I won’t make it to homecoming this year. Hurricane Irma’s black behind blew through actin’ a fool and cancelled my baby’s Bahamian cruise and I had to reschedule it. The “man” wouldn’t let me take any last minute vacation so I had to convert my existing vacation for my homecoming to my baby’s rescheduled cruise vacation. Sometimes adulting and doing the right thing as a mama sucks.
I should have listened to her daddy who told me take her in March (never mind that she had waited a whole year to go in September and then couldn’t go). The same daddy who by the way went to his own homecoming at West Virginia State last weekend. Did I tell y’all how he only called us 3 times while he was there (4 days?). I need to put that in my rules cuz he almost came back to a legal separation.
Anywhoo….let’s talk about HBCU homecoming cuz some of y’all have contacted me for assistance (hey Terri, looking at YOU J) I normally give y’all 10 commandments for homecoming-related behavior, but I’m gon’ go ahead and round it out to 15. Moses probably woulda had 15 but he could only chisel so much before his hands got tired. Let’s get into it:
- Thou shalt not spend all your rent and bill money tryna “ball to you fall”. In other words, when you get back home, you gon’ need them lights, gas and water. So if you cain’t afford premium liquor, water with lemon is the next best choice and is likely free. You can even put it in a cocktail glass to keep your image intact. MC Breed said it best “ain’t no future (i.e. lights, gas, water, cable) in you frontin’.”
- Thou shalt not get too damn drunk at parties. This should be a given, but as Big Mama used to say “Common sense ain’t all that common”. First, your liver ain’t what it used to be when you were in your teens and early 20s. Second, you are 40 or 50 now and likely somebody’s mama or daddy (even if you ain’t claiming them or paying your child support timely). Maybe even somebody’s grandmama or granddaddy. Fallin’ all out on the sidewalk, slurrin’ your words and peein’ on yourself (or even threatenin’ to) is NOT a good look. Plus with all these would-be reporters, you gon’ end up on somebody’s PUBLIC Facebook Live or Instastory looking real crazy and beggin’ your boss to let you keep that good job.
- Thou shalt not wear 10 minute shoes to 2 hour events. I know it’s half homecoming and half fashion show at these HBCUs, but you know your feet. GOD ain’t failed us yet, but them bad feet you got do and will. Better to wear some cute flats with rhinestones than have them thangs barking and swelling up like you a second cousin twice-removed of the Klumps.
- Thou shalt not act like thine is SINGLE, when thine ain’t. If you married, don’t be tryna act like you ain’t got a spouse cuz yo’ arse back on the yard. Infidelity does count, even out of town and even at homecoming and even at some seedy $89 a night motel. Plus, you gotta go home and the other party has to go home too. Prolly to a disconnect notice (see the first bullet above). You don’t need that kinda stress. Plus, y’all ain’t make it 20 years ago, so what makes you think you will now? Get you a hug, exchange pleasantries and get thee the hayle on. Matter of fact, don’t get the hug. Your bodies will be too close…next thing you know, you dry grinding..then hunching. Yep, just wave from a distance.
- If you are newly single, thou shalt not wild out. Be careful out there in them streets. It ain’t as carefree as it once was back in the day when you used to pray over the person and take a bath right after and you were mostly gon’ be okay. Make sure you got your protection, and that you use it. Maybe he was your first and/or vice versa back in the day, but y’all done had several boyfriends and girlfriends and even a husband or wife, or seven, so you need to act like he or she might have what Usher got or worse and have them roll up in some Saran wrap. Plus, you can still get pregnant at 40 and 50, and I done already told y’all before numerous times how old people shouldn’t have kids. You supposed to be enjoying the twilight of your life and you at the Rite Aid buying both Pampers and Depends.
- Thou shalt not forget thine personal limitations. You can’t go to every event or party and that’s perfectly reasonable. If there are five parties happenin’ on one day, maybe you can only make two. And that’s only with a nap in between ‘em. That’s okay. You old now..nobody expects you to still be able to kick it like you did when you were 20.
