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
weirdmom
Posts: 7575
weirdmom Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 4:59 PM Quote
Oh and I forgot. In case you don't know what homecoming means it's (according to Wiki) an annual tradition of the United States. People, towns, high schools and colleges come together, usually in late September or early October, to welcome back former residents and alumni. It is built around a central event, such as a banquet and, most often, a game of American football, or, on occasion, basketball, or ice hockey.

In Texas it's definitely a football game. My high school would play a really easy team so we could cream them and feel really good about ourselves. That was usually Friday night (and girls would wear those mums to the game) and then the dance was Saturday night. (more mum wearing)

Also a Homecoming King and Queen would be voted on and during halftime they would come out on the field. I think there was one from every grade but that part is hazier.

It was all much too peppy and chipper for me.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Turtleneck
Posts: 7387
Turtleneck Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:06 PM Quote
Not only have I never heard of a homecoming mum, I have never heard of the term "booster boy." They are quite hideous, but if it is all done in fun, it could be humorous. I think I'd rather get it for Valentine's Day than wear it on homecoming, though.

Here, homecoming queen was always chosen from among Senior girls.
We did not have a homecoming king; our king was chosen at the Spinster dance.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
weirdmom
Posts: 7575
weirdmom Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:09 PM Quote
Turtleneck wrote:
Not only have I never heard of a homecoming mum, I have never heard of the term "booster boy." They are quite hideous, but if it is all done in fun, it could be humorous. I think I'd rather get it for Valentine's Day than wear it on homecoming, though.


I've never heard of a booster boy either. People tend to be pretty serious about them so while I found them humorous most people really viewed them as a status symbol. Bigger = better
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
lilly
Posts: 1525
lilly Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:11 PM Quote
you know what's disturbing (and even shocking) me most about this?

it didn't surprise me at all.
and it also wouldn't surprise me if other US states had similar traditions ;P

I don't know what that means, erm... I surely should have reacted differently... (but I guess I have read way too many books on American Cultural history for lectures and exams - one day you just stop thinking "WHAT? THEY DO WHAT??!!" ;p ;p I think I have such a WRONG picture of the USA in my head *lol* and it's totally my professors' fault.)

(it's still crazy, though... why would you WEAR such a thing??)
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
minnmess
Posts: 8142
minnmess Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:14 PM Quote
WHAT THE HELL?
I thought this was going to be about mothers doing something crazy in regards to Homecoming, but I didnt know why you were spelling it british-like.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Meridith
Posts: 2076
Meridith Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:19 PM Quote
I never heard of "boosters" until I watched Friday Night Lights. Are boosters a Texas thing too? Anyway, when Anne mentioned the mum thing, I seriously just thought she was talking about the garden mums that everyone buys at the grocery store and puts on graves at cemeteries. I just thought that the boys gave the girls those instead of a corsage. I thought "Well, that's different, but okay." But no....I was very, very wrong. I'm just really, really, really glad we don't do this in Utah. Really.

 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
I Came in Through the Bathroom Window
Posts: 7553
I Came in Through the Bathroom Window Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:22 PM Quote
Yeah, I thought "mums" was refered to mothers too xD.

I think it's hilarious. It would be plain weird here. I'd kill anyone who gave me one of those. They're absurd, haha.
However, I'm with Lilly, it doesn't surprise me much :oP.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Meridith
Posts: 2076
Meridith Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:23 PM Quote
lilly wrote:
you know what's disturbing (and even shocking) me most about this?

it didn't surprise me at all.
and it also wouldn't surprise me if other US states had similar traditions.

I don't know what that means, erm... I surely should have reacted differently... (but I guess I have read way too many books on American Cultural history for lectures and exams - one day you just stop thinking "WHAT? THEY DO WHAT??!!" ;p ;p I think I have such a WRONG picture of the USA in my head *lol* and it's totally my professors' fault.)


Okay, if this didn't surprise you Lilly, then you definitely have a totally misconstrued view of the US. This is not normal. I swear it!

EDIT: That goes for you too Juli!
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Meridith
Posts: 2076
Meridith Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:30 PM Quote
weirdmom wrote:
In Texas it's definitely a football game. My high school would play a really easy team so we could cream them and feel really good about ourselves.


Lol, this quote cracked me up. Our school would play a crappy teams so we could feel good about ourselves too. This was pretty much the same kind of homecoming we had. The football game on Friday night and the dance Saturday night. There was only one Homecoming Queen and 2 Homecoming Queen Attendants...kind of like runners-up. They would come out on the field too during half-time. Boys gave girls corsages to wear at the dance and not freaky sparkly adornments.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
minnmess
Posts: 8142
minnmess Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:32 PM Quote
Meridith wrote:
not freaky sparkly adornments.


BAHAHAHAHA.
I dont know why, but I extra love when Mer says ridiculous things.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Turtleneck
Posts: 7387
Turtleneck Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:35 PM Quote
Is that a COWBELL on the 3rd one going up the stairs?
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
Turtleneck
Posts: 7387
Turtleneck Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:38 PM Quote
lilly wrote:
you know what's disturbing (and even shocking) me most about this?

it didn't surprise me at all.
and it also wouldn't surprise me if other US states had similar traditions ;P

I don't know what that means, erm... I surely should have reacted differently... (but I guess I have read way too many books on American Cultural history for lectures and exams - one day you just stop thinking "WHAT? THEY DO WHAT??!!" ;p ;p I think I have such a WRONG picture of the USA in my head *lol* and it's totally my professors' fault.)

(it's still crazy, though... why would you WEAR such a thing??)


Lilly, the Texas tourism bureau used to have a slogan that said: Texas, it's like a whole other country.
It is. Texas just does things...differently sometimes!

Tell us some of the other things we do that you think are crazy!
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
weirdmom
Posts: 7575
weirdmom Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:42 PM Quote
Well there was the booster club which was generally made up of the moms of football players. They made and sold some of the more hideous mums. I think they also raised money for uniforms and equipment and ran the concession stand and stuff.

Then there was the cheerleaders, drill team, and pep squad. They did all sorts of horrific things involving a lot of makeup and smiling that I don't want to talk about but they also decorated the lockers of the football players on Fridays.
 
Re: Homecoming mums: a Texas tradition
weirdmom
Posts: 7575
weirdmom Posted Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:44 PM Quote
Turtleneck wrote:
Is that a COWBELL on the 3rd one going up the stairs?


Indeed it is my friend. Indeed it is.

And as I said this is not unusual. The halls were noisy on those Fridays! Sometimes boys would start mooing. This would help reinforce my happiness that I wasn't wearing one. Also Meridith said she wasn't sure we could be friends had I worn this so I'm also grateful that I haven't lost street cred.
 
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