She's 'graduating' the fifth grade.
Next year she'll be in the sixth grade and will be attending middle school.
I had one of these 'graduation ceremonies' when I 'graduated' from the sixth grade (because back then it was junior high, not middle school and it was 7-9, not 6-8) but I would have chopped my parents to little bits had they called up my siblings or relatives.... or uhm.. acted proud.
I was mortified.
Thea seemed happy about the whole thing.
Kudos for Thea being more together than I was at her age... thank god/ God/goddess/Gods/Ghod/Bog/Appropriate Diety/Inappropriate Diety/Insert Name Here.
But, of course, my father came home from work, changed into the lovely (and itching to be burned) Blue Plaid Shirt/Ragged Red Shorts Ensemble, grabbed a popscicle and plopped his ass down in the recliner.
He wasn't moving anywhere.
And, based on his inane "I'm going to throw it across the room because it isn't what I'm looking for, but don't offer to help me because you treating me like a rational human is just going to piss me off more" behavior of the last couple nights, talking to him about it was the last thing I was going to do.
I felt like an ass even at the thought of sending my mom to this thing by herself. So I made myself presentable (more later on how wasted that effort was) and we went to this goofy goofy thing.
We found a seat and then I saw Marita walk past. Marita is my brother's ex-wife. She's very tall, dark tan, very curvy (but that took two children), about a size 8 or so (now that she's had two kids... before the kids she was *maybe* a 4 or so, long curly hair, bearing like she owns the room, and basically every guy's sexual fantasy (cept she's really flat chested). I didn't realize it was her at first because she had so many blond highlights in her hair I mistook her for a white chick who'd been overdoing the bottle tans.
Anyway, Her and her lil spawn (not related to me in any way, very adorable but destined to be totally *fucked* *up* given his biological father and just.. things I've seen. He's violent, hyper, sweet, and very very weird. Not in a good way.), Dalton, went and sat down several rows ahead of us... Mike (the new husband, father of the spawn, Dalton) had been saving seats. I walked down to let her know that me and my mom were there and she told us to just move on down, they had plenty of room. So we did.
Marita, the cuntwhorebitch, proceeded to talk about me like we weren't only seperated by a mom buffer. "Oh, so, where is Holly working now? Not working? She should get a job at Ocean Breeze (that's a water park here). If I were younger, I'd be so about getting a job at Ocean Breeze...."
The one time she adressed me directly was after she asked my *mom* how old I was and then leaned around her to say "Wow! You're getting up there! That's a quarter of a century, girl!"
Anyway...after the kids made their goofy lil entrance (goofy in a way that only 11 year olds manage to pull off. Not quite hormonally self conscious enough yet to act cool, but not quite as childlike as they'd like to be) There was a lil welcoming speech from the SCA president and then the pledge of allegience, the national anthem (sung by the horribly soprano music teacher who you could *so* tell was a failed operatic contralto), and then an "Inspirational Message" read in sing-songy, grating, nasal tones by two teachers who were obviously as bored by the whole thing as most of the people in the audience.
The "Message" was written by the president of the PTA for Kempsville Elementary School.
Aint it precious?
Wasn't it wonderful?
yes and yes.
But not for the reasons they meant.
It was basically in praise of being wonderful parents and a lot of skanky bullshit about what children will remember about these days and their halo-bearing sperm donor and womb.
Yes, it annoyed me that much.
Then the fifth grade class sang "I believe I can fly"
No, I'm not making that up.
They stood up, faced the audience and sant "I believe I can fly."
The only good part was the kid in the first row who couldn't even pretend to sing... he just stood and laughed.
Then there was a guest speaker.
A paraplegic lawyer.
No, I'm not making that up either.
A paraplegic lawyer who talked to them about triumph of the will.
At one point he, for some reason that I'm sure he thought was a clever way to be educational and witty and also show off his big brain, explained the origin of the term "let the cat out of the bag" in conjunction with "pig in a poke".
He took this explanation WORD FOR WORD from a book on phrase origins. I know this because I happened to read that passage from that book out loud to Chad over the phone.
And then 4 different students read these little essays they wrote about their years there at the school.
It was entertaining only because of the goofiness.
The true goofiness made me smile in a real way. Like the boy who said "it really made me annoyed that I couldn't go to Jamestown because I was sick that day. But everyone told me it was fun. There were chickens there."
The annoying goofiness were things like... the unadulterated praise of their teachers for things like having "pirate day" and getting to act like bees in a pollen demonstration by walking around the room picking up 'pixie dust' from flowers with tape covered sticks.
Then there were award presentations... it was award presentations.. they kept that pretty snappy.
Then the actual graduation certificates, preceeded by a poem written by the principle.
She kept saying "never forget how unique you are. How special you are" and variations thereof.
All that kept funning through my head was "you are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake..."
At least the kids weren't really paying attention. Maybe there's hope after all.
So then they read off names again (and I discovered that the Shannon Dougherty and the Mariah Carey listed in the program were both boys. Poor poor little boys) .
That was when groups of people started running down to the front of the auditorium and I started to notice how people were dressed.
No, this wasn't the opera.
No, it wasn't a wedding.
But the guy in the cut off shorts, cut off shirt, backwards baseball cap, and flip flops with the "AMERICAN BADASS" tattoo running the length of his arm was a bit of a shock.
But not as bad as the chick who graced me with a view of her wide and voluminious ASS CRACK while she wiggled it mere inches from my face in her super cool, super tight, supremely close to seam popping tommy hillfiger hip huggers, bending low, flipping her home permed hair out of the way with her skull tattooed *hand* to get a good shot of her cute lil future Jenny Jones guest with the (I shit you not) Wal*Mart disposable camera.
Then the kids sang the school song and it ended up with "the graduation song"... as interpreted by Vitamin C.
We found my niece. Found my brother. Had a little chat, got some hugs, ran around the cafeteria with the monkey boy Dalton goofing off (yes, I actually really like kids), came home.
2 hours of bullshit.
But my niece appreciated our showing up.
She's such a sweetheart.
I was just really ... stunned... by all the pablum. All the bullshit.
And very annoyed at myself for not taking my camera.
And I think it would have been cool to have Karl there.
His head would have exploded, but I wouldn't have felt like SUCH a shithead for leaning over and making rude comments so often. Because he would have been making just as many.