I Hate Graduations, revised

You know, hate seems like such a strong word.  After all, I don’t really hate graduations.  I just find them to be overwhelming…particularly when taken in large doses, as in the youth pastor prescription for success.  So I’m going to revise the previous post.  It is now named:

I Love Graduations.

And it’s meant to be taken with a grain of salt.  Or, more precisely, with a little gentle irony.

A reflection on graduations, after attending the third graduation in three days.  Not counting all the ones I skipped:

I love graduations.  Mostly.  Well, maybe a little.  I guess it’s a good thing that my husband is the youth pastor and not I.  And that I have the convenient and legitimate excuse of needing to take care of small children. At home.  In comfortable clothes.

Why do I love graduations, one of the few remaining rites of passage in this culture? A time when we can celebrate the achievements of those we love?

Let me make a list of the top three things I simply adore about graduations:

1.  I love the awards.

Have you ever noticed that all the awards go to, like, three people? And then these same three people are the people who have all the speeches?  Did we come to celebrate three people and just let the other ones dress up and watch?  Or is this hyper-focus aimed at making all of the non-awarded people feel extra stupid and extra lazy and extra un-appreciated?  Because it’s working!

I identify with the poor souls who don’t get the awards.  Which isn’t to say that I haven’t received awards.  I was valedictorian.  Of a class of two.  And I was awarded a $500 scholarship in my last year of college.  Of which I received $166.

So basically, I always wish that I was the one getting the awards.  There you have it.  The ugly truth.  Just look at me during the next graduation.  Look at me and know that underneath the smooth smile I’m seething with jealousy and longing for distinction and worldly acclaim.  And money.

2.  I love the graduation speakers.

But the question is, who gives them the license to jabber on for 20, 30, or 40 minutes?  We’re here for the diplomas, people!  Give us our 5 seconds to yell and scream and blow airhorns and we’ll be supremely happy. Why are you distracting us with a long-winded speech?  Does anyone actually remember what their graduation speaker said?  Does anyone remember who their graduation speaker was?  Not I, said the duck.  Not I, said the pig.

3.  And last, but certainly not least, I love the high heels.

More accurately, I mock high heels.  Little girls tottering and mincing across a slippery stage.  Or providing more amusement and snickering for us sardonics–sinking into the grass and having to extricate their heels from over-watered sod.  Risking total and utter humiliation at every step.   Actually, come to think of it, I love the high heels. Comic relief in an otherwise drawn-out and painful procedure.  The sad thing is that most people miss it.

And there you have it.  Again.

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