The boys would buy their date a mum for the homecoming football games. I cannot convey to you how big of a deal this was. The flower stores would just be inundated with orders and the girls would just sweat and panic every year - "Is he going to buy me a mum?! Oh my god, I have to have a mum!" The mums had fake flowers, bells, charms, names on the ribbons and sometimes, like the photo above, a stuffed animial (that one was considered a "primo" mum). And the girls, in turn, would give the boys these garters that had ribbons and bells on the them that the boys wore on their biceps.
And the bigger the mum, the more your boy liked you. Sad, but true. My biggest mum was a triple - three, big fake flowers, that took the shape of a heart. Yes, Dennis Something-er-other really, really liked me. The first couple of years of middle school, before dates or boyfriends, mom would buy me a mum just so I'd have one. It was a small, single flower with two ribbons. Everyone knew my mom bought it for me, but there were some girls who didn't have a mum at all. So, I still felt pretty damn special.At our high school reunion, in 2003, Julie's mom bought her a mum, since our reunion was during homecoming weekend. We all had a good laugh at that. And I can say that because Julie's family doesn't read this blog.
Note the single flower. Julie's mom didn't love her as much as Dennis loved me.