Last night’s Eric and Kathy’s Second Chance Homecoming
at the Fairmont Hotel in Millenium Park
promised the opportunity to do over a pivotal high school moment, and delivered just that. All in attendance were dressed to impress, whether their apparel was from this decade, or decades past. Several guests even sported corsages and boutonnieres. A photographer snapped pictures of happy couples in front of a backdrop, while others entered raffles for a chance to win a “Circle of Life” diamond necklace from Albert’s Jewelers
or an all-new 2012 C-Class Coupe from the Chicagoland Mercedes-Benz Dealers
.Curious to find out what made this homecoming redo such a big draw that it sold out in four minutes, I asked various attendees what about their own homecoming experiences made them want to have a second chance.Joe, the winner of the hot teacher contest, and official “chaperone” of the dance, fondly recalled his first homecoming and how it was the first time kids actually danced together, as opposed to junior high socials where kids were terrified of the opposite sex. On the other hand, not everyone shared his joyful memories.Coincidentally, I ran into an old high school friend and asked how her first homecoming was. She informed me that she was dumped a week before, so that her date could take another girl. With the dress already purchased, she ended up going with a friend. As soon as she heard about this opportunity to correct the past, she immediately knew that it would be the perfect date to share with her current boyfriend.
EJ, a member of the Homecoming Court as the “drama geek,” shared a similar story. He made it to the dance with his date, shared a first dance, and then was ditched for another guy. But he was able to get his second chance, twirling his current girlfriend Theresa, around the dance floor as the Goo Goo Dolls performed on stage (watch a brief video clip of the performance here).
The Mix Morning Show‘s very own Whip missed out on his 20-year high school reunion to attend the Second Chance Homecoming, but still spoke with a classmate yesterday, reminiscing about how they hung out at Dominick’s (where his classmate worked) after Whip’s date got ill at their homecoming dance. This second time around still left Whip without a date, but for a much happier reason as his wife was resting at home pregnant.
Some shared more comical homecoming memories from both the past and from last night. The DJ, Circuit Mom, laughed as he discussed going go the original dance with the principal’s daughter. They both wore “buttercup yellow” and had mouths full of metal. As they departed for the dance, his mother bestowed her sage advice, “don’t get your braces caught together.” Traffic correspondent, Melissa McGurren, removed her shoes last night, in true high school dance fashion, only to swap her heels with a men’s pair owned by an attendant from one of the sponsors, Saab.
Anita, the “band nerd,” took home the crown and was named Homecoming Queen. She had her first dance with the winning mascot, the Top-hatted Beaver. At the end of the evening, she performed a great rendition of Happy Birthday on her original saxophone to a small crowd. Another winner of the evening was Dan, who was one of those selected to throw a football for the chance to win the Mercedes. Despite not winning the car, he won in love. Dan celebrated his 23rd wedding anniversary with his wife last night, Terri, at his first ever homecoming.
Perhaps the happiest moment of the evening was the engagement of attendees Tim and Julia. Julia smiled from ear to ear as she talked about how Tim would pass her notes in high school. They lost touch over the years, but ran into each other again seven months ago at the gym while Tim was training for the marathon. During a night of second chances, they were able to celebrate the best second chance of all – a chance at happily ever after.
Whether it was their first homecoming, or fifth, everyone agreed that last night’s formal gathering exceeded expectations. While the dance was called “Second” Chance Homecoming, it will surely rank first in the memories of all who were there.