The “Hoco” Experiment

As an exchange student, I wanted to make the most out of this year. I wanted to participate in everything that simply is not available at home. Of course, I forced myself (with the aid of my friends) to go to homecoming. Now keep in mind I had no idea what homecoming was about. Sure, it was a dance, but what kind of dance? Why does it take place? Why is called “homecoming”? And most importantly, what’s with the great amount of child pornography at every teenage American dance?

Before attempting to answer any of these questions, I wanted to find a date. Everyone will tell you that it’s unnecessary to have a date as you can just go with your friends and have fun. That is correct partially, but going with another person makes the night more special and memorable for the future. I’m writing this about 2 days after homecoming and I can still remember everything. See? It was a memorable night.

Anyway, I asked an exchange student from Jordan to homecoming. At first, she said that she would be going with her friends to her own dance which is on the same day as mine and she doesn’t want to leave them to come to mine. I really wanted to go to homecoming with her for some reason at the time, so I offered to go with her (which doesn’t work usually). Two days later, she tells me that her natural parents didn’t like the idea. You win this time, Catholicism.

I tried to laugh at the idea of how I was rejected from people an ocean away. I want to stress on the word “tried”. I talked to my Lebanese friend, Tala, who lives about an hour away and she said she wants to come to my homecoming. We filled in the paperwork and added her to my school’s guest list.

IT’S HOMECOMING NIGHT OH EM GEE. I’m wearing a white shirt and a red tie to match Tala’s red dress and we leave home at around 7:15 pm to arrive about 20 minutes late to homecoming. It doesn’t really matter because it’s not a formal meeting where you have to be on time. In addition to that, most of my friends were late.

We arrive there and people are doing some weird dance so we jump and do likewise. When the dance is over, Wyatt, my Irish friend, comes over to say hi. He seemed really happy to see me. I’m not going to lie, I was happy to see him too for some reason although I’ve already done that no more than 24 hours ago. I hear Aiden shouting my name and his smile was so wide too. I guess I am that special there, huh? I ask him where the other guys are. Apparently, they just left and it’s going to take them 50 minutes to get here. Meanwhile, Tala, Aiden and I along some other people were standing in awkward circle barely dancing. Some catchy song finally came up and Tala grabbed Aiden’s arm who in turn grabbed mine to go start shaking it. It was my first dance so I had no idea what I was doing. Just look around and try to imitate others.

Kunica, Braden and Jasmine are here. Nothing special. Dante arrives. His dancing makes me laugh and is actually entertaining to watch. Some slow music goes on and everyone is in a hurry to find a partner. A big black guy asks me if I mind if Tala dances with him, I reply with a no. I don’t see Tala for the next hour as I was slow or normally dancing with either Aiden or Ricardo (who introduced to his girlfriend as his lost twin). I also got in the middle and started dancing with a lot of people I barely know. Plus I awkward danced with Sarah who screamed at me “Stop making it so awkward, just do what I’m doing!” I had to explain to her how it was my first dance. She said I did a great job at the end but it was clear that she was just complimenting me.

I finally find Tala sitting on the bench next to the same guy, clearly tired from wearing heels all night. She does this hand signal telling me to call Stephanie to pick us up. I do so then we all (including Cory because he came to homecoming too) go outside and wait for Stephanie. According to Tala, the guy tried to get her grinding on him like four times. However, every time he tried to spin her around, she refused. That’s one thing about Tala: she is a classy lady.

Stephanie arrives and we all go to Ihop. The first Ihop was crowded and one table had like 10 students who clearly just came from another homecoming. They kept the three waitresses busy and even though we were there for thirty minutes, nobody came to take our order. We decide to leave to another branch and I scream “F— YOU” at the students before I leave. Stephanie suggested flipping them off on the window but that kinda failed.

The other Ihop was almost empty. The chicken and waffles I ordered plus the hazelnut coffee tasted so good. I can see why the other one was so crowded. We finish the meal and we decide to head home since Tala’s ride back to Eloy was almost there. She takes her stuff, hugs me goodbye and leaves. I decide to stay up till 3 am because I can.

Next Sunday morning, Cory and I had the hangover feeling. It’s almost as were drinking all night. All we needed was more sleep but our bodies refused to go back to bed! We decided to just deal with it.

Today (it’s a Monday) at school, we were talking about the funny things at homecoming. One of these things was my dancing (I am not surprised at all). They also told me that my date was hot and beautiful (she is actually, I mean, she is Lebanese). Cory then said he was surprised how she isn’t my girlfriend, apparently she “jokes around, doesn’t give a shit and has the same hair” which makes her “perfect” for me. I’m just not romantically attracted her although I am aware of all these awesome traits. At least for the time being. I’m a pretty strange, random dude.

Leave a Reply