On Graduations

As much as recaps of every little shitstorm are totally relevant and good for me, I have managed to make myself tired of them. This was sort of my goal–I knew that I’d either get everything out of my system or get exhausted and bored, perhaps all of the above, and then I could fully move on. After all, my love of writing spawned from diaries and coping mechanisms. It just makes me feel better, probably because it gets everything out of my head and into…somewhere else.

So, a lot of shitty things were said. We should probably talk about my little epiphany at some point, if only because it’s kind of a big deal to realize that someone you’d considered a friend, even for a short while, had you pegged completely wrong. I don’t even mean misunderstanding you–I’m talking hurling insults and criticisms at you that are so off-base, you wonder if some evil robot version of you is taking your place at social functions. We also need to talk about how Lana Del Rey apparently was the final straw. I’m serious.

For now, recap: I graduated from college last April. It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t have a party. I could’ve, but I didn’t really want to. Not that I hadn’t accomplished something or didn’t want to celebrate, but I was just over it by that point. As far as my friends were concerned, though, it was like nothing happened. I was cool with this until other friends started graduating and got recognition from the group as well as expensive presents. I was bummed and felt overlooked (which at this point was happening a lot, so I suspect I probably still wouldn’t have cared much if I wasn’t being made fun of for, oh, everything). I bitched a little, and I mean a little–I mentioned it to Sarah, who understood, and composed one silly tweet. That tweet got me not just excluded from a graduation party, but the entire thing was kept a total secret from me and I was essentially lied to about why. And then more or less told I brought it on myself.

This is relevant because ironically, right before Paul’s graduation–like, as I was packing to go–this all came up again and I got yelled at for all kinds of things that are either dumb or were assumed.

Assumed is the huge one here, and it ties into being misunderstood. I did feel overlooked and I did say so, perhaps even forcefully (as much as one can do on Twitter), but I never said this meant I wasn’t happy for my other graduating friends. In fact, up until the very moment I found out I was intentionally excluded and everyone knew why but me, I had every intention of helping to pay for the expensive graduation gifts. With the exception of either forgetting to reply to one group message or not having anything to add, my statements both before and after my angsty tweet made it clear that I approved of the chosen gift, price, and would be paying. Obviously, I later felt that I shouldn’t have to put in for a gift when I was excluded from all festivities entirely. People can ask you for money but don’t want you to come celebrate.

I was told my presence at the party would’ve “tainted” it because–I think this is a quote but it might not be, and I don’t really want to bring up the messages to double-check–I couldn’t be happy for the graduate. Because, you know, I’ve always been so melodramatic that I would’ve pouted the whole time, and, you know, I’m a robot who is incapable of feeling more than one emotion at once. A person can be both frustrated and happy. I can be–and I was–both upset at being overlooked but happy for my cousin’s accomplishments. I can and did put my frustration aside almost entirely to go ahead with a celebration. That’s what I was doing when I agreed without complaint to chip in for gifts. I would’ve done it again at the party.

Part of the problem was obviously not what I had actually said but what was assumed. Grudges come into play, too. This made it much easier to walk away. You’re really going to exclude and criticize me for things I never actually said, never even implied, and then tell me I’m the one who fucked up and demand an apology? Really? I’m better off without you, dude.

So, I went to Paul’s graduation. I hate graduation ceremonies. That’s part of why I didn’t go to my own. I was hoping Paul wouldn’t go to his, either, but his mom wanted him to. When he said I didn’t, she jokingly called me a bad influence–but as with many of her jokes, I don’t think she was really joking. I missed my five-year high school reunion (how weird is that?) for it. I don’t remember any of what was said. It was long. I did get bored. But I was proud of him and happy for him, especially knowing how happy he was to be done.

We took pictures at Penn State’s lion shrine. And as I posted them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., I couldn’t help but think, “They’re gonna be so pissed.” Because there I was, successfully celebrating someone else’s graduation–granted, someone who actually doesn’t make me feel like shit–without tainting it.

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