While back home, recently, I decided to clean out my childhood bedroom. Of course, in the process, memories from my past came flooding back.

One of the things my mother has not thrown out, is my collection of high school Homecoming mums. The flowers no longer exist, but the forms and streamers have survived the many years of dust and darkness in my bedroom closet.

I’m not convinced that other high schools, in other states, go to such lengths, as we do here in Texas, when it comes to football and Homecoming mums. The saying that everything’s bigger in Texas applies in this category, as well.

Homecoming mums say something about you. They distinguish you. Status might even be communicated by just how big your mum is, how many streamers and add-ons you have, and/or by what boy’s name is in glitter.

I’m not saying this is right, I’m just saying it is the way things are.


My freshman year, I was asked to Homecoming by my good friend Kevin W. He bought me my first mum. I apologize to Kevin, in writing, but I can’t remember if we were an item or not. I don’t think we were. There was potential for a future hook-up, because I always adored Kevin, but I believe my eyes were on another boy at the time. (see Sophomore year mum)

As you will see, my first mum had three streamers and one braid. A simple mum, but meaningful to me, all the same.

On a Homecoming mum, each streamer relays information about the wearer of the mum. For example, I was on the drill team my freshman year. I was also a Freshman. And, Kevin was my date. Therefore, a streamer each with DRILL TEAM, FRESHMAN, and KEVIN was proudly displayed. Sometimes, your own name was on a streamer, as if you needed help remembering whose mum you were wearing.

Kevin (or his mom) did not see the need to add another streamer with my name on it. I guess he (they) assumed I was to be the one to wear it, so why add that streamer? People could clearly see it was me wearing the mum… logical thinking.


Moving on to my Sophomore year, I was asked by Rode H. (pronounced rode-ee).

Isn’t that a great Texan name?! He was a good guy who was into rodeo and ranching–a born-cowboy. Still is, I bet.

As you can see below, Rode purchased a few more streamers for my mum. He even added a plus sign placed between our names. We were going together. (These days you “go out”…even if you are 11 and can’t drive, you still go out.)

I quit drill team after my freshman year to try-out for cheerleader; I felt it was a better fit. There’s a streamer stating this fact: Varsity Cheerleader.

I apparently was also a Homecoming Nominee. There’s a announcing that bit of information, as well. (I did not win.)

Sometime after my Sophomore Homecoming, I broke up with Rode. (I’m sorry, Rode.) I starting liking an older boy, Matt M.–he was a Junior, played football, and was a trumpet player.


Matt and I started going together during my Sophomore year and I just knew we were destined to be in love fa-eva. Sadly, though, it was not meant to be. What I thought to be true love was short-lived. We did not make it to my Junior year.

You see, Matt was going through a bit of Senior-itis. He wanted to sow some wild oats and see other girls. He broke my heart.

I pined away for him my entire Junior year.

So, as you can see below, I do not have a boy’s name on my Junior Homecoming mum. No one asked me to Homecoming. Maybe because all the boys knew I was pining for another.

Whatever the reason, it did not stop me from getting a souped-up, over-the-top Homecoming mum!

My parents paid for it.

I marched myself down to the florist and picked out every possible streamer and do-dad I could find. If I wasn’t going to have a boyfriend or a date, I was, by golly, going to have the biggest dang mum in the county! Or die trying.

I added things like this:

(Sorry, I should have switched my point & shoot to macro–a little blurry…)

And, this little pom-pom cheerleader with googly eyes:

It had tons of streamers, braids and glitter on it…. I liked it a lot, even without a boy’s name on it.


So, finally we are to my Senior year.

Matt got over himself and decided I didn’t have cooties, after all. He asked me to go with him, again, during the summer before my Senior year, even though he was about to head off to college. I said yes.

So, when Homecoming rolled around, he returned from college to be my date.

I don’t remember if Matt purchased my mum, or if my parents did, but it was also quite large and festive, maybe even bigger than my Junior year mum.

As you will see, there were stars, and bells, and footballs, and megaphones, and pom-poms, and multiple braids.

It was mighty purrrty.

And, it was heavy, once you added a super large yellow Chrysanthemum to it.

For the first time in my high school years, I was able to put Matt’s name on a mum. We each got our own streamer.

We didn’t have a plus sign between our names, like Rode and I had.

Possibly, that was indicative of things to come…

It was a great Homecoming, but it was made even better because I won Homecoming Queen!

(It was a small town and they must have been desperate, but I was still very honored.)

In order to fulfill my duties as Queen, I had to return the following year to crown the next Homecoming Queen.


The Fall following my Senior year, I was a freshman at Baylor. My room-mate was Marcy.

(Look how tall my hair was! I believe, at the time, I was at least 7′ feet 9 inches tall. I liked the power my big hair gave me as I towered over individuals….)

Marcy and I had a great freshman year together and shared many laughs, so I’m not real sure who thought of it first, but Marcy must have helped me order the mum for my return as reigning Homecoming Queen….

No boy’s name that year…

…just my good friend and room mate’s name.

It’s quite possibly my favorite mum of all.




  1. Launda

    OMG, this made me laugh. Only because my old mums are stuffed in a closet at my moms house. I could have parted with them, but sadly, my mother could not. (she likes to keep stuff)

  2. Sherri

    Oh, this does bring back so many high school memories! Some of my mums were beyond ridiculous – with lights & teddy bears & three huge mums. One even had braids that attached across my body over to my wrist where more mums were attached. I do remember how incredibly uncomfortable to wear they were, but how proud to wear them I was!

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Okay…. I have a post already rolling around in my head for the Fall showcasing some of the mums from this year’s Homecoming at my oldest’s high school. I saw amazing mums! But, nothing compared to what you describe…a wrist corsage attached to a chest mum sounds absolutely mind-boggling!!! So, when you’d wave, your whole mum would wave with you? Wow. I so wish I could have seen that, Sherri.

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