Special night to remember


By CARLY WANNA, Gazebo Editor

I look like a “guy” most Friday nights.

As a member of the Spirit of Stratford marching band, I walk on the football field clad in a military-style uniform with my hair tucked beneath a silver hat so as to be “gender neutral.”

My bland, black shoes keep beat with the drum cadence as I grip my trumpet. I try not to smile as the students cheer for us in passing.

Tonight, I will be outside of my ordinary. I will stand on the same field, but I will wear a dress. My hair will be curled. I won’t march in formation to “Jupiter,” the song the band will play at halftime.

In lieu of a trumpet, I’ll clutch my dad’s right arm in hopes of not falling off of my borrowed four-inch heels. I’ll remind myself to smile bigger because cameras don’t stop flashing on the night of homecoming.

I was on the homecoming court my sophomore year. Just like this year, they announced the court at a Monday morning assembly. And, just like this year, I sprinted from the tech booth in the auditorium in a desperate attempt to make it to the stage before the applause awkwardly died down. Even as a senior, I still felt very uncomfortable run-skipping to the stage.

The preparation for one night is slightly more intense than I imagined. After looking to borrow a dress, I finally caved in and decided to buy instead. I tried on no less than 10 dresses at the Macy’s at Lenox Square in Atlanta.

Obviously, I needed the thumbs up from some of my friends before I could buy it, so I sent an abundance of annoying snapchats. “How’s this?” “Do you like this one?”

Everyone agreed on one blue and yellow floral-printed gown. I especially liked the fit, the pattern, and the fact that I found it on the 40 percent off sales rack.

Friday will be chaotic. I will leave school early, along with two friends, Sarah Kate Sellers and Megan Wimberly. Sarah Kate will do my hair and makeup, as I am virtually incompetent in such matters. And Megan, well, I guess she’ll be there for moral support.

My mom is out of town and will be missing the game, which upsets her greatly. I had to assure her I would send pictures – so, so many pictures.

I’m excited for a variety of reasons. My brother, Andrew (Class of 2014) will be in town for homecoming. There will be many other alumni there for the festivities, including people I looked up to in middle and high school.

I still don’t like wearing heels or fancy dresses. I don’t particularly enjoy being the center of attention.

But tonight, I’ll be stationed on the 50 yard line with fluorescent lights shining down on me. And this terrifies me.

Regardless, it’s nice. I was voted by my peers and am now thrust into a fleeting category of some of the kindest, most interesting girls I know.

I’m honored.

Carly Wanna is a senior and editor of The Gazebo.