On Our Way To Crazy

… like disco lemonade…

Homecoming in Texas. September 22, 2008

Filed under: Home and back again,Things That Are Awesome — brandi @ 2:10 pm

Do you know what’s happening in this picture?

(That’s me, third from the left.)

It’s homecoming season around here. Yesterday I was talking to some of the girls about dress shopping and dates and football games. But one thing we did not talk about was the mum.

If you didn’t grow up in Texas, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. But if you did, you just flashed back to giant fake flowers, industrial strength pins, tiny teddy bears and sticky glitter letters.

The mum is a Texas homecoming tradition. They are meant to be a gift from your homecoming date, but can also come from parents, friends, or you can just get one for yourself. A mum is a big fake flower (chrysanthemum), mounted onto a piece of cardboard and covered in ribbons. The ribbons are decorated with school colors, mascots, names, jokes, activities. The have bells, whistles, plastic football helmets… anything you can hang from a flower is fair game.

Girls dress up for school on homecoming and then attach these giant creations to their fancy clothes. This gets tricky, because those things are freakishly heavy. Mine always worked pretty well with giant pins, but some girls had to resort to ropes and balance weights. No, I am not making that up.

We would walk around all day in dresses and heels, hunched over to one side to support the weight of the mum. The ribbon would cut into our shins and rip holes in our pantyhose. It was impossible to sit down while wearing them, so classes were pretty useless.

Mums are insane, y’all. INSANE. Why on earth did we do that to ourselves? They are uncomfortable, heavy, and… oh, yeah. UGLY. Seriously. Whose idea what that? Boys hated buying them, I’m sure, and we stressed ourselves out over who we were getting ours from and what they would look like. All for the privilege of back pain and shoulder strain. Awesome.

The male equivalent of the mum is the garter, though if memory serves me correctly they were only for the football players. I was never a football player dating kind of girl, so I don’t know for sure. What I do remember is big burly guys wearing garters around their biceps with lace, little plastic footballs and ribbons bearing their numbers and girlfriend’s name. Manly.

It’s my understanding that this is a strictly Texas tradition. Am I right? Did any of you guys do mums in other states? Are you from Texas? Tell me about your mum experience. I’m sure it’s a fond memory.


10 Responses to “Homecoming in Texas.”

  1. juliette Says:

    This blog is awesome. 🙂 And I think mums are indeed a TX only thing! Which was weird to me when I first learned it– but then it made sense. Oh, Texas.

    I have a senior homecoming pic from when I was on Court. My mums were suspended around my neck on a silver ribbon. Out of control.

    And I never dated a football player either, but I made a couple of bomb-looking garters– one of them even had a Superman logo fashioned out of sparkly silver pipe cleaners. 🙂

  2. Bethany Says:

    I….have never heard of that. Texas really is like it’s own country!

  3. Bethany Says:

    (I misused its. I am embarrassed.)

  4. Adriene Says:

    It’s not just a Texas thing. We had them in Georgia (at least South Georgia – Jeff’s never heard of them). However, ours were not nearly as FABULOUS as the ones in that pic, Brandi. Ours were pretty much just a fancy corsage.

  5. Susan Says:

    We had them in Oklahoma! Our school colors were blue and gold so the mum was a this huge ugly yellow and then tons of blue/gold ribbon, lots of plastic dangly crap and those glitter stickers you mentioned. I don’t remember anything about garters for the guys though.
    Too funny!

  6. scott Says:

    what in the world? and these were not just for the homecoming court….but for everyone?

  7. brandi Says:

    Yeah, dude. Everyone. I was certainly never on homecoming court!

  8. Jennifer Says:

    I remember that!! The bigger yours was, the better! They were so heavy, but so fun to have! We (my sister and I) miss them! And yes, we are from Texas! Yee-haw! AND we miss how important football is too 🙁

  9. Alee Says:

    I am from Texas an lemme tell ya, Mums and Garters are the real deal at my high school. You exchange with your date (Mums for the girls of course, and the boys get the Garters), they run about $75 to $200, the dance team sells majority of the good ones (they make them as a fundraiser & EVERYONE wants one from them), the mums can and will have a lot on them. However we don’t wear ours to school- just to the game and then the dance is the next day. People also wear their Mum outfits, or Mumfits as I call them- Basically a white v-neck, a sports bra you don’t care about and shorts with boots or sperry’s (nothing to out shine the glorious to-the-floor mum) You pin the mum through your shirt to your sports bra so it doesn’t go ANYWHERE. This does occasionally result in crisis (tearing shirts etc.) but it works very well for the most part. I can’t believe this is mostly a Texas thing! It is definitely one of the funnest parts about homecoming!

  10. Jennifer Says:

    Homecoming mums r fun! Cut loose let the kids have fun if for nothing else but to drive the teachers crazy for one day. lol It’s supposed to show school spirit and how exciting TEXAS football games are. OH let’s not forget the Homecoming Dance, Dinner & the BIG HOMECOMING GAME…it’s a big deal…ya don’t want to loose on your homecoming night! It’s also a great time to see old friends you never see. My grandpa graduated in 55 and still loves to go and see his old friends. Where’s your school SPIRIT!!!lol

Leave a Reply