Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day and Graduation

Two topics unrelated except for their temporal correlation. Heh, temporal correlation...that makes me sound smart.

I had today off, so I went in search of a Mother's Day gift at the Carlyn Galerie ( I have found beautiful birthday gifts there before, and I just knew I'd find something gorgeous to give to my mother for Sunday. I was short on time, as I had made plans to meet a friend for lunch shortly thereafter in a town just north of Dallas. Fortunately, it took me a just a few short minutes to find the hand-made blue and green folded design glass bowl that I brought home with me.

I would take a pic of it, but the nice lady at the galerie boxed and wrapped it for me. It is a lovely work of art, and quite functional to boot. A small spray of her multi-colored roses will look stunning in it, or Mom can use it simply as a decorative piece.

It is nearly impossible to find a Mother's Day card that isn't too sentimental, gushy, or lovey. The relationship I have with my mother is none of those. It is practical and mostly functional, and that's all I've ever needed it to be, so I usually skip the card part of the holiday. Too much information...

It is also graduation time for most colleges, and even public schools here are winding down their last 2 or 3 weeks. People are going to the grad ceremonies for their friends and relatives, and it reminds me of how many graduation ceremonies I attended while in school.

I was in band, and we played at each graduation in high school, so I had to sit through all those years of pomp and circumstance (which we very tee-hee-ingly called pompous circumcise) And my senior year when I would have been able to finally sit with my class, I had to sit on stage because, you see, I was salutatorian of my senior class. Not quite valedictorian, but #2...most of the accolades and none of the money. Oh well. And to top it all off, I was expected to give a speech--in front of thousands of people--in a blue robe and mortar board--with a microphone--wtf?

Now, as I've said before many times, I was in band for several years and performed before crowds of thousands before....I even had solos in front of crowds of thousands...but those were crowds that came to see the bands perform. At a graduation ceremony, no one cares about the speeches or the music, they just want to see their child, grandchild, sister, brother, etc. walk across the stage and accept their diploma. I was not keen on being an obstacle to their gratification. So, I wrote my stupid little speech, the topic of which I have long since forgotten, timed it to less than one minute, and managed to deliver it. Whew...graduation over.

I didn't attend my college graduation, because really, I went to a school of 28,000, and even though each college within the university held their own event, I graduated from the college of arts & sciences, along with a couple thousand others, I'm sure. I had them mail my diploma to me. For me, college was just another thing in life that was an expectation in my route to adulthood and becoming a contributing member of society as well as a self-reliant individual.

I did attend my younger sister's high school graduation, to be fair, but I skipped my older sister's masters and doctoral ceremonies. Then I skipped both of my younger sister's undergrad ceremonies...she received two different bachelor's degrees several years apart. Yeah, I know...huh?

Enough ceremonies...enough enough enough! Geez.

And it was only years later--just a couple of years ago or so--when my Dad told me about attending what must have been his 45th high school reunion (his does every 5 years, I guess) and the conversations he had with his old friends about their various families, that I finally understood how rare it is for all of his children to have graduated college. Add to that the fact that none of us are in jail, we aren't druggies, not divorced, and we all have careers, not just jobs, and you've got an apparently enviable thing, at least in the eyes of some of his old high school classmates. And here I was just thinking that it was normal to graduate college, stay out of trouble in general, have a strong work ethic, and be a productive person in the world.

I guess that's not normal, or maybe the odds of having a black sheep in the family among the children are 1 in 4, and since we are only 3 sisters, we just snuck in under that arbritray statistical line.

Back to the topic of graduation...

Um, nope. I think I'm done with that topic. I have to work in the morning. Night.


CatBoy AKA Charles said...

I do not even want to think about what my father says about his children when he gets together with his high school group (which he does regularly).

It's a whole different scenario than yours my dear. Although, I imagine I get some credit for being the one who will someday be changing their diapers. (Trust me, it's going to be me.)

UrbanStarGazer said...

"The relationship I have with my mother is none of those. It is practical and mostly functional, and that's all I've ever needed it to be"

I can't deny that when I read this, I thought, "How sad" and then I realized that I don't know your mother or you and that this might be an appropriate relationship for you all. I loved my mother sooooooooooo much (I was a mommy's girl from the moment I was born) it's weird to me when I run across folks who have strained or angry or indifferent or functional relationships with their mom. But, it's not for me to judge. Sounds like a lovely gift.