Homecoming, circa 1989.
This is picture was taken on the night I went to my first high school Homecoming dance. Corsage strapped on. Check. Bangs sprayed up to unfathomable heights. Check. Dyed to match shoes. Check. Best friend in her Gunne Sax dress next to me. Check.
We had dinner, went to the dance, got our pictures taken in front of a cheesy back drop and then danced the night away to music by Depeche Mode, Madonna, The Cure, Bobby Brown and Richard Marx. It was seriously good times. Good enough times that I remember much of the night twenty four years later.
I wish I could write the rest of this post without feeling sad.
But it’s not possible.
My son’s Homecoming dance experience was not at all what my experience was in high school. If you asked him, he’d probably use three words to describe the dance: loud, gross, and disappointing.
The DJ hired for the dance played mostly one type of music. It’s called Dubstep. Ever heard of it? Basically its electronic club music that features a very prominent sub bass beat. Think repetitive low drum beat. Very few popular songs were played. Zero slow songs were played. ZERO. The music was played was so loud Big C spent the entire night yelling to be heard by his friends.
There is a new trend in high school dancing. Did you know? If not, I should warn you, I’m about to get explicit. Big C said there were three types of dancing going on at Homecoming: twerking (thank you Miley), grinding, and jumping. If you weren’t doing the first two – which most of the kids were – you were jumping up and down all night. That’s what Big C did. Consequently he got in the car exhausted from jumping for two straight hours.
The rest of the kids at the dance spent their night rubbing their bodies all over each other and simulating sex acts on the dance floor. The closer you got to the middle of the room, the worse the dancing was. Girls in already too short dresses were hiking them up to be able to “dance” better.
I could detail more of it, but it would only make you cringe and wonder what on earth is going on in our school. I wish I could say this is limited to my child’s school. But I know it is not. That’s not to say there aren’t schools where this isn’t happening. I’m sure there are.
Big C was so disappointed. We knew going in that it could be bad. He confirmed it was worse than we all thought. He was mostly sad because he knew people going into the dance that he was sure would “never dance like that”. He was wrong. I could see the disappointment on his face as we talked about the night. He couldn’t merge the idea of all these kids getting dressed up and looking so nice with their choice to behave in a manner so contrary to the occasion.
His time with his friends before the dance was great. Dinner, photos, laughing, talking - he’d do that again in a heartbeat. But he strongly proclaimed upon getting into the car that he wouldn’t be going back to the Homecoming dance ever again.
We are not naïve parents. We know times have changed from twenty years ago. But that doesn’t mean we don’t long for our kids to have the experiences we did in high school. I love this kid. He’s a winner in my book.
We’re already making plans for next year when two of our kids will be in high school. We’re scheming with ideas for a grand ComingHome party for kids who don’t want to attend the Homecoming dance.
What do you think? Do you have high schoolers? Have you asked them what goes on at the dances?
PS. I know you’re wondering where the teachers, administrators & chaperones were. They were there. They didn’t stop it. Long story short, over the years as complaints have rolled in they’ve justified the behavior with a “we’d rather have them dancing like that here than somewhere else” mentality. Major COP OUT.