Pearls and Dreams
"You'll thank me in 20 years! I promise!"
While this remains THE single most humiliating moment in my life ... I will probably get more laughs and guffs and feigned sympathy than I will true sympathy here. I've yet to find anyone in the last 23 years to truly feel sorry for me. Maybe it's in the telling.
So, it's spring of my senior year in high school. I'd moved to Oklahoma from Colorado. Now, remember, I'd only lived in Colorado for a short time to begin with, I'd grown up in California. I considered myself a "California Girl" at heart. (in all seriousness, still do!)I attended an extremely small Christian school. Even smaller than the Christian school that I attended in Colorado. Even though the town that I moved to in Oklahoma was significantly larger than either the town that I lived in Colorado OR Oklahoma ... the school, was smaller.
I didn't like the school once I started. But, I started in October of my Senior year. I'd already switched schools for the 4th time in a year. Not going to switch again ... time to just grin and bear it and get high school overwith. I had high grades and I could just get it behind me. Who cared if the teachers cared. Who cared if the administration obviously couldn't read a Bible ... I could. I didn't need them to tell me what Christianity was. I just needed the credits to graduate.
I managed to get through the year. Lots of tears and struggles ...and I'd spend many days wondering how they could call themselves a Christian school. When I found out years later that they'd been investigated for tax fraud and a few other illegal activities ... it didn't surprise me in the least. I was well aware of the lack of integrity in the environment. I had friends outside of school, and a good youth group ..and the singing group that I was in. I had a good spiritual foundation going. School, Christian or otherwise, didn't matter.
So, it's time for graduation, and I had no intention of following through with the ceremony. I hated that school. There was no way on earth I was going to walk down the isle and pretend to celebrate that place. My mother, had other ideas. Here is where I start to loose my foundation of empathy.
My mother was convinced that even though I hated the school, that I'd earned the right to graduate. That I'd worked hard and earned that 3.86 GPA (in the days before weighted GPA's and based on a sole 4.0) and that I had to walk down that platform and get my diploma! I'd regret it forever if I didn't! It wasn't about the school, it was about ME!
Yea huh? No ... Out of the 12 seniors in my class ... 2 of us were graduating! NOT WALKING MOM!!! Yes, dear, you will hate yourself if you don't!
Mom, I will hate you if I do!
No, dear ...you MUST! You simply MUST!
MOM! TWO PEOPLE!!!!! TWO >>> TEEEEE DOUBLE EWE OHH ... TWO !!!!
Honey, you really will thank me 20 years from now.
She wrote the check for my cap and gown rental.
So ... I am furious, but obviosly, I'm loosing this battle. I'm not used to loosing battles, but I've lost this one. At least I won't be embarrassed in front of a bunch of people . No one will be coming . My sister was getting married that summer There was no way that people were going to fly out for my graduation in May from a high school graduating TWO people ...and then come out for her wedding in July. Not even (especially) my real dad and my grandmother! It would be just my mom and sister and her fiance in the audience. No one would see this fiasco called a graduation
My mom and sister had a problem with no one coming to my graduation.
Guys ... NO! NO! No one can come to this thing!!!
You'll thank me for it in 20 years! (getting the picture?)
The day before I graduated ... My sister got married.
My graduation ceremony had more relatives than the church had members!!!!! Heck, I had more people at my graduation than the school had students and FAMILY !!!
My brilliant mother not only invited my FAMILY ..but my youth group friends ..and my singing group friends!
You'll thank me for it in 20 years.
I get to the ceremony. They'd told us that we would have a special Keynote speaker. A Rhema Bible Training center Student.
I never dreamed that the humiliation could ever get any worse for this California girl. I mean, how much worse could it get than a graduation ceremony of TWO seniors out of Twelve (as if that isn't bad enough) ... and then ... my Father and step mother, brother, sister and her new husband, Mother, Aunt, Uncle, and 5 kids, and 18 friends .... come to see me graduate ....
How much worse could it possibly get?
Except the key note speaker ...
Yes, this California girl, grademutated with one other person, with THE Hillbilly as her keynote speaker ...
and when I hit the 20 year mark I informed my mother ... given my choice ... I'd have gotten my diploma from the office.
Other than having a story that amuses others ... it is STILL the most embarrasing moment of my life!!!!!!!