Flashback Friday – Terribly Tacky, Wonderfully Fun, Totally Texan

**I originally wrote this a few years back, but just today I was trying to explain the wonder of a Texas homecoming mum to someone, and it seemed right to pull it out again.

I spent several hours this past weekend making homecoming mums with my eldest.  A ton of glitter, flowers, cowbells and ribbons later we were done.

“These are awful,” she said.  “People actually wear them?”

“”Yes!” I gasped with glee.  “They wear them and love them.  Welcome to Texas, baby!”

If you’ve never been to the Lone Star State (and I feel sorry for you if this is true) then you can not possibly begin to imagine the wonder of the Texas homecoming mum.

“We have them, too.” A friend of mine from Oklahoma said, clearly tired of hearing me wax rhapsodic about all things Texan.

“Describe them.” I challenged her.

“It’s a big chrysanthemum with a couple ribbons, a corsage, but kinda ugly.”

“Oh,” I answered, “then where do you put the battery pack?”

I know what she was referring to, something almost tasteful.  Something a little

like this:

mum

That might be fine in the rest of the country, but any girl in Texas who wore that to the homecoming game would be pitied and her date would find himself single for life.

You see, we don’t do small here.  We like tacky and big and completely obnoxious.  Baseball caps should be encrusted with rhinestones, hair should be big and then tease it up a little more…just take your definition of over-the-top and then push the envelope a little further over the edge.

So what are Texas girls wearing to homecoming?  A simple little something like this:

 

mum2

Isn’t it fantastic?  It had at least a half dozen cowbells in those ribbons.  Spectacular!

Then their senior year, we stop kidding around and really get serious

mum1

I loved living in Oklahoma for 17 years, and thought it had become my home, but this summer we moved back to Texas and then football season began.  Somewhere between the hot glue gun and the string of blinking lights I realized that I was once again among my people.  The folks here have a healthy appreciation for kitsch and tacky.  They know these things are ridiculous and over the top, and love them all the more for it.  Life needs humor, and nowhere is that more on display that a Friday night game in a small Texas town.

My 7 year old daughter has whole-heartedly embraced this philosophy of life, but the teenager remains a complete skeptic. I give her until the homecoming game next Friday night before she realizes that instead of being embarrassed to wear such a tacky thing, she’s be missing out if she didn’t.  I hope she learns to relax and not take herself quite so seriously.  She wants to be cool and these creations would not be cool with any of her Okie friends, but she’s learning a lesson from the Texas girls she knows.  Life is short.  You can spend it trying to be cool, or you can learn to laugh….so laugh because it’s much more fun that way.

I know y’all are itching for one more picture, so here’s the mums of the cheerleading squad:

mums

Don’t y’all wish you were here?

 

Photo credits: I took them Don’t steal them. If you want to use them, ask

 

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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