May 17, 2009

The Never-Ending Graduation Saga

Susan graduated yesterday at noon. It's now noon on Sunday and there's no sign of leaving State College anytime soon. I'm on my MacBook in Irvings because I can't take the anxiety of my family trying to move both of my sisters out. I don't feel bad not helping, because I'm fairly certain that there are 8 too many cooks in the kitchen as it is. Friday, I left work at 2 and my mom and I didn't leave Hoboken until 3:30. Then we had to go home to PA to get her luggage and switch cars. Not only do we have too many cars, we book too many hotel rooms, and we waste too many minutes. Uncle Jack decided to come with us, so he finally rounded up all of his stuff and we were about to get on the highway when some 100 year old woman ran out of oil. So I turned around and went to our gas station. He debated for another 10 minutes... "I better go. She's 100. Nah she'll be okay til tomorrow. Let's just go." "Are you sure? Okay I'm going to start driving." "No I better do it." Brakes. "Just go. Let's go." Accelerate. Phone rings. "Dammit. I have to do it." Drive him home. Half an hour later I get on the highway sans uncle and I drive like a maniac for the next 3 hours to relieve stress. Get to PSU at 10:30pm. We thought we booked two too many hotel rooms so my mom took her own room. 2:30am the uncles and aunt call because some of them don't have a room when they arrive. Someone cancelled one and never told us. They wake up 75 year old grandparents to sleep in their room. 

Saturday 8am. No one knows we have a breakfast reservation except my mom, my dad and me. There are 12 people with us. We finally all sit down by 9am. The uncles never show up. I go up to the buffet, fill my plate and a cup of cranberry juice and as I'm walking back to the table, I slip on the slate floor and catch my balance by flinging all of my food into the air and onto the floor and spilling most of the juice on my hands, the floor and some ancient old lady's white pants. No one in my family notices. Neither does the old lady. I say nothing. I start walking back to my table after getting a waitress to clean it up and I slip again, spilling the rest of the juice all over the floor. Someone should really salt the slate floor. FML. At least I didn't actually fall.

Graduation at noon. "Will all of the alumni stand up? Let's honor them with a round of applause. Penn State is the biggest, most powerful network in the world." Is that a fact? This isn't Communist Russia or Nazi Germany. It's a freakin college in the middle of Pennsylvania. Most of my family stands up with pride. I stand up awkwardly. 

Dinner at 5. We're late so the waitresses are stressed. We wind up sitting there for three hours. I'm sure there were reservations after us, but no one seemed to care as they ordered third cups of coffee, dumping out the cold coffee from minutes before into their water glasses to get a refill of "heat." Meanwhile I can hardly swallow because I'm just uncomfortable. Pappy asks me again, "What are you waiting for? When are you getting married? It's time to have some bambinos." WTF. The family cannot stop saying my sister's boyfriend's name. "Where's Dave? What is Dave doing? Is Dave coming to breakfast? Is Dave going home tonight?" WHO AM I? WHO ARE YOU? WHAT IS HAND? WHAT AM I? 

9:30pm a prom starts filtering into the hotel. One girl brings a cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen. FHL. I went out with my uncles and sister and aunt and her friends. I feel old. I drink 2 beers and start falling asleep. The uncles are ready to "Party" at the "Shandygaff." Does anyone call it that these days? It's "The Gaff." I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said, "You can't spell C-ck--cker without OSU" and I felt like I was more mature than my grandmother. I really want to go back to NJ. I need a vacation from my life. 

1 comment:

  1. Reading that just stressed me out all over again. I need to move on with my life. No, actually, I want to go back to the comfort of my own house in State College and have a stiff drink with some good friends and some sort of a sense of permanency. I don't like it.