Missing Out?

I ended my weekend with giving Duke a bath, grocery shopping, and laundry. Exciting stuff.

Tonight I missed out on a Sherwood’s excursion. A night at the bar would’ve been nice, but I didn’t want to drive an hour after work only to tomorrow have to either leave early to come home and get ready for work or go straight to work from wherever I would’ve slept tonight. Since Sarah wasn’t planning on staying over and wanted to go home instead, I figured I’d skip this one.

Then there’s my new graduation angst, and hearing about graduations would’ve been almost unavoidable.

I graduated a year ago. I didn’t make a huge deal of it because that’s not what I do. I didn’t go to the ceremony. I didn’t want to. If you’ve heard one graduation speech, you’ve heard them all, unless you happen to get someone epic. I figured I’d be bored. Plus you have to buy tickets and the cap and gown, and at the end of it you don’t even get your diploma–just a little piece of paper that says, “We’re mailing your diploma.”

I didn’t have a party. I didn’t want one. I went to dinner with my family and Paul. He gave me a pretty little silver bracelet and roses. My parents probably gave me money.

That was all, which I was fine. I didn’t expect anything from my friends, especially since I was so nonchalant about the whole thing anyway. The most I got, though, even in terms of well-wishing, was, “It must be nice to be done.” It is, by the way.

This was all still fine until Marion graduated in December and someone suggested we all go in on an iPad for her. I figured this was because Marion actually had a party, and parties compel people to buy presents. I was a little put off that Marion got an iPad and my graduation went unnoticed, but aside from one little comment at the party, I dealt with it.

And now graduation time is back and I have a Facebook inbox full of gift suggestions and prices and which one should we get and who’s pitching in? All for people who also are being very nonchalant about their graduations.

The first message was sent by the graduate’s boyfriend, so that’s understandable, and the other messages were prompted by that one after the sender realized other Craigs were graduating, too, but that doesn’t mean that all of it doesn’t hurt me.

The presents themselves aren’t the issue. I’d be just as upset if all we were getting was cards. Whether intentionally or not, whether they realize it or not, they’re sending the message that my graduation wasn’t worth celebrating. It hurts to know they’re putting thought, time, and money into three gifts for three people and I didn’t get any recognition whatsoever.

As if that didn’t sting enough, one of the messages about the gifts said (paraphrased), “He’s worked so hard over the past few years, and he deserves a nice present to show we care.”

So…I didn’t spend four years working hard? My degree isn’t a worthy accomplishment? I don’t deserve any kind of recognition? I don’t deserve to know that my friends care, assuming they do at all? Because really, why should I think they care when they’ve done little the past few months to show otherwise?

When I add this to everything else that’s been bothering me, I don’t know if half of them really do care about me. Not until recently did I enjoy being out with them without being made fun of or disrespected or undermined for the first time since in months. I can only take so much teasing. It starts to have an impact. And when you combine casual jokes about me and my degree with the fact that my graduation didn’t so much as get me a congratulation from my own friends, it makes me feel like I don’t matter to them.

I’m in an interesting position now. I could easily and justifiably say, “Hey, I’m not pitching in for this. I’m hurt, actually.” But I do care and I do want to show it, perhaps more than I should and more than they do about me. I could even still pitch in but just make my feelings clear, but I don’t think I know how or to whom, especially without sounding like presents are the point. Paul and Terra know how I feel and why, and I just told Sarah tonight. She understands. That’s something.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

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