My oldest son is graduating high school (hopefully) in 10 days. There were more than a few moments of doubt that we would ever get to this place. Yeah, my kid has got some issues and I have more than a few issues with school, with expectations, and with life in general.
So, it is as a parent of this type of child, and as a person who hated and did not fare all that well in school, any school, that I look at these commencement exercises as not a beautiful stepping stone, but something to be done with, preferably quickly.
First of all, the ceremony is on my birthday. Name for me one person who wants to sit at a graduation ceremony on any day, much less their birthday. Seriously, please, tell me and I will call them up so that they can take my place. My kid will never know.
Second of all, I received in the mail a laundry list of rules of etiquette that irritatingly took the jam out of my doughnut. One of the bolded headlines is MARCHING INSTRUCTIONS. Is this a class of Hitler Youth, or just, you know, regular kids?
A few tasty excerpts that really get my blood boiling are:
" you have paid for your cap and gown so you can "keep it" as a souvenir"
Whoo, whoo, whoo! Effing really? How much did that cost? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU DO WITH A GRADUATION GOWN AFTER GRADUATION? And why is "keep it" in parentheses? Is it because you won't "keep it"? Your "parents" "will" in their "garage"?
What a total waste.
" boys should wear a dress shirt and tie, dress slacks with dark socks and dark dress shoes. Girls should wear a dress or a skirt and blouse "
a) Great. There goes another $150
b) What century is this? Why do girls have to wears skirts or dresses?
" A professional photographer will be taking a picture of each graduate as he/she receives the diploma. (this part is inexplicably underlined) These pictures will be available for purchase on line on a secure website. "
Meaning: Cha ching
I will take my own shitty pictures, thanks.
Oh, and " the ceremony will be recorded and you will be able to order a copy."
Oh, goody. Nothing better I can think of than fast forwarding through two hours of yawn-tastic ceremony to watch three seconds of my kid NOT looking at the camera. And I get to pay for it? Where do I sign?!?
One last thing: "you will receive your diploma only if all financial obligations with the school have been cleared, and if you exhibit appropriate behavior during the entire ceremony."
I would love for them to try and tell me that my kid did not behave, so therefore, he does not get a diploma. Nice try. We are finally out of here, I think the kid is entitled to flip off the principal, no? I mean, NO. I don't want my kid to flip off the principal, but seriously? Way to try and scare us into being good little automatons one last time.
Maybe I am just an antisocial jerk. Maybe I just don't get it. I mean, I get (to a point) rules. I get (to a point) ceremony. I just don't get why my kid can't wear sneakers. I don't get why there is not an open bar for parents (they would clean up!) to make the ceremony more enjoyable. And I really don't get mortarboards.
Anyway, Happy Graduation, everyone! ***takes a shot***