The Trials and Tribulations of Homecoming

Modern media describes homecoming and dances of the like as almost fairytale situations where everyone has an amazing time and finds their true love by the end of the night. But anyone that has actually lived through the drama of a real world homecoming realizes that it is anything but a fairytale for the majority of high school students. The real drama of homecoming occurs before the dance even happens, when arrangements for dates to the dance are still being decided.

But which gender has it the worst? For weeks before the dance, girls must endure a constant fear of the humiliation that entering the dance alone would cause. It is completely unconventional, and out of the question for a girl to ask a boy to the dance, therefore they have no control over the stressful situation of finding a date. Instead, girls are forced to sit back and wait for a boy to ask. As the dance draws near, females left without dates become more and more frantic. Asking a guy themselves starts to sound not so ridiculous. Questions like “what if I am the only one without a date?” and “what will the others think of me if I walk into the dance alone?” crowd these females’ heads.

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Watching boys ask their friends to the dance while they are left behind as bachelorettes is torture. A feeling of utter aloneness takes over and life begins to seem terrible in general. Thus, for many females, homecoming is a nightmare. But many boys laugh when girls claim that they have it tough. The idea of being rejected is terrifying; therefore, their job of asking a girl to attend the dance takes a tremendous amount of confidence.

Sidwell specifically creates a stressful situation for boys because not only do they need to ask a girl, but their invitation must be creative. Simple flowers are insufficient; extravagant displays are the goal. But the technicalities of asking the girl are not the only roadblock that boys face. There is also a competitive aspect to the asking of dates to homecoming. Often, a single girl is the object of multiple boys’ affections.

Sometimes this problem is solved by diplomatically discussing the issue with the other boy and coming to a peaceful consensus. But because of a lack of maturity in high school boys, this is not a commonly used solution. Many boys ask extremely early or call “dibs” on certain girls to prevent this awkward situation from ever developing in the first place. But when all else fails, the idea of “first come, first serve” finds its way into the situation. In this scenario, boys are spotted running down school hallways in an attempt to find the girl before their competition. A fight to the death does not seem so far off.

Both boys and girls face rejection during the homecoming season. Girls face the terror of not being asked as they are forced to wait for a boy to ask them. For this reason, it might seem that boys have earned a position of power. But the duty of asking a girl to the dance comes with its own costs. Boys not only have to make themselves vulnerable as they ask a girl and risk rejection, but they also have to put themselves on display in front of others with a unique, grand romantic act, and compete with other boys for the affection of the girls.

On balance, in this one area, I am glad that I am a girl and not a boy.