Thursday, June 7, 2007


Sam graduated Friday night and we are SO proud of him. He was named the Lions club Athlete of the Year and is a California Scholastic Federation Life member (he took off the gold cord as soon as graduation was over) Smart, good-looking AND an athlete....whew... where did this kid come from?

Now, on to my rant of the day. I enjoy graduations about as much as a trip to Wal-Mart...always a pleasure to see how low people have sunk in the manners department. The High School has instituted a new rule, balloons are only allowed on the perimeters; if you have a balloon bouquet you need to sit on the outside of the spectators in order to NOT block any ones view of the festivities. Good rule...maybe a ban on air horns will be next; we have 3 more graduations to attend and I'd like to have SOME hearing left in my old age. In we go to the stadium, half hour early and seating is limited but we do find a section in the upper corner and settle in to watch the debacle. All is well until an older (old enuf to know better) woman positions herself and her two gigantic balloons smack in the middle of our vantage point to where Sam is sitting. One is in the shape of a dinosaur, I missing something here?...what does that have to do with graduation? But I digress…

I must confess that I have the patience of a gnat, so I immediately start steaming and thinking of ways to let this clod know that we are NOT going to sit and look at these monstrosities for an hour. She eventually figures this out herself and tries (in vain) to hold the balloons in her lap and hunch over them. I then decide (and it is a decision) to relax, breathe, and let go of my disgust at the situation. I ask my husband to tell her that we will tie her balloons to the railing next to us so she (and the rest of the crowd) can enjoy the graduation. We do this in sign language as she can not speak English (hey, just stating the facts) and she is appreciative of the offer. I feel much better having (for once) kept my temper in check and ‘made lemonade’ as it were, out of a potentially bad situation.

..."Compassion. I have too much compassion. And that's why I'm a wreck."....

The ceremony ensues...all is well...until the front row of graduates (the last to actually graduate and the one with the top 10 students) stand to begin to receive their diplomas. Sam was...I kid you not....number 11 in his class, so he and all the CSF members are also in the front row. This is when Ms. Balloon lady and her entourage decide to get up and leave....her child having already received his diploma, so to heck with the rest of us. She turns to us and motions that she wants her balloons. I politely point to the graduates and shake my head in still graduating...parents still watching....please sit down (you freakin' idiot). She sits for a few seconds and again turns to request her balloons. Sam has not been named yet and I'm livid but I figure it's I turn to the gentleman next to me (from North Carolina) and say, "Oh well, I guess we lose that battle"....and he says, "Nope, let her wait".

Well, she is now looking panicked....not sure if the whole 'doesn't speak English' is playing into this, but Mr. North Carolina decides to back off and unties the balloons and hands them to her. In the middle of all this Sam has graduated (our group cheered him quite loudly) and tho I did see him, the ugly scene pretty much ruined the joy of the moment.

In looking back after the evening, my brother said they should admonish the parents in Spanish (as they did in English) to please stay in your seats until ALL the graduates have been named. My problem with this thinking is....#1 they make that announcement at the beginning of the ceremony and it has been forgotten (or deliberately ignored) by the end of the night.....#2 manners don't rely on interpretations, she could clearly SEE that kids were still graduating, she shouldn't have to be TOLD to stay in her seat. And she wasn't alone, as soon as that last row of kids stood up the mass exodus began. Rudeness was not limited to this group of was a widespread phenomena....this was just the group that affected our family.

How sad that we now are going to have to station security in the stands to keep people in their sad that we have to FORCE people to be sad that the teenagers were better behaved than the adults....shame on them!

…."I'd like to send every one of them to an island somewhere . . . wrapped in heavy chains"....


Maureen said...

The 'What's up Doc' references were for you Julie...I'm not sure how many others would get them.

oh and....thanks, you always make me feel so good about my writing...deservedly (is that a word?) or not I appreciate it.

Nancy W. said...

Julie's right! Beside the fact that I love you dearly, I read your blog because you are such a great writer!

I totally agree on the decline of manners (and basic decency) in our culture. It's right up there with the cat-calls at theater productions (since when did it become a football field) and people who allow screaming children (not in pain, just brats) in public enclosed spaces like airplanes!
And the airhorn thing... don't get me started. I thought those things were only to be used on BOATS for a warning!

Maureen said...

LOL Nancy...I love the boat reference...too true!