Homecoming Week Arrives

Monday: Pajama Day Tuesday: Cowboy/Camouflage/Redneck Day Wednesday: Celebrity Day Thursday: Flashback Day Friday: Classic Red and White Day

Friday was the day of the Homecoming skits. I came to school just like it was any other day, riding the bus.

The day passes, the high school goes to lunch. In the last five minutes before the skits are scheduled to begin, they call the homecoming attendants to the gym. I walked out of the library, waved goodbye to my friends, and walked to the gym.

They told me where to go, I stood there, and I waited, and waited, for them to get started. I was leaning on the wall next to the door I was supposed to line up in with my escort. They had called all of us out of our classes to practice the walk earlier, and it wasn't that complicated to me.

We weren't required to be dressed during the Friday skits, so we walked out with just our clothes for the day on our backs.

The first pair left the room, and the others inside became panicked that I wasn't lined up with them. Pulling me inside, I stood next to Logan, my escort, and craned my neck to see outside.

I don't like small spaces; I don't like cramped spaces, that was why I had opted to stay out of that little room until our names were called. Now I was inside it, and doing my best to stay there.

The second couple's names were called; they walked out to the cheers and applause and followed the walk as they were instructed. I fidgeted uncomfortably in the small doorway and pulled my dark blue shirt down. It was a testament to the fact that I never dress up for school spirit days.

Finally our names were called; we walked out and were greeted with the sounds of a million girl's screams toward Logan, who is, one of the most popular players on the school's basketball game, and apparently, considered quite handsome by most of the female population in attendance. I snickered slightly at them, but continued to walk. Pausing for two seconds, turning, walking, pausing, turning, walking, and stopping where we were told. Pictures snapped, flashes illuminated the gym as all the attendants arrived in their proper places. Finally we were told to file out. We turned, walked, and filed out the gym doors.

I walked back across the gym floor to pick up my backpack where I had dropped it by the wall and looked around for a friends face. I couldn't find one. I stood, my eyes sweeping over the crowd searching. Finally I gave up and threw my things down at the end of the bleachers, propping myself beside them and peering out onto the gym at the hastily prepared, poorly executed skits that my fellow school goers put on to entertain. I stood for perhaps an hour and a half through the multiple skits, finally the bell to load the busses rang out over the crowd and I hitched my backpack onto my shoulders, heading for the exit, and to my bus.

The Homecoming Games

I met the girl who was doing my hair around 11:30 Saturday morning in the front office of my school. She had brought several magazines, and I flipped through them, finally deciding which I wanted, a mop of curls thrown up from the back of my neck.

She got to work, and by 2:00 in the afternoon, it was done. Every piece of my hair was curled, a large ponytail near the top of my head threw down massive curls, and from the sides of my head thin curled strands tumbled down. It looked great, I thanked the girl profusely and waited in a room at the end of a hall until 3 o'clock came, and I went out to meet the other homecoming attendants for the practice we were instructed to attend.

The other attendants arrived, already dressed in their gowns. I felt awkward, being the only one with a plain t-shirt and pants on, so I pulled on my gown and every piece that went with it, and returned to the gym to wait for the others to get ready as well.

We practiced the walk once more, it bored me, I already knew what I was going to do. People asked me if I was nervous, the truth was that I could hardly care less.

Logan nudged me in the side and told me to listen carefully to the music piping down from the speakers above. I listened, and picked out a familiar rhythm. He told me it was the Legend of Zelda soundtrack. I listened closer, yes! It was! I doubled over with laughter at the sheer irony.

Later, all of us walked down to the room I had waited in to take pictures. The woman took my money and asked me how I wanted to be posed, by myself, or with my escort. I thought to myself how arrogant and strange I would look standing there all alone with a single rose, I pointed to Logan and said, "With him."

She posed us how she wanted us and I fervently hoped that he didn't think I was as infatuated with him as the screaming girls the day before. The truth was that I thought he was nice, but he was already taken, why would I waste my time?

All of us waited for 5 o'clock, when we were scheduled to go out. Around 4:55 p.m. we all went out to wait by the gym doors like we were told. We waited 15 minutes until we finally got started.

The first two couples had gone, walked, and now stood in their proper places. They called our names, the junior homecoming attendants, and we walked out.

The same amount of applause echoed loudly around the gym as had the day before. We walked the little walk and stood in our proper places, waiting for the three senior homecoming attendants to arrive, and to be told who had won the King and Queen.

Once they were revealed, the ceremonial crowning and sashing took place, and then we were finally able to walk off the court.

I had never worn high heeled shoes before, and my feet were aching, the arch, I was sure, was destroyed. I practically ran to where my clothes were and changed as fast as I could into my sneakers and blessedly comfortable t-shirt and pants.

I threw my things down in the hall and asked a teacher if I could keep my dress in their office until my mother came to pick me up next Tuesday. I didn't want to carry it around all evening, or try to stuff it into the back seat of the car in the dark night and freezing temperatures outside.

I sat down with a few friends and watched the girl's and boy's basketball games, the first I had ever seen. I'm not a big sports fan you can tell. Afterwards I bummed a ride from another friend and got took to the post office a town away where my mom was going to pick me up when she got off work.

We got there, my mom drove up, I got my stuff, threw it in the car, and drove home.

That's all that happened, minus a few trivial details... Yes, I know it was boring as anything you've ever read, but I just wanted to give it an ending somehow.

It would have been great if I could have done like I wanted and worn plain clothes, but I know now that they would never have let me. They would have stopped me before they took pictures and told me to leave, or put me in one of the stage costumes from Drama Class.

Still, I have my little fantasy of all those shocked gasps and looks from everyone in the gym, and that makes me happy. I've been wondering if it was worth it to spend 200 something dollars just to be spared from the disappointed looks cast my way by my classmates. I can use the dress for other things (I'm a cheapskate and I know it) and I would say something corny about the memories lasting forever, but they wont, because the whole thing meant nothing to me, it was just a stupid little ceremony that made everyone in my grade feel good because they think they've torn a poor introverted unpopular girl from her small world and thrust her into their bright happy popular one.

I roll my eyes at them and think how none of this is going to matter to anyone 20 years from now. We'll all be worried about money and jobs instead of fashion and popularity. Being popular in high school might make you feel good about yourself, but it wont put food on the table when you're older.

THE END...