Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE homecoming. It’s the next best thing to Christmas, my birthday and if I may say this…my wedding day. LOL! In fact, my girls always say that the order is Homecoming and then My Wedding. Homecoming is that time of the year where you have the opportunity to spend an entire weekend with your college family, drinking, eating, catching up and reminiscing on days past. Such a great time. Hey, let me tell you if you haven’t attended an HBCU homecoming before, you are missing out. Each year at homecoming I tend to give back to those individuals who have been deprived of a REAL homecoming. I usually invite folks like my baby brother, other family members and friends who attend PWC’s. And for the past at least 10 years or more anyone who I invited loved the HBCU homecoming experience. In fact they loved it so much that they kept coming back. Some even have it in their minds that it’s their homecoming too…even though they didn’t actual attend CAU. We are family and we don’t discriminate. All are welcome.
Okay, so not sure if you read my post from last year (click here- shameless plug) but doing homecoming in your 40’s is not a game. For me, my homecoming kicked-off on Thursday night at the Mbar and didn’t stop until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Per usual, I started losing my voice on Thursday night and it didn’t fully come back until that Tuesday evening. I’m not really sure as to why I lose my voice every year. I mean was I yelling? was I singing? I’m not sure what goes on with my voice. I guess I talked a lot. Anyhoo….let’s get down to the things that went down at homecoming.
Where is Sam?
So, the question that I kept getting at Homecoming all weekend was “Where is Sam?” As though my baby brother attended CAU. But my little brother is someone who knows how to fully embrace the homecoming experience and takes on the persona of a CAU alum. He tends to be the life of the party. But this year, he had other priorities and attending CAU homecoming was not at the top of his list. I got asked so many times where was my brother that I felt like I should have worn a t-shirt that said, “Sam is not here! But seriously, it’s really nice to know how much love my CAU family has for my baby brother. Maybe next year Sam!
The Conversations have changed
When going to homecoming in your 40’s one thing that was made really clear to me this year, as opposed to any other year, is that the conversations really change. I can remember a time when the conversations were more like, “Girl, which party are we hitting up next?” to “Girl, what time does the party start? 9 p.m.!!! oh no, I’m usually in the bed by 8 p.m.” You also have conversations like, “Girl, your party was all of that but, man I got in so late that I forgot to take all of my medications so that I can get up refreshed in the morning.” You also hear comments like, “We out here partying like we in our 30’s!” Ummmm….. not in your 20’s but in our 30’s? Dang when did this happen. When did I get in my 40’s and start having conversations like this? I also heard folks talking about,” Have you gotten your AARP card yet?” “Man, they have some great discounts. I take advantage of my card.” Look, when I got my AARP card in the mail, I had just turned 40 and I refused to embrace that card. I immediately threw it away. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t believe that I was at a time in my life where I needed the AARP card. It was unbelievable to me. Honestly, I didn’t care if AARP offers great discounts. To me that card symbolized being old. And I was NOT old.
Another interesting moment that I will forever cherish, is the Homecoming car confessions. Yep, that’s right confessions. I felt like I needed to be playing Usher’s song, “Confessions” in the background. While driving around the homecoming streets of Atlanta, I was privy to a lot of …well, let’s say confessions from several of my female friends. From things happening in the rain, to hiding under a tree, to sneaking in a certain dorm in the trunk of a car, to secret crushes, to relationships that were had that no one knew anything about….and realizing that some of these women who you thought were innocent little lambs were more like little lions roaring in the jungle back in the day. LOL! But as much as I would love to spill the tea, those Homecoming car confessions will always stay a fond memory of my Homecoming 2019 experience. What happens at homecoming …stays at homecoming, especially if the confessions have to do with me. Lol!
Running into your ex’s …awkward
More often than not, folks come to homecoming without their boos, spouses or significant others – especially if their significant other did not attend the same school as they did. This usually occurs, because of the Homecoming car confessions that may go down and you don’t want your significant other to catch wind of it– ha! Ha! Or they know that there is a strong possibility that you may run into your ex or ex’s. And sometimes you can’t really get loose like you want to with your boo waiting in the wings, as you socialize and get your party on.
Unfortunately, I dated a few folks at CAU- I mean I did spend 4 years there. So of course, I actually ran into most of them. I have to admit, it was good seeing most of my ex’s but then I ran into some where the conversations were just awkward for everyone. And I’m not sure why, there was such awkwardness, I mean we broke up at least two decades or more ago. We have both clearly moved on. And on my end, there is no love lost. When I think of them, I think of them fondly. But for some reason it was just an uncomfortable interaction. Here’s what happened, it was Friday night at 6:30 p.m., homecoming weekend. We had your typical banter, how’s the family? What have you been doing with yourself since we last saw each other? Which is really a loaded question considering that I haven’t seen this one particular ex in a year. So, a lot has happened in that year…but too much to go over at a social happy hour event. Then as I thought we were done catching up, he talks to me about work. Really? I don’t’ want to talk about work. I’m enjoying homecoming. He was talking to me like we were at a networking work function. He even asked me, “So…do you see an opportunity for advancement at your company?” Are your serious? Is this a job interview or is this a casual event? That’s what was in my head. Apparently, I must have had a look on my face that said, “please come save me from this dude right here before I scream.” Thankfully, one of my friends saw my face and came over to rescue me from the conversation and casually pulled me away. Whew!!! Of course, we never finished our conversation and luckily, I didn’t run into him the rest of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong it is always nice running into him, but we always have awkward conversations. I wish he would just relax and be himself.
Because this keeps happening to me, let me offer this bit of advice to the ex’s and just to mine – relax and be yourself. I know it may be hard because you may have lingering feelings, and don’t know what to do with your hands – LOL! Just say hey, hope you are well and keep it moving. Having awkward conversations doesn’t serve anyone well. It just makes things uncomfortable where you don’t know what do with your hands, or facial expressions for t LOL!!!
In conclusion, my 2019 homecoming experience was awesome. It was great running into all of my CAU peeps. I don’t take my years at an HBCU for granted. They were indeed the best four years of my life. For some reason my mom thinks that there will come a time when I won’t participate in homecoming…ummm, not likely, unless it’s my wedding day and like I said homecoming trumps my wedding day. LOL!! If you went to homecoming this year, what are your favorite or interesting moments?