Rule #88: Nothing Is More Important Than High School Homecoming

in Rules of Parenting

high school homecoming

This is the greatest day of your lives. What the hell do you mean it doesn't feel like it?

Remember when Friday-night lights shone brilliantly, perfumed air commingled with the whiff of popcorn and raw turf?

The pageantry and purpose of high school came together as a student body—football players, cheerleaders, band members, water boys/girls, team managers, vocally supportive classmates in the grandstands and, yes, the gorgeous homecoming court—captured the essence of youth and hope?

Of course you don’t. You and three friends were in the parking lot cozying up with a bong the length of a Trans Am.

But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the importance of homecoming for your teens. In fact, because you didn’t exactly take part in the “pageantry and purpose” yourself, make sure you tell your children that homecoming is one of the most important events in their lives…like, ever.

It’s more important than good grades, more important than S.A.T. scores, more important than maintaining a semblance of virginity, and more important than, well, most of the things you continually harp about.

In your quest to re-live your life through your children, homecoming is a milestone—not necessarily for them, but for you.

Ethan, your son, seems indifferent about the “pageantry and purpose” of homecoming. In fact, he’d rather stay home and complete extra calculus homework or volunteer at a soup kitchen with several of his left-leaning friends.

The kid has lots of nerve, but you can break him via:

Shame: “Ethan, you know our family comes from a long line of homecoming kings and queens, and while it’s clear the only crown you’ll be wearing any time soon is from Burger King, it would be nice if you can somehow get your mom voting rights for the homecoming court. Think you can swing that—or don’t you have any sway in that school of yours?”

Mockery: “What? Is Mr. National Honor Society upset with his mom? Huh? Hey, Mr. Pre-Med, No-Date-for-Homecoming Girly-Man-Boy, I bet the team’s quarterback would be able to find a way to get his mother voting rights for the homecoming court.”

Self Pity: “You know, I don’t ask for much—water, a little food, 14-karat-gold anklets and maybe front-row seats for the Journey reunion tour…but I guess it’s too much to ask to be part of your life and part of the fabric of your school.

“I guess I’d just humiliate you if I could become a voting member for homecoming court, because while I’m still hotter than most other moms and way hotter than most of the girls on the homecoming court, it’s not like something weird would happen and suddenly the crowd would VOTE ME the homecoming queen, right? I mean, that would be just a dream, a fantasy…and, really, homecoming is all about you, son. Not me, oh no. It’s you. That’s why I want you to enjoy all of it this year. Now, reach down and remove my Atlantic City anklet; it’s making your mom’s leg turn green again.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ms. G September 22, 2010 at 5:53 am

They ruin all the fun. 3 daughters and they are so selfish I will never make it to Homecoming. I deserve that crown on the mantle and they refuse to go! After all the time I spend filling out their college apps and editing their essays.

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Rachel September 23, 2010 at 6:16 am

As a former homecoming princess who waved in the parade whilst sitting atop a convertible Trans Am in a pink Talbots suit with my hair out to [here], I can say Homecoming night was awesome–until that bitch Amy C. got the red rose. You couldn’t even hate her because she’s so nice. And you’re just standing there on the football field. A loser. (p.s. love the anklet line)

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Jess September 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

way to go , this story makes me laugh a ton. and i had one of those “progressive” schools that didnt vote a king and queen at the dance, no actually i remember voting in school but i never even went to the homecoming dance so i dont know! i guess that’s the problem with my life, i didnt go to homecoming. no wonder i couldnt get into grad school until i turned 27.

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