My son had his first Homecoming Dance, tonight. I had never been to one, myself, so I wasn't sure what etiquette called for as far as getting a corsage for his girlfriend. I checked around on-line and the best I got was that it wasn't required, but what girl doesn't like flowers? Right? Remembering that the only major dance I went to in high school was my junior prom, where my date forgot to bring me a corsage, I decided the girlfriend was getting one, period.
We didn't know what color dress she would be wearing, she just bought it today, and I wanted to order the corsage in advance. So I went with a neutral wristlet, 2 white roses, white opaque ribbon neither silver or gold, just in case. It was really very lovely.
I took my son shopping for his outfit, today. After 2 hours, he finally decided on black dress pants with a subtle stripe, just a little long so they bag at the bottom, a white button down shirt in a little more relaxed style than a traditional oxford, a black tie with a silver stripe, and his black dress shoes that he wears to school. He looked very much the part of a sharp dressed young man. I was gushing over him like a retard. That's what I do.
Having no idea what the other was wearing, the girlfriend bought a black dress with silver accents and a white sash. They are going to look great together.
I had asked him in advance if he wanted to take his girlfriend out for dinner, before the dance, my treat. No. Well, can we go to her house and give her the corsage so her mom and I can take pictures? No. Can I get out of the car at the school and take pictures of you together? No. Will you take my camera and have someone take a picture of you together for me? No. Can I at least get a couple of pictures of you before I drive you to the school? Okay, but I'm not going to smile, and you better not post the picture on your blog. Will you hold the corsage while I take a picture of you? No. Okay, don't forget to open doors for her, and stuff.
I drove him to the school where his girlfriend was supposed to be meeting him outside (thank God it finally stopped raining for a while). He knew in advance that a lot of his friends were going stag. If you go stag, you don't have a date to buy a corsage for. None of the girls were wearing one. NONE.
The following is a conversation between my son and I, with a little paraphrasing thrown in because I can never remember exactly what was actually said (I'm not great on the short term memory thing): "Mom, no one is wearing a corsage." "I know, honey, but maybe all those people are going stag. You are lucky enough to have your girlfriend as a date. You cannot go wrong giving a girl flowers." "But mom, what if I walk in there carrying a corsage and it was totally the wrong thing to do at a semi-formal? I'm going to feel so gay." "Or, honey, you are going to look like the confident young man you are that is bringing his date a corsage. I paid fifteen dollars for this corsage, please don't let it go to waste." "Mom, I'll pay you back for it if you don't make me bring it in." Silence, silence, people watching, silence. "Baby, I'm not going to make you do anything that you don't want to do. It is your choice."
The child stares at me trying to ascertain whether this is just another of my Jedi mind tricks. How much guilt is he going to have to endure by actually getting out of the car without the corsage? "Go, baby, have a good time." He continues to stare at me. "Have a great time, I love you, now GO." He gets out of the car, without the corsage, off to take another step toward adulthood. Another decision toward his independence.
As I drove out of the school's parking lot, I thought a lot about what had just transpired. I have been both his mother and his father since he was born. I have mostly tried my best, with not always the best results. He has seen me at my worst when I wasn't capable of keeping it away from him. I am hoping beyond hope that he will be a good man, building on what I have taught him. I am hoping that he will be a good man because of me, because of how I tried to raise him, and also despite the many failures I have made as a mother.
I hope he had a really great time at the dance, that he mingled with his friends, and slow danced with his girlfriend. I hope that he is building a foundation of his own that is stronger than the one that I had. I hope that his life is going to better, that is what I am busting my ass for. He is going to be a better person than I could ever hope to be.
While we're waiting for the results to come in, would anyone like a really pretty corsage that is just going to rot in my fridge for weeks to come before I can bear to throw it away? Otherwise, I'm going to have to wear it on my wrist for the rest of the weekend.
As you can see on the left, my son helped me figure out how to convert the picture to HTML, so if you would like to share the corsage, let me know and I will send it to you. It can be like the sisterhood of the shared corsage. Yes, I do know how queer I am.
6 hours ago