Homecoming: the contradicting truth


The arrival of autumn always brings us many changes: the color of the leaves, the start of school, and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes.

On a side note, if someone could fill me in on what exactly a pumpkin spice latte is, that would be fantastic.

But the arrival of fall also means one very important event is almost here: homecoming. The annual dance is billed as an exciting and quasi-romantic night for high-schoolers to dress up and dance for a few hours. However, a closer look reveals the somewhat strange amalgamation that lies beneath the surface. Also, if someone could define the word “amalgamation” for me, that would as well be greatly appreciated.

For those arriving with a date, homecoming will almost certainly begin with the arduous task of a boy asking the girl of his choice. After the average teenage boy strains his mind in the hopes of arriving upon something mildly creative, the girl (let’s hope) excitedly accepts, on the one condition that she is able to post seventeen pictures of his half-done sign on Instagram. It then becomes the girl’s turn to get creative.

Copious amounts of money are immediately dropped on dresses and shoes and jewelry, as every blushing beauty wants to look perfect on this big day. The couple, along with some friends, spend their time taking pictures before heading off to a fancy restaurant to…guess. If you guessed “spend their money responsibly and not blow it on a forty-dollar entre at Bravo,” you would, unfortunately, be incorrect. Dressing up, taking pictures, and eating well must mean that these kids are in for some sort of formal celebration or gala, correct?

Wrong. Oh, how very wrong.

The actual homecoming, in fact, is the farthest thing from a celebration or a gala. Instead, for three magical hours, a high school gymnasium becomes reminiscent of a Miami club scene: incessant grinding and making out ensue in a large clump in the middle of the dance floor. Save for the occasional Enrique Iglesias ballad, all sense of romance slips away as these teens’ primal urges are put on display for all to see.

I wish not for my comments thus far to lead you to believe I have any objection to this sort of behavior. Homecoming is a dance after all, and I suppose those things are a form of dancing. If rubbing up against their peers in a humid high school gym is what makes someone happy, more power to them. Rather, it is the large contradiction the entire event provides that irks me.

Perhaps if this aspect of homecoming was a bit more advertised, I wouldn’t take such issue with it. But for whatever reason, the high school population seems insistent on viewing it a “magical night to remember,” a place where every dream and unrequited love is fully realized. Whether you live within this fantasy or not, every student is, however deep down, aware of what lies in store once they enter those gymnasium doors. With the possible exception of freshmen, I suppose. They’ll find out soon enough.