This week’s exciting conclusion to the homecoming drama in the Albright house . . .

Short version: Everyone survived and my teenager’s social life suffered little to no damage because of my involvement.

Slightly longer version with added commentary: The weekend before the big dance, my son and his date went tie shopping. He has several very nice ties, but none of them matched the girl’s dress. Her dress was hot pink. You guessed it–I found myself buying a pink satin tie for a 14-year-old boy who says that everything is embarrassing, but it turns out that a shiny, shiny pink tie is not  embarrassing if a 15-year-old girl picks it out. While we were choosing the tie and I was shaking my head in disbelief at the large dollar amount I was about to pay for said tie, my son actually had the nerve to say to me, “Mom, I’ll wear this lots of times.” He would have to wear that pink tie about 25 times to make it a cost effective purchase. I’m pretty sure this was a one-time deal.

My teenager actually does like dressing up, and his suit fit him well and I think he enjoyed getting ready. We went through lots of instruction on when to button the jacket, unbutton the jacket, where the tie should hang, how to tie the tie, and where to put his phone and money. The emotional moment for me was helping to button the collar button and tying the tie for a boy who is now taller than I am and very concerned that I might not get it right. For a moment it seemed to be a meaningful, Kodak-worthy moment . . . until he was straining to look around me at the Razorback game on the tv behind me.

We discovered earlier in the day that the date had chosen an Italian restaurant. Even my teenager knew that this was potential disaster. He has rarely had a meal where some of it did not end up on the front of him. How would he protect his pink tie and white shirt from splattering pasta sauce? If he wore his jacket while eating he would run the risk of dragging his sleeve through the pasta. We explored all the options and came up with a number of strategies. Somehow he managed to get through that dinner with no splatters! Ah . . . he does have the capacity for good manners and clean eating!

The picture-taking at the girl’s house turned out to be quite anti-climactic for the teenagers. Two moms took a bunch of pictures; the kids both smiled and posed; I left. No one died.

I’m sure he had a good time at the dance, or at least he says he did. But because he’s male, I have no details to illustrate that assertion. All I have is “We danced some of the time but also just hung out in the hallway with everybody some of the time.”  I have a feeling there might be more to it than that, but what exactly, I may never know.

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