It’s Homecoming weekend in our small town. Since my older children homeschooled, and my current high school aged daughter attends a private, all girls school, Gabriel is introducing our family to the local high school homecoming culture. It’s been an education for all of us.
Gabriel has caused quite a sensation at the high school with the female population. He was asked my numerous young ladies to be their date to Homecoming. He feigned ignorance until one of his favorite girls chose her moment. He accepted and reassured us that, “she is very beautiful”. How sweet we thought. How cute.
Neither Gabriel, nor my husband and I, realized the extent of pageantry associated with the annual Homecoming dance. Apparently, the first invitation was insufficient. Gabriel was instructed by his date that he must now ask her to the dance. He described the dialogue to us one evening.
“But you asked me?”he said.
“Yes”, but you must now ask me”
“And if I do, you will say, yes?”
“Yes, but you must ask”
“O.K. Will you go with me to Homecoming?”
“No, not that way. You know. Ask cute”
Confused, Gabriel sought out the cultural experts; the Physics class. The teacher explained with a laugh, “You know Gabriel, with flowers or candy…..cute!”
“What is this?” he asked my husband and I.
I shook my head. I had no idea. Was he going to the Homecoming dance or getting ready to propose marriage? Was this a little over the top?
“I don’t know, Gabriel”, I admitted. “This is a culture I don’t understand either”.
My husband summed it up for him. “I guess you are learning that American girls are high maintenance”.
“Hey!” I cautioned. “Watch the stereotypes”.
Eventually we figured it out. Gabriel’s date got her “official proposal to the dance”. She provided instruction on numerous other cultural expectations for the evening. Flowers, her dress color and his subsequent tie choice, budget for the evening’s dinner, and time and location of pictures were just a few of the lessons. It was a personalized, independent study on American high school culture and dating for Gabriel; direct and complete.
It’s been an interesting cultural lesson for our entire family. You never realize how important it is to have a cultural ambassador until you try to navigate the murky waters of a high school dance. We salute Gabriel’s date for setting sail, inviting him into the boat, and making sure his voyage was smooth sailing.