I took myself shopping yesterday. I went to my favorite thrift store with an assignment for myself: find a dress and ‘frivolous ornamentation’ to wear to the college graduation ceremony. The notion of going to a thrift store may sound cheap to some, but I prefer to think of it as eco-shopping. I went to the same store I went to last year when I had a summer party to attend . . . and I had the same fast luck. It just works that way sometimes.
I didn’t have a specific color in mind for my scavenger hunt. I hit the dress section first. Bingo! I found a dress within the first five minutes I was in the store. I took it off the rack and went to the jewelry section. It only took me a minute to find some ‘frivolous ornamentation’ to wear with the dress.
I headed for the checkout lane and my total came to $7.00. Eco-friendly. Budget-friendly. Grammy-happy. And oh so very red!
Goodnight and I have a graduation night custom. We head into the city, park in a ramp that’s far enough from the graduation event parking so we don’t have to compete with a lot of cars, walk to a downtown restaurant and have dinner together. She dresses up, and I dress up. We enjoy a leisurely conversation over dinner. Then we stroll through the park to the graduation site where I shake hands and meet family members and significant others who have been the support for our students during their time with us at the college. I like that part: the hand-shaking and meeting the families. I hug the interns whom we hosted and tell them how proud I am of them. The pride is genuine because they worked very hard during their ten-week internship.
I invite my granddaughter to join me so that she sees the success stories that come out of the daily work we do at the college. It teaches her the importance of my routine, gives her a glimpse into her future and emphasizes the importance of education. I have just completed my 23rd year there and I’ve only missed two graduations: the year Officer Friendly passed away, and last year when the ceremony was held after the semester ended and I was spending time with my mother in Smalltownville. That’s a lot of graduation ceremonies and a lot of hopeful new careers for folks that leave our campus.
There were about 447 graduates who were able to attend the ceremony last evening. I wish them all the best for a bright future.
When I asked GN what her favorite part of our graduation custom was, she looked at me with a sheepish grin. “The ice-cream you always get me on the way home from the ceremony, Grammy.” I hadn’t forgotten. I just wanted to see if she had.~