A Girl and her Homecoming

A Girl and her Homecoming

Alexa Leo, Staff Writer

School-run events are always a slippery slope. The homecoming was no exception. 

On one hand, there was a small group of people who were excited about the dance. Those people probably went and had a great time… and good for them! They deserve it. 

That other group, the much larger and significantly more passionate group, could not have been more disparate from their peers. The majority of students whom I asked, “Are you excited for homecoming?” said, with great animation, “No.”

Nonetheless, people buy dresses, shine their shoes, gel their hair, and meet up with friends beforehand to do God knows what—all in preparation for the dance. 

I performed those steps all the same. Except, my preparation was not nearly as smooth of a journey as I played it out to be.

My poor parents (bless their souls) contracted COVID a mere day before my big night. Since I arrived home, neither of my parents had been seen. Heard from? Yes. Each called hello to me from their respective bedroom and COVID lair’s when I had first entered the house. Dinner was left up to me and only me, and I only had the remains of a stuffed pepper that had been sitting in the freezer for two days. Even after nuking it in the microwave, it was still slightly cold. But it was either that or a can of golden corn. I had to choose my battles wisely tonight, and having stomach pains from a canned good that had expired its shelf life was not the wise choice. I ate my extremely sub-par pepper at the dinner table in my dress, heels, and a Carhartt winter jacket as well as a matching Carhartt beanie. My parents had been experiencing heat flashes, therefore prompting their decision to put on the air conditioning.

I sat in solitude eating my meal until I heard signs of life coming down the stairs to see my parents: my mother in a sensible outfit of leggings, a sweatshirt, and her own beanie while my dad sported a t-shirt and a pair of boxers. 

Outside my mom took pictures of me in all my glory, hitting all the angles she could between coughing fits. She had three cameras on her, considering that she believes the ‘iPhone camera’ is the spawn of Satan.  My dad sat on a lawn chair and participated in taking a single photo of me.  

Arriving at homecoming itself was, truly, an out-of-body experience. In what universe does Madison High School host dances and since when do people actually attend them? My only truly vivid memory from the night was walking into the aux gym—which was vibrating and pulsating to the beat of the music—then looking up to see flashing multicolored lights. I said to whoever walked in with me, “Is this real? Am I really here right now?” to which the individual responded, “Yes, this is real.”

The one aspect of homecoming I appreciated above all the rest was the ability to go take refuge in the main gym. I called it my “safe space.” When the music got too loud, or the stench and muck of teenage sweat became too much to bear, all I had to do was walk the length of the hallway to a room a tad bit colder and significantly less smelly.

Going between stealing God knows how many chocolate bars and chatting amongst a slew of my peers, I witnessed some extremely interesting moves. “Some people should not have been allowed on the dance floor,” Katherine Finnegan, a confidant, and fellow homecoming pursuer stated to me. Another friend of mine, Jenna Powers, had a striking comment about the dance moves. “I wish they had left room for Jesus.” They couldn’t have said it better. In all, my time was spent wisely in the evening.

  As my time at homecoming came to a close, I decided to start tension between seemingly everyone there. That is an exaggeration, of course, but that does not mean I didn’t feel like I wanted to rage and scream at my peers in the moment. To cut a long story very short—I was stranded at homecoming. Stranded until someone took pity on me and picked me up. No further questions, please.   

When I got home after my extremely long but equally zealous night, my mom had one thing and one thing only to say to me in her half-awake state: “The iPhone quality of your hoco photos will kill me before COVID does.”