The last mum

For years, the Majestic moms have been making and selling mum on campus for Homecoming. Watch below as the Red Ledger’s Ian Raybon gets the details on the process.

Ian Raybon

The last mum

Jessica Parrott, Sports Editor

There will most likely be tears shed as I write this.

It’s my senior year and finally it’s time to get a white, senior mum; I can hardly believe it. My seventh and final mum of my whole life.

I got my first mum from my sixth grade boyfriend, Troy Blevins, when I was living in Boerne, TX.  The mum was made up of purple, white and silver ribbons and a cute little teddy bear in the middle.  In seventh grade, I got my second mum, a navy, silver and white, down to my knees mum.  In eighth grade, my first Leopard homecoming, I got my first red, black and white mum.

My freshman year mum was to die for. Reed Walstad was my date and my mum was so over the top for a freshman; I loved it.  The precedent had been set.

Each year, my mums got bigger and bigger.  I had one flower my freshman year, two my sophomore year, and three my junior year. For someone who loves Texas traditions as much as I do, it was perfect.

I say Texas traditions in a very literal sense because mums are strictly a Texas tradition. The only place you can find a mum outside of Texas would be in a few Oklahoma towns; however, they hardly compare to Texas and not only Texas mums but Dallas area mums.  I have friends in Houston and San Antonio and the surrounding areas of those cities and their mums are nowhere near as ostentatious as they are up here; Lovejoy, Allen, and have you seen Southlakes?!  It’s insane.

Mums date back to the 1950’s, but they were nothing like they are today. While there is no “written history” of the mum coming to be, Texans sure know how to talk and there is plenty of history on the origins of from the mouths of generations before us.

“Mums” were originally chrysanthemum corsages that high school boys began buying  their dates for homecoming.  The chrysanthemums were decorated with ribbons and were certainly large but since they were built around real flowers, they were relatively small.  The blog Reporting Texas writes that in the 1960s, these mum corsages cost about $3 each.

Hah, a $3 mum?  I’d probably laugh in my boyfriend’s face.  Kidding, but really.

Of course, what began as an organic corsage generously given by sweet, Texans boys, was taken to a whole new level by southern, Texas girls.

The flowers are now fake and it seems like each year they get bigger and bigger.  Aside from freshman, mums are rarely one flower.  And never, ever, ever do they cost $3. Ever.

Mums have lights on them.  They have cowbells, air horns, pictures, teddy bears, bubbles; almost anything you can think of can be put on a mum.  The bigger, the more expensive of course. And expensive is almost an understatement, these ridiculous mums can cost up to $300.

Some find mums stupid. And I mean so stupid that certain people will go as far as to take over my computer as I type this and suggest a bonfire to burn all mums. The things that can be done with $300 are endless. You can feed a family of 4 for a month with $300. But instead, we wear it around our necks for a day. And yes, of course it is a ridiculous and outrageous and an insane amount of money, but I love it.

Some girls even hate mums.  They tell their friends to tell their boyfriends or dates that they don’t want a big mum.  Umm… ok?  Well then tell your boyfriend to give the money he doesn’t spend on yours to my boyfriend so mine can be even bigger.

I’ll admit, it’s crazy the obsession some Texans have with mums.  They’re loud, obnoxious, distracting and altogether wonderful.  For one day school spirit is at an all-time high.  And on the plus side, teachers hardly ever make us work that day.

This year, I will get my final mum.  It will be white and silver and hopefully, and with my boyfriend’s taste, most likely, amazing.  The white and silver is a symbol of not only seniority but to us senior girls, it’s a symbol of the beginning of the end.  It’s our final high school homecoming, our final mum, the beginning of the end of high school. The mums represent the memories that we will make as we take pictures at school and hopefully win the football game against Greenville; they represent the crowning of two of our peers as Queen and King.

Mums are more than an obnoxious waste of money and show of school spirit; they’re a representation of all things high school in Texas.  After all, everything is bigger, and better in Texas.