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  1. #1

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    Homecoming Mums: It's a Texas Thing

    Have you ever heard of homecoming mums? I was thinking some big flower corsages that girls might have been given by a boy before a big football game back in the late fifties or early sixties, but no...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWfdhMv_2hM

    I asked D whether her boyfriend, who is from Texas, did these in high school. She didn't believe me, but did ask and found out that they absolutely did. He was surprised to learn that she'd never heard of them and that we didn't do that up north.

    Did you have high school traditions like this? Things that you just accepted as the norm, only to learn later in life that folks from other places found those traditions to be positively strange?

    Minor figure skating kind-of linkage: There's a girl partway through the video who really looks a lot like Tara Lipinski did, and I know Tara came from Sugarland. I wonder if she ever had a mum?

  2. #2

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    I went to a Texas public school in the 90s and mums were definitely a major thing. The bigger and the tackier the better, and if your mum plus it's accouterments were actually taller than you and you jangled like a Christmas stocking, then it's PERFECT!

  3. #3
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    Never heard of them! Cute custom, though. Our girls just get wrist corsages.

    (Says sk8er1964 from Michigan.)

  4. #4

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    I just saw the video - yikes! I realize that I must have blocked out even more high school memories than I thought.


    Funny(ish) story... At my high school, I was in the marching band, and the tradition was that each senior would have one or two little sisters/brothers. The little band sister was supposed to give a mum to the senior band girl, and vice versa. My little band sister did indeed give me a mum - - not taller than me, but large and very sparkly. My mother thought they were ugly and refused to give me the money to buy one for my little band sister. (asking her to make one would have been sooooo out of the question!) She didn't understand that tacky was the point. So when my little band sister presented me with a 4-foot long glitter explosion, I gave her.... a corsage. It was awfully shameful and unTexan. I did give her a big teddy bear for Halloween to try to make up for it though.

  5. #5
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    I just asked three of my co-workers, all from Texas, about this, and they were like - yeah. Big and gaudey, hundreds of dollars, etc.

    I wondered if they were a tasteful tradition gone crazy, and the oldest of my co-workers who is in her 60's, said that is basically what happened. They were more what the rest of us thought when she was in school. By the time her daughter was in school, they were more like the video.

  6. #6
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    OK, having grown up during the 60's and got my fair share of corsages this was a OMG moment for me! I'm from Chicago and we did the normal things that everyone else seems to do but nothing outlandish like that.

    I guess everything IS bigger in Texas. WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!!!

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    My best friend is from Houston, and yes, they had them at her school - the bigger, the better.

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    I remember them being big at least since the 1980's. The mums in the video are definitely over the top, but it wasn't unusual to see girls wearing 2-3 mums, with huge teddy bears, and some that had lights and came with a battery pack.

    I remember the one I bought for my date was like $75, and that was 13 years ago. They're worn for homecoming and it's a pretty big deal. Like a mini- prom. We didn't have a dance cause our students never attended school dances, but people would definitely get dressed up and go to dinner.

    ETA: Reading the comments reminded me of all those damn bells and whistles and those freaking cow bells that were attached to them. Like a freaking herd walking down the hallway.
    Last edited by El Rey; 10-07-2010 at 09:13 PM.

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    We had the basic mum corsages at University of Connecticut in the 60s. It was a big deal to get one. Fantastic to get two or more. They dropped from favor during the hippie years when they dropped the dress code for attending the games. If you google old football pics from ANY university from that era 1946-1967, you'll see them on many of the women.

    I agree that it's a nice idea gone bad.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Rey View Post

    ETA: Reading the comments reminded me of all those damn bells and whistles and those freaking cow bells that were attached to them. Like a freaking herd walking down the hallway.
    GAWD, the cowbells!! Here comes another flood of repressed memories!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    I just asked three of my co-workers, all from Texas, about this, and they were like - yeah. Big and gaudey, hundreds of dollars, etc.
    Hundreds of dollars??? I don't think that custom is all that cute any more. Glad all we had to do was pay $11 for the corsage!

    (Cowbells??? )

  12. #12

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    My first thought upon seeing the thread title: "Oh no, not ANOTHER reality show."
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    Hundreds of dollars??? I don't think that custom is all that cute any more. Glad all we had to do was pay $11 for the corsage!

    (Cowbells??? )
    Yep - one of them said that she knew people that had paid that much for them. Of course I suppose it depends on the number of teddy bears, sequins, feathers, lights, and battery packs it has on it!

    Wait - are we talking about mums or skating costumes here?

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    I was in HS in the 60's & we had real mums with BHS in gold glitter on them & only about 6-8 ribbon streamers hanging down & a couple of bells. They were pretty & not gaudy.

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    Why are they even called 'mums' when there isn't a single live flower on any of those tacky things? It's an insult to the flower!

    And why does it seem that Texas has to gaudify everything it touches?

  16. #16

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    My first thought was - how do you qualify to be a homecoming mum? Is it the mothers of the kids in homecoming court?
    Never mess with a geocacher. We know the best places to hide a body....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassafras View Post
    My first thought was - how do you qualify to be a homecoming mum? Is it the mothers of the kids in homecoming court?
    Same here. I thought it was sort of like homecoming queen for the elderly.

    I'm glad I didn't go to hs in Texas cuz there's no way I would touch my date with a 10-ft poll if she adorned herself like a christmas tree....err... or maybe that's the point?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeck View Post
    And why does it seem that Texas has to gaudify everything it touches?
    Good question. Then they insist that it is the best way to do it. After all, it's a "Texas thing, a tradition".

    Not hardly...

    NJL

  19. #19
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    In Austin, we wore Mum's in middle school, but my high school did not (there were 12 high schools in Austin, no clue what others did). Well (to be honest) the white kids did not. The hispanic kids definetly did. They sold them in the cafeteria for homecoming week (between $10 and $50). They were not outrageously big, like the mum's I've since seen pictures of from friends in small towns.

    My sophomore year a friend and I decided we WISHED we wore mum's (because they are cool), so we got together at her house after a trip to Hobby Lobby and made awesome ones for about $20. Then took pictures with them. Then it hung on my wall. It definetly did NOT get worn to school. I was not a "cool kid" (made plenty of weird fashion choices) but that would have been too much of a social norm to break.

  20. #20
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    Southern Oklahoman here, so I'm close to Texas, and very familiar with the 'mum tradition.' When I was in high school, girls were given these to wear for homecoming, usually by their boyfriends, and if they didn't have boyfriends, their moms bought them one. They varied in expensiveness, depending on how huge they were and how much crap they had on them and whether you bought them from a florist or WalMart! They started out at about mid-thigh length and gradually grew to almost dragging the floor behind you. It was a status thing. The bigger and tackier your mum, the more likely it was that you were a member of the popular group. If your mum was plain and tasteful, you were probably just a nerd, a dork, a pitiful hanger-on. (and your mom probably bought it for you, because you probably had never had a boyfriend in your life.)

    True confessions time: The only mum I ever had in school was short, plain, and bought by my mother! My younger sister, OtOH had years where she was wearing TWO, given her by different boys. Sad, sad.

    ETA: The beribboned mum tradition has now extended to be a 'new baby' thing. You're only cool if you have a huge mum on your hospital room door with a thousand ribbons and baby doo-dads on it announcing your new arrival.

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