Bring It In for a Hug and Homecoming Advice

Momservation: I’m not backtracking. I’m collecting clips for the highlight reel.

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I don’t usually do recap blogs (part of my neurosis of being freakishly opposed to backtracking—I mean, really, why go backwards when you can move forward?)

But I can ignore my agitated twitching to acknowledge a good reason to stop and review (a positive holdover from my teaching days).

First, I want to thank the Facebook community for the compassion, hope, support, prayers, and virtual love you extended to Amy Ruefenacht Callahan last week as she dealt with the sudden loss of her 15 year-old son, Wyatt Bredell—the overwhelming response to a mother’s heartbreak was a beautiful light in the darkness.

wyatt Bredell2In last week’s post, Facebook: A Surprising Life Ring in a Mother’s Ocean of Grief, I asked readers—very few who knew of Amy personally—to please share the story of her heart wrenching loss because in her darkest hour she was finding comfort from the Facebook community.  The outpouring of support for a mother who just lost her child was swift and uplifting—in a matter of hours the story was shared by over 1,000 people! Within days it was read by more than 12,000 people across the nation and shared on Facebook by over 2,300 people.

Gosh, I love you guys. Thank you. Thank you for wrapping your virtual arms around Amy and showing her that Wyatt’s life was worth honoring. I know Amy, her family, and her friends appreciated the generosity of spirit from so many strangers trying to help in any way they could. Thank you for letting me be your voice of compassion and support.

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The other thing I realized needed circling back to was in regards to the blog I posted week before last, The Danger of the Creative Homecoming Ask. The story about how extravagant asking a girl to Homecoming has become and the alarming trend of girls feeling like they can’t say “no” these over-the-top gestures has landed hundreds of teenagers to Momservations looking for answers to their Homecoming concerns.

My son had his Homecoming last weekend, but I know the Homecoming season is still ongoing for many schools. I feel like I need to help out these poor hapless teenagers who have Googled their way onto a parenting blog in search of answers to Homecoming etiquette! 071

So with my newly acquired Homecoming experience, I’m going to take a stab at answering the questions that have landed on Momservations’ doorstep:

How do I figure out if a girl has a date?

You ask her. Try casually in class: “So who you going to Homecoming with?” Go with flattery in the lunch line: “So who’s the lucky guy that gets to take you to Homecoming?” Go with clueless in the quad: “I’m so confused with whose going with who to Homecoming! I don’t even know who you’re going with…” And if all else fails, send an exploratory committee (find a mutual friend) to ask: “Hey, has anyone asked you to Homecoming yet?”

How to ask a girl to Homecoming?

It doesn’t matter. Really. Girls are just happy to get the anxiety over of who is going to ask them and get on with the business of finding a dress. Nothing is more adorable to a girl than a nervous guy finding the courage to come up and ask them to Homecoming. If you want to go over the top—there’re plenty of ideas and pictures if you Google “Creative Homecoming ask”.

How to ask a guy to Homecoming?

With confidence. A girl who asks a guy to Homecoming is awesome because it shows she’s not a wall-flower, not someone who is going to sit around and wait for someone to write her destiny for her. She’s a take charge girl and plenty of guys find that quality attractive. So own it. Make them feel lucky that you picked them. Do it in a way that shows off your personality: flirty, fun, romantic, athletic, quirky, quietly cool, silly—whatever it is just do it and be proud of yourself for not letting someone dictate your future.

What to do if a guy asks you to Homecoming?

If you want to go with him say “yes.” If he’s made a big display of it and you feel comfortable, give him a hug and say, “Thank you! I’m looking forward to it.” Leave out the hug if you’re not comfortable with it.

If you don’t want to go with him, turn him down with tact and grace. “That’s really sweet of you, but no thank you.” Or if they did a big production: “I appreciate your effort and generosity, but no thank you.” Or, if you they did a big production and everyone’s watching and you don’t want to embarrass him you can say “yes”, but as soon as there’s a private moment, IN PERSON, say, “I know I said “yes”, but I was uncomfortable saying “no” in front of all those people. I’m sorry, I just don’t feel comfortable going with you. I hope you understand.”

Can you say “no” to a Homecoming invitation?

Of course. You always have the right to say “no” to something that doesn’t make you feel comfortable. See above for how to say “no.”

028Can I ask a girl to Homecoming I don’t know?

Of course. Homecoming can be a great excuse to get to know someone. But, if you want to ensure a “yes” and avoid an awkward evening, make an effort to get on their radar first and find common ground.

Introduce yourself in one of the classes you have together: “Hey Susie. I know we haven’t really talked before but I’m Johnny.” Throw in a compliment or ask her about herself to get her guard down (people usually love an excuse to talk about themselves): “You seem pretty good at Geometry. Is math your favorite subject?”

Or grab a buddy at lunch and go up to her and her friends: “Hi ladies. I’m Johnny and this is my buddy Joey. You guys always look like you’re having so much fun over here, we had to come see what it was about. Do you guys all know each other from school or sports?”

If you’ve talked to a girl first, it won’t seem so stalkerish if you decide to go ahead and ask her to Homecoming. It also gives you another excuse to talk to her.

How to ask a popular girl to Homecoming if you’re not popular?

See above question. Same rules apply.

Be yourself when you ask. It’s okay if you’re nervous, but be confident. Think of all your positive qualities and think, why wouldn’t she want to go to Homecoming with me? Don’t make it about popularity. Make it about a fun opportunity to get to know each other.

What to do when a girl says “no” to Homecoming?

Don’t be a jerk—which is tempting when you get shot down. Take the high road and accept it humbly and politely: “I understand. Sorry it didn’t work out.” Or go for hapless hero: “Well, I had to ask. You can’t blame a guy for trying, right?” Or, you can take the sting out with humor, “Okay, then. You got a girlfriend you might want to set me up with instead?”

Don’t be afraid to ask someone else. Just because she didn’t want to go with you doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t be happy to.

If I get asked to Homecoming should I kiss them?

Only if you want to. Going on date (to Homecoming or otherwise) doesn’t mean it’s an obligation to reward with rounding the bases. Just because someone puts out effort or expense doesn’t mean you have to put out. If there’s a reason to kiss someone it’s because you BOTH feel a connection that you’d like to explore.


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