Yael Even

While mums and garters will fill the hallways, many people have different opinions on the Texas tradition. Two of Wingspan's staff members will share their thoughts on the matter.

Mums: love them or hate them

Managing Editors Maddie Aronson and Aaron Boehmer debate the need for mums and garters

September 26, 2019

Wingspan’s managing editors Aaron Boehmer and Maddie Aronson argue their opinions on homecoming mums as they fill the halls Thursday before the annual homecoming game.

Cherished tradition

Disclaimer: I don’t have a mum this year, but I do support mum and garter culture. 

‘Tis the season for all things Homecoming, from the posters and proposals, to the theme week, and the actual dance, personally I’ve always been a fan. I know it’s cheesy, but there is something important about celebrating the traditions of our school, and of our state. 

Ever since freshman year, I have wholeheartedly participated in all of the theme days I could, and I could always appreciate a good mum. Sophomore and junior, my friends and I made huge Hobby Lobby hauls, bringing home ribbons, glitter, charms for our interest, and dozens of other personalized trinkets and add-ons for each of us to really make our mums our own. Junior year, I have more vivid memories of the day we spent together piecing together our garters than pretty much all of the other festivities, including the dance itself. 

Even the students who chose the store bought option get to go through the process of total customization, to represent all of the things they care about in high school, like sports, instruments, or theatre charms for the center of the flower, giving students a totally unique way to create a visual representation of their high school life. It’s important to have that as a representation of yourself as a high school students, and a tangible memory for you and your friends later in life. 

I do understand the school of thought, that it’s an unnecessary and thoughtless purchase, and to some extent, that is true. A $300 mum, in the eyes of some people, is a waste of money. Personally, I would never spend that much, but I know people who do, and that absolutely love the outcome.  A full, flowy, flowery, fluffy mum, with lights, and music, and personalized charms, is quite the experience. 

So mum haters, quit complaining, and just sit back and enjoy the tradition. Check out all of the cool customization available, make you own mum, and make your own memories along with it.  Texas kids all over the states participate, making it a classic part of the high school experience, and another great memory for kids to have from their golden years in high school. 

Mums: 1, Haters: 0 

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Waste of money

Disclaimer: I have a garter, but that doesn’t mean I approve of mum-and-garter culture. 

I have lived in Texas for over four years now.

The culture here has yet to surprise me; one of nationalism for the state, a strong sense of school spirit, and a love for football. Whether Texas teens admit it or not, they exhibit state nationalism in the distinct and confusing tradition of mums and garters.

I just don’t get it. 

Mums are just Mardi-Gras-esque billboards of fake feathers and mini teddy bears that hang across girls’ necks during the school day and the football game. Their male counterparts play as a complimenting accessory, wearing mini versions called garters. 

Meant to display school spirit and show what clubs and organizations students are a part of, the meaning is diluted by all the fluff. I guess ribbons that say one’s grade level make sense, but someone please give me an answer as to why there’s a teddy bear hot-glued to a cardboard circle. 

The size of these beasts seem to only increase from year to year.

Freshmen always have cute and quaint ones, which are acceptable. Sophomores believe they have to up their game, adding more ribbons and feathers. Then junior year comes along, resulting in an increase in the rate of mum-and-garter growth. 

Finally, senior year comes.

Naturally all the girls want to add lights, bells, whistles, and even the modest boom box. This makes sense. $300 dollars spent on a one-time accessory, a sustainable and reasonable choice. Please read that with sarcasm, because that’s what it was. 

Nevertheless, the tradition persists, thousands of dollars go down the drain for the sake of “memories” and “school spirit,” and I will be wearing a garter on Thursday. 

Mums: 1, Sensibility: 0.

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