- Thou shalt not drop it like it’s hot if thou is sufferin’ from creaky joints, bad knees, arthritis, carpal tunnel or any other ailment of old age. Ain’t nothin’ worse than bein’ THAT old person in the club with your hand in the air talmbout “hey naaaaahhhhh” while droppin’ it to the floor and gettin’ stuck there. Now your friends gotta stop drinkin’ and what they doin’ to pull your old arse up. The two-step (movin’ side to side) plus a hand clap here and there is still a viable option for old people dancin’.
- Thou shalt get thine beauty sleep. Schedule some nap time each day so you can look refreshed and well rested at parties and events. You already old (yes, I keep having to remind you cuz you might get to homecoming and forget), so you don’t need to present with extra wrinkles and lines cuz you stayed up until four the night before eating all that greasy food at the Waffle House. A good moisturizer will only do so much.
- Thou shalt not show up at people’s tailgates, BBQs or house parties expectin’ to eat up where you go along and you ain’t put nothin’ on the party AND you empty handed. Consider bringin’ some boxed wine if your money is short (see first bullet point above) or your own meat and bread. I’m sure you friends got you on the condiments. Ribs and such are EXPENSIVE. Foke got kids to feed now..they cain’t be feeding you too unless you gon’ let them claim you on their taxes).
- Greeks, if you are at a party, thou shalt not put a hole in them people’s floor steppin’. Plus, you likely bought those shoes you got on with your last paycheck on the way to homecoming (see first bullet point above). You don’t need to tear up nobody’s floor or your own soles. Also, smellin’ like Icy Hot the next day all up and through the party will get you talked about.
- Thou shalt not take photos and videos of people and post them on social media without their permission. That Que you taking that video of or that cheek to cheek selfie with told his live-in woman that he was going to his great aunt’s funeral in Butte Crest Wyoming. Now he gotta find somewhere else to live when he gets back home because his woman was looking for pictures of Aunt Bertha on his page and instead saw you and him hugged up.
- Thou shalt not lose your mind eating stuff that no longer agrees with you. I was guilty of this a few years back. Went to the tailgate and had gumbo, ribs, crab legs, peanut butter sandwiches, mac and cheese, bacon, hot links, barbecue skins (y’all know Black folks cook up and bring a lot of stuff to the tailgates and cookouts that don’t go together) and ended up missing the rest of homecoming cause I had to go to the emergency room to have my stomach pumped.
- Thou shalt not forget to call home while you are at homecoming. I know homecoming is jam packed with activities and never ending action but you need to check in on your family even if you gotta just send a text or an email. Plus if you left your baby home with your husband, you need to make sure his diaper got changed and he’s still alive.
- Thou shalt NOT dance too close to anybody that is not your wife/husband or woman/man at the party when the DJ slows it down. First you slow dragging, then you dry grindin’, then you back in your hotel room (or his/hers) hunchin’ wondering how you got there and where you went wrong. Then you’ll be on Instagram doing an apology video like Kevin Hart talking about you put your family at risk.
- Thou shalt take the next day after you arrive home from homecoming off work. This is self-explanatory. You are going to need one whole day to rest, sleep and recover because if your old arse does an HBCU homecoming right, you have had minimal sleep AND arrived back home late so you could get in that last minute Sunday brunch and/or meet and greet. Don’t be at work noddin’ off when you can just save yourself the trouble by requesting an additional day of PTO.
BONUS – This is not really a commandment per se, but more of a PSA. If you went to a PWI, go to your own damn homecoming. Why you wanna come to mine? Yeah, we will accept you if you show up cuz that’s how we are. We will probably even feed you and make sure you got what you need to drink. But, we gon’ talk about you as soon as you leave (now she know good and damn well she ain’t go here but had the nerve to wear a shirt and everything trying to claim us). It’s just like pledging. If you ain’t a part of the family, you won’t understand. We love you but go to your own school’s homecoming. I’m sure it’ll be fun with the other 20 black people that went there if you make it fun. Just kidding…well sort of….
Y’all got the commandments now. Have a great time at your HBCU Homecomings, but govern yourselves accordingly. THEEILOVE.
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