Friday, September 19, 2008
Blue and Golden by Barb McKone
My son is feeling blue.
His first homecoming dance, Blue and Gold, is six weeks away. For the past four fall and spring seasons, our daughter has supplied a constant rattle of dinnertime dance invitation updates. She regales us with stories of creative invitations carried out in the cafeteria or on the school intercom or at the football game, acting out the parts and leaving us breathlessly awaiting the invitee's response.
Back in the dark ages, when we went to dances, being invited went as follows: pick up the phone, pray for the right voice on the other end, listen politely and answer with an excited or polite "yes" or "no, thank you." Simple, right? Well, the invitations, they are a-changin'.
My daughter was once asked to prom in song, her would-be date boldly interrupting their choir class to perform his invitation to a giggling and hooting audience. He also brought her a cookie cake he'd decorated himself- stick figures dancing, with "Joe" and "Grace" printed underneath the dancers in charming boy scrawl. After his performance he had her circle the word "yes" in gel frosting to give her answer, which she did, to a cheering audience. While I'm usually shaken by the "progress" of today's teen world, I have to admit, I like this new system of getting a dance date. It's imaginative. It's romantic. It takes guts and shows the real measure of the man. I could frankly do with a little of the same from my husband from time to time. (Just once, I'd like to be asked to the movies with some panache. Or, asked to the movies at all.) It does, however, up the ante for the slightly shy sophomore boy asking his first date to homecoming.
His first date. Awwww.
And that's just problem number one. Problem number two is that even though Blue and Gold is six weeks away, many of the girls my son would like to take have already been asked.
There are those prime girls that encroaching upperclassmen have "stolen," as my son tells it, from the sophomore class. There are those girls who have established boyfriends within their class. So, in a class of only 100 kids, we're already down several potential dates. My son doesn't intend to stray out of the class. He's loyal. The phone lines are lighting up, and my son is dragging his feet. I don't want to create a panic, but honestly- he's got to get on the stick. Stake his claim. We all know how this works. It's like a run on a bank. Sneak in before the doors close! We broached the subject at dinner tonight; he ignored us so completely I wondered if he was actually listening to his i-pod. He's clearly no Joe. He's not much looking forward to the task ahead. He will be using the tried and true phone invite, I think. He'll save the theatrics for senior year.
Six-and-a-half weeks from now, I will provide an update. No names will be used, of course, to protect the innocent. In the meantime, it's just another milestone that screams, "You can't stop this! He's growing up!" After the first dance invitation, can Senior Prom be far behind? I hope I'm with good friends on Blue and Gold night when I wipe my eyes to take the photos of my sweet boy in the suit we've yet to buy, pinning a corsage on dance partner to-be-named-later.
Okay, so I'm a little blue, too. But, I know it will be okay. My son likes to dance, and I know he'll ask a nice girl. So, as milestones go, I have a feeling that this one will be golden.