When Jokes Become Crowns

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When Jokes Become Crowns

Hannigan talks about her experience becoming Homecoming Queen.

Hannigan talks about her experience becoming Homecoming Queen.

Hannigan talks about her experience becoming Homecoming Queen.

Hannigan talks about her experience becoming Homecoming Queen.

Kamryn Hannigan, Staff Writer

The girl’s dramatic cheeky grin remains painted on her annoyingly sparkly face. The crown on her head gives me a headache and I wish she would stop laughing. Her homecoming dress sits rather high above her knee, but at least the rest of her is covered, which is more than I would expect for a Homecoming queen. The poor dopey boy on her arm looks uncomfortable and I wish I could save him. But there’s no saving him from the screen in front of me. No one can remove him from the memories eternalized by the photographers. Seth Miller and I won Homecoming King and Queen. I think it’s safe to say I’ve lost my mind.

I swear it started as a joke – made by Seth of all people. Those who know Seth, know he hates attention. Those who know me, know I love it. So I may or may not have taken his joke and ran with it. First, I just wanted to see if we could actually get nominated. Then I wanted to see if we could make the court to walk the field. Next thing I knew, people came up to Seth and I and told us they actually voted us for Homecoming King and Queen. 

The court honestly didn’t have to do much. We showed up to a couple of meetings, filled out an introduction form and for the most part didn’t interact with each other. But nobody acted nasty or mean like in the movies. In fact, the night of the homecoming game we all jokingly put bets on one another for king and queen. We weren’t royalty, just a bunch of awkward high school kids wearing fancy clothes and nervous smiles.

The preparation for Homecoming didn’t entail hours of dress shopping or even crown fittings. The dress shopping, to my surprise, didn’t feel stressful at all. I went to one store and found exactly what I hoped for. Shoe shopping was the same way, but these shoes are the most beautiful pair of shoes I have ever owned, and they hurt. Hard-headed as I am, however, I refused to take them off until I got home Friday and Saturday night. Someone, please invite me to a wedding though because I need an excuse to wear them again. 

Everyone I know talked about how cool it would be for a fine arts student to win King or Queen and I would kind of just awkwardly laugh and agree when I really wanted to beg them to vote for me. But of course, I’ve never been the most popular student in school, so it’s not like I expected to win. Nothing much has changed since middle school. I’m still the loud and annoying girl in theater. 

Then there’s Seth: absolute sweetheart, captain of the varsity tennis team, yearbook photo editor and one the cutest boys in the senior class – although I could be biased on that last one. I expected great things from him. He, however, had some pretty valid reservations about the whole thing – the people, the attention, the photos were a little much. He also didn’t think he could win. Despite said reservations, he was a solid escort and quite the trooper. He certainly deserved a crown for enduring that weekend with me. 

Walking the field was freezing and kind of terrifying, but also one of the most surreal moments of my life. I couldn’t stop shaking, and I’m not sure if this was because of the fact that I wore a short spaghetti strap dress or because of nerves. As I stood in line to be introduced I made eye contact with a friend of mine performing in the band who winked at me. This silent act of encouragement might as well have been a foam finger with Seth and I’s names on it because it truly meant a lot. It reminded me that despite dissent from a certain end of the school over the court, we had a lot of people rooting for us, and these people weren’t going to disappear if we didn’t win. 

The crown itself felt pretty nice, but it wasn’t the crown or the random people congratulating us that made my heart swell. It was the boy who stood next to me, who hates attention and only ran for king because he loves me. It was my friends in the band, who I know would have cheered if they weren’t otherwise occupied with their instruments. It was my second family, the theater department, going hoarse in the stands from their cheers. And it was my God, who stood by my side through it all, constantly reminding me that I am already royalty to Him. 

The punchline of Seth’s joke may or may not have gotten lost, but I’d say this experience is one I wouldn’t change. Homecoming certainly turned out different than I expected. I guess it was basically a popularity contest, but it wasn’t the mean girls that got nominated or won. There was no cheating or bullying involved. People nominated and voted based on the kindness of the nominees. That’s what this should all be about. Not who’s the prettiest, or who’s the most talented, but who shows the most kindness.

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