Friday, October 09, 2009


It's homecoming weekend here in Glenview! The whole thing--pep rallies, parade, dance. Oh, yeah and I think there's a football game too. As I scoot around town I can see reminders of the big weekend everywhere: village workers hanging high school banners on street poles; a line at the florist as the moms order corsages/boutonnieres; another line at the dry-cleaners while girls wait to have hems pinned for alterations; and temporary signs around town warning us that Glenview Road will be closed for two hours on Saturday for the parade.

This has of course got me reminiscing about my own homecoming experiences. In my four years I went to two of the dances. I would have loved to have gone to all four but I was only asked to two and back in the olden days you could not go to a dance unless a boy asked you . Even when I did go, it was not with a boyfriend or one of the boys I had a crush on --in both cases I went with nice friends who asked me as a sort of sympathy gesture who probably would have liked to go with someone else too but did not have the nerve to ask. I was just so grateful to be asked, to be allowed to take part of the magical evening, to have a ticket in the form of a boy. The other two years I went to a movie with some girlfriends and sulked. (It's hard not to when your peers are all dressed up in their Gunne Saks going to Mountain Jacks for dinner and you're not.)

Well, I am very happy to report that those days of waiting for a boy to say the word to go to the dance are over. Yes, in case you do not have a kid in high school now (or recently) you may not know that this archaic custom is pretty much gone. To be sure, most of the kids attending the big dance do have a date--but many, many do not. That's right, this generation has figured out something that is so obvious that I cannot believe we did not see it right before our eyes. If you want to go to the dance, grab some friends and go!

Which is why tomorrow, though neither one has an official date, both my kids will be going to the homecoming dance. Grace (a freshman) will get all dolled up, meet her friends for pictures, dinner, the dance and a sleepover. They will look great because as she recently told me when I said boys don't care if her shoes match her dress, "We don't dress up for the boys. We dress up for the girls." Wow. It took me decades to figure that one out. Atticus (a sophomore) will be hanging with his posse made up mostly of couples but a few going stag. They will also go to dinner, the dance, then go play broomball, have a sleepover, and end up at Great America on Sunday.

If they were following the old rules of our day they would miss all of that.

So here's to the young generation. They have brought us texting and YouTube and now, much more importantly they have shown us that the world doesn't need a stinkin' date to go to the homecoming dance and I call that progress.

I'll end this with a special thanks to Mark and Neil, my sympathy-friend-dates. Thanks for the ticket in. It was a blast.


  1. I'm just glad that I wasn't supposed to go to any dance in the Netherlands at that age. I dreaded dancing, and still do.

  2. ...and I thought I was the only one who wore an actual Gunne Sacks to homecoming! I only just got rid of it when we cleaned out my parents house last summer!

  3. Don't feel too badly Judy. My high school didn't even have homecoming, because we didn't have a football team, because we didn't have boys - one of the big problems with an all-girls school. However I did wear a Gunne Saks dress to Senior Prom. (We did do that even though the boys were from other schools). Ann