By Lisa Barr
Did you happen to see the woman lying face down, fully clothed (completely disheveled), Hefty bags under her eyes, cell phone dead ... on her driveway Sunday night? Yeah, that would be me.
I. Am. A. Homecoming. Survivor.
Just Barely. I won't get into all the details because I have an almost 16 year old daughter who would truly kill me. Let's just say that I had the 2 a.m. shift (through 11 a.m. the next morning.) The Sleepover ... aka: The All-Nighter. For those who don't know The Drill, it goes something like this: There are pictures, then the Homecoming Dance at the High School, then 'The Group' goes out for dinner or The Group may go to a fun sports arena (gymnastics, trampoline, etc.), followed by an After Party ... and then the SLEEPOVER ... and then the Next Day ... everyone gets up (figure of speech -- no one goes to sleep) and meets up again with their respective dates for brunch. It's a lot of fun for the kids, and a lot of preparation -- not so fun -- especially if you're a GIRL MOM.
Homecoming in the GIRL WORLD starts at least two months prior to the dance with The Dress Search (note: whenever the word "Dress" is used, substitute "Stress.")
Boy Moms have it so damn easy in the School Dance Department. Finding a shirt. And that's it. Unless they grew out of their "good pants" or shoes. Then, that too. One Boy Mom said to me, "Stress? Not at all. I just remind my son to shave and that's it." Another Boy Mom told me, "Stress? My son was actually on the treadmill at 5:30." (note: pictures prior to the dance began at 6:30 p.m.). Ask me where I was ... Let's just say -- NOT ON A TREADMILL. Our "Getting Ready" began at 1 p.m. SO SO SO NOT FAIR. To add fuel to the fire, one Boy Mom laughed when I described my Homecoming Prepping to her. "My big dilemma," she said, "was deciding should my son go in stripes or a solid shirt."
"Stripes or Solids -- that's your dilemma?" Just Shoot Me.
You get the picture ... If you've got a girl getting ready for a dance -- take out your wallet and just hand it over to the Beauty Gods. Your Week Before and/or Day Of includes most of the following: wax (whatever needs to go, goes this week), mani/pedi, pick up dress if altered, HAIR (in some circles this can be a bigger decision than the dress -- up? down? straight? curly? braided? partially up? partially down? flat-ironed? highlighted?), makeup, purse, shoes, jewelry ... Okay, to be fair, a guy may need a hair-cut too. I'm not asking for a Pity Party here (maybe a little sympathy would be nice) ... Let's just say you happen to have one daughter getting ready for Homecoming -- plus TWO other teenage daughters who have their exclusive demands -- one has to get ready for a Bat-Mitzvah party; the other has a casual party with "nothing to wear". And oh, you suddenly have a gas leak on top of it (with the Big Sleepover happening at your house that night). Yes, the picture is now in full-color -- GIRL DRAMA goin' strong... waiting for the Gas Guy (who finally comes, fixes, and leaves) ... "fires" are being put out in my house left and right.
Thelma. Louise. Wine. Those three words kept running through my head all day.
I LOVE MY DAUGHTERS -- it's the prepping that kills me. I know there are Moms Out There with one daughter, and Homecoming and all the girlie touches can indeed be "special time" together. But for me -- and I'm just being honest here -- it's stressful; a race to the Finish Line -- more like Bondage than Bonding Time.
In the end, like the final swish of a car wash -- My Girl comes out looking beautiful. And we have a moment of: Mommy, what do you think?
What do I think? All day I wanted to get into my car, punch it and drive without turning back. But now ... now ... WOW. I clasped my hands together. So poised, so together, and so ready for Her Big Night.
Yes, I'm the Driver, I'm the Checkbook, I'm the Punching Bag ... but one look at her ... and The Day of Drama was gone ...
Not forgotten. As she took pictures with all her friends, and then waved goodbye ... I took it all in ... and then all I could think about was Next Year when I'd have TWO (of my three) daughters in High School Homecoming Mode. I kid you not when I say that I already called their Grandma and said, RESERVE the day NOW! to help divide and conquer. What I didn't say, is remember that woman lying on the driveway at the end of Homecoming? Next year, I swear, I just know ... she will NOT get up.