Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remembe(RED