Driving down Main Street you are heckled by brace-faced, acne-ridden teenagers trying to sell you a car wash in the McDonald’s parking lot.

And if you manage to escape then, you know you’ll be forced to donate to the freshmen class bake sale. The fact of the matter is simple, homecoming is expensive. So class presidents rally their peers and put on a ridiculous number of fundraisers to pay for their extravagant week-long celebrations. Only God knows how they managed to set up their table on the pulpit during the service at Second Baptist on Sunday morning.

You sit through a seven hour pep rally.

The cheerleaders have spent every waking moment since the first day of school planning for this event. They will have choreographed a dance to at least seven Ke$ha songs and the national anthem. The coaches will give a shoutout to every player on the team, plus their parents who sucked up to them enough to be first string. Then, and only then, will they be forced to participate in some dangerous competition involving drinking a gallon of pickle juice, running around blind folded with a 6 foot spirit stick, and somehow calf roping the mascot of the other team. And that’s just the first hour.

The senior class buys all of the spray glitter at Walmart.

After the funds have been raised, the students will gather to build some sort of float for the school’s homecoming parade. Without a doubt, before the money has even been counted, the senior class will run off and buy every single ounce of glitter, every can of spray glue, and every roll of crepe paper in town. They probably won’t use any of it, senioritis has already set in, but it doesn’t matter as long as the rest of the school is left scratching their heads.

Parents donate rusty farm equipment for their children’s float.

Every year, without question, each class somehow obtains a sketchy old cotton trailer or a 40 foot flatbed trailer they manage to transform into a parade float fit for the rose bowl.

Each class elects their supreme.

In Texas, every year is election year, and what’s at stake is almost as important as the presidency of the United States. The freshmen are quickly schooled in high school politics, as each grade nominates representative to the homecoming court. For a few lucky girls, who have managed to captivate (or intimidate) their voters, they’ll see their dreams come true by accepting a nomination for homecoming queen.

You’re forced to participate in “spirit” days.

‘Murica Monday. Tie-Dye Tuesday. Woke-up-like-this Wednesday. Nerd Day Thursday. (insert school colors) FriYAY!

“Arms length” rules will be implemented for the homecoming dance. 

Big ass mums and garters will be ordered.  Homecoming dates will be secured. First kisses will be planned. Parents will become increasingly awkward.

You trip on your own ridiculously huge mum.

Once upon a time someone said, “let me pin this flower to you to celebrate your high school homecoming!” Then someone in Texas said…”well, everything’s bigger in Texas.” Nobody really knows how these absurd things got so big, but, like everything else in the Lone Star State, we’re damned proud of them. Now, whoever can figure out how to sell life insurance policies with said mums, is bound to make a fortune Jerry Jones would be envious of.

The entire town heads down to the field.

Literally everyone shows up for the most important Friday Night Lights of the season. McDonald’s turns off the golden arches, every police officer parks it outside the gates, even the 911 dispatcher has calls transferred to her cell phone. There will inevitably be some sort of pancake “pre-game” or fajita tailgate, then an army of 4-year-old cheerleaders and future quarterbacks will crowd into the stadium with their parent’s and every neighbor in a 12 mile radius.

Your team is down at half-time.

But the only prize that really matters is a $12 plastic tiara from OrientalTrading.com

A fleet of semi-luxury cars descends onto the track.

Nothing else matters until four semi luxury convertibles, we’re talking Sebrings from the used Toyota dealership, arrive with four gown wearing homecoming queen hopefuls. The cars will then make a slow lap and then the homecoming queen, the most important person in school until the harvest festival, will be crowned.

Three girls fake cry tears of joy when their name is not called.

We’ve all seen it and we’ll see it again, but for three unlucky ladies, this will be the night they didn’t win said $12 plastic tiara from OrientalTrading.com

The band plays a George Straight-Michael Jackson mash up.

And the crowd will go wild.

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