So, graduation. I have dreamed of this day for five years and now it is here and I am completely unprepared. I did it once before, and maybe I did it completely wrong that time, but there was no Facebook or Instagram the last time I graduated so I guess I was just peacefully oblivious.
I have the same cap and gown I wore when I graduated with my art degree. I assumed this would be fine, since, you know, my university’s colors have been the same since the 1800’s. But no, apparently there is a new cap and gown in a slightly darker shade now with the university seal on the left shoulder. So my gown will be ever-so-slightly the wrong color and I’ll look like a misfit but hey, I saved $50, so I’ll be a misfit with fifty extra dollars in my bank account. Win.
I guess buying a dress for gradation is also a thing? How is this a thing? Hey, let’s go out and buy a brand new dress, put it on, and then cover it completely with a giant polyester muumuu. What? I was planning to wear a blue cotton dress I’ve had for five years. Apparently now I get to spend graduation feeling jealous of all the girls wearing brand new, adorable dresses. Dresses that I will imagine are even more adorable than they actually are because they exist only in my imagination. Since they are, as noted, covered in giant polyester muumuus. But then I’m like, hey, I’ve been imprisoned in the engineering building for years. I’ve barely seen sunlight. I DESERVE a new dress. Maybe I’ll buy a new dress.
But shoes. Shoes! If you’re going to wear a cute dress you have to wear cute shoes, right? If you’re in a polyester muumuu, where else can you make a statement? So of course it dawned on me recently that I would need to wear some kind of dress shoe with my gown. Oh god, a dress shoe.
I have terrible feet. Like, terrible. Like I’ll probably be having bunion surgery in the next year. I don’t think I’ve worn heels in two years. A podiatrist once told me I should never wear anything other than lace-up shoes with good arch support. Like an elderly person. My feet pretty much hurt when I wear anything other than gym shoes. I do wear other shoes, but only to spare my pride, not because it benefits my comfort in any way. I have several pairs of heels that are cute and that I really like. But I haven’t worn any of them in a long time. My feet get so angry.
So do I chance the heels for the ceremony, 99% of which will be spent sitting down? Can I handle standing on heels for the process of arriving at the ceremony, finding my seat, and walking across the stage? I probably can. I think the pain of obtaining my engineering degree probably surpasses the pain of wearing heels for a 2-hour ceremony. That’s not to say that I won’t pull a Jennifer-Lawrence-at-the-Oscars-style trip and fall on my way to get my diploma from lack of practice walking on heels. But I guess I could do worse than looking like Jennifer Lawrence. She’s pretty f-ing awesome.
Then there’s the cap. People decorate their caps. I thought this only happened in movies, but I’ve seen a medley of decorated caps on Facebook the last two weeks. This leads me to believe I need to decorate my cap if I’m going to fulfill my destiny of being a real student (which I must). And really, why didn’t I think of this myself? I came back to school, dragged myself through an engineering program in my 30s (what kind of person does that? – an insane one) and somehow managed to pull off a straight 4.0 (yes, I have danced around that topic on this blog for two years and there you have it, I can say it now because it’s over and I actually did it). How a person like me would NOT think to make a statement by decorating her cap is beyond me. And to think I spent 10 years being creative for a living. Clearly that was the wrong fit, amiright?
What will the cap say? I’ve been mulling over this for days and I am no closer to a verdict. I’m pretty sure there were some excellent ideas thrown around at the engineering bar crawl, but seeing as how I drank too much craft beer on an empty stomach, followed it by a whiskey shot, and then took a cab home and passed out at 10 p.m., I’ve forgotten all of them. Sigh. I have three more days to figure this out and then haul ass to the craft store for some foam letters and glitter. I will be sure to report back on the results.
But guys, I graduate in three days! I don’t care if I’m wearing sweatpants under the wrong color gown, trip on my flip flop walking up to the stage and fall flat on my face. They’re still giving me that diploma. And I’m still the happiest girl in the world. Victory!