I'm happy to report that my brother's graduation went well. He even received an academic award. My grandfather got bored halfway through and decided to start commenting on everything happening around him. My mother eventually stepped in and shushed him. Joey and I struggled to maintain our composure.
There was a dinner afterward, but it was run a little differently this year. Usually, the 7th graders are drafted into serving the graduates and their families at a sit-down meal in the cafeteria. Bread, salad, entree, desert -the works. This year.....not so much. Yes, the 7th graders ran around with appetizer, but the meal was buffet-style. This created a long line and grouchy people. On top of that, the graduates lacked a table of their own and were forced to sit with their families. In other words, they were up and down the entire time trying to eat and talk to their friends. The most annoying factor was the lack of seating organization. Now, I'm not a huge fan of seating charts - I think they're silly unless you know a certain combination is combustible. Actually, I still have Erica's seating chart from the choir formal...... Regardless of my propensity to steal seating charts before everyone knows where to sit, there need to be enough chairs in existence for the total number of butts attending. This flaw was remedied eventually by either the shuffling of folding chairs or removal of excess population. I'm going for population considering that all in our family except Chris and Mom left way early - and we weren't the only ones.
As for my parents, I'm still a bit stunned. Early in the day, they told me that we would have a discussion that evening covering my finances and job status. After my intestines untied themselves, I simply resolved to go to bed early before both parents returned home and avoid the situation entirely. Well, Mom was home earlier than I thought, so plan B kicked into action. I made a huge cup (pint?) of tea. At least then I could sip and think without seeming at a stupid loss for words.
Well, the moment came. And was surprisingly brief. We started somewhere around 11pm and ended about a half hour later. There was no shouting, no name-calling although I was the implied idiot again, but hey, that's old ammunition. The turning point came when my father tried to drudge up some old nonsense - I can't even really remember what it was except that it sounded exaggerated - Then, my mother spoke up and reminded him how they decided that they "weren't going to go there." Sipping my tea thoughtfully, I relaxed a bit, but not too much since I hadn't left the house yet. But I knew that it wasn't going to be as bad as a feared. My parents usually believe in the United Front Discipline System. My mother's interjection showed me that they weren't really in agreement on how to handle this.
God must have liked me that night.
The biggest surprise came when my father handed me a check for my summer apartment expenses.
Yes. You read that right. Read it again if that helps you. After all that mess about me paying my own way, they handed me a check. I was fully prepared to take care of myself. I want to take care of myself. There have been so many nights filled with sobbing and yelling and God only knows what hell I put my immune system through....
But I'm not stupid. I took the check.
This fact will probably be used against me in future arguments. At least I know in advance. I'm not sure what inspired this generosity, but I'm grateful as I can now save some money for next year. I try not to question too much. I'm a big believer in the whole guardian angel/ God looks out for you stuff they crammed into my head in Catholic elementary school. Maybe my parents have started to accept my adulthood and my choices.
My mother told me as she shoved as small, boxed tea infuser mug set into my hands the next morning, "I found this at half-price. I was too pissed off to spend too much on you." Well, maybe acceptance isn't the right word......