Two years ago, when P&S was a baby blog living on Blogger, I wrote a post about an email GW sent to us the April of my sophomore year. The email was an invitation to a “Halfway to Graduation!” Party. I was appalled. Who were the cynical people celebrating the halfway mark to the end of my life? Needless to say, I didn’t attend.
Somehow though, halfway has become 7/8ths of the way done and GW has decided to celebrate my fall from college grace with another feté: The Commencement Fair.
I was still appalled at the thought of connecting the words ‘fair’ and ‘commencement,’ because I have yet to see what it is that we’re celebrating. The loss of Wednesday mornings without work or class? Going to yoga during the day? Going out on a Tuesday? I couldn’t wrap my mind around something festive waiting for me in our basement bookstore when I was feeling so stunted by the onslaught of graduation nerves. But I had to get my cap and gown. I had no choice.
As it turns out, a party would have been much appreciated.
The grey of the bookstore was punctuated by 4 balloons. Four. Then there was a line of tables representing the Senior Class Gift, the yearbook, and two reps from Herff Jones that spend most of their time in underground bookstores trying to sell class rings to people who have yet to accept that they’re even graduating. Besides me, Chelsea and the employees of the bookstore, they were the only one’s there.
“Buying your gowns?”
It was a guy with a deadpan expression standing behind the register. The shock that ran through me is equivalent to the shock that ran through Hogwarts each time Harry Potter was brave enough to utter the name Voldemort. The robe that shall not be named.
We purchased our cap and gown ($60, available from Herff Jones universities wide) as the deadpan man pointed to a window at the other end of the room.
“Go pick them up there.”
And so we did. We gave them our height and they gave us gowns that are supposed to fit and a cap that honestly may not fit my head and then it was over. It was over and we were walking up the stairs back to the day. I felt like something huge had just happened in a very quiet way. Chelsea teared up as we passed the Registrar’s office. Because now it’s unavoidable.
And there were only four balloons.