I’ve Ben Thinking: Care for some Jello

Believe it or not, Homecoming invitations, like pufferfish chowder and physics labs on carbon copy notebooks, can be disastrous if not thought out carefully. Usually, I would never give dance invitations a second thought. I loathe the basic idea of having to ask someone, mostly because Ron Weasley showed me how bloody scary it can be during the Yule Ball.

To my chagrin, a friend wanted to discuss ideas on how to ask that special individual to Homecoming several weeks ago. I knew it seemed hypocritical to listen to her outlandish scheme, but my conscience compelled me to listen.

I expected to be caught shamelessly drooling on my keyboard when she started explaining; however, the idea had originality. She wanted to purchase golf balls and place them all over this other person’s front yard, leaving a note saying “I didn’t have enough balls to ask you in person, but will you go to Homecoming with me?”

You see, I have always felt that when it comes to Homecoming, you either have the most elaborate and innovative idea or simply just surrender your creativity and go with the generic “Will you go with me?”

I enjoyed listening to the golf ball idea, but this only made me think of the bigger issue at hand. Why do people devote such enormous amounts of time to thinking of Homecoming invitations?

I have seen a student convince the varsity water polo team, dressed only in speedos to spell out “Homecoming” for a girl, while members of the Math Club spell out the invitation on a calculator.

Recently, I have noticed that guys are frequently resorting to using food, one of our greatest loves, in creative ways for their Homecoming endeavors. One student used yellow mustard and wheat bread to write a message and another drew inspiration from “The Office” by enclosing the invitation in cherry-flavored Jell-O. I used to think these ideas were ridiculous and outlandish–this was supposed to be an invitation to a dance, not to a banquet.
After several years of being a observer, I concluded that my time was better spent with other things than coming up with an invitation; I’m not much of a social butterfly anyhow.

Yet now I understand the complexity and challenge of invitations. I have a newfound respect for the valiant strangers that I see in the Quad asking somebody to Homecoming. In that instant when a student asks the fateful question, they have placed their heart in the hand of their hopeful date–just to see if they’ll squeeze or not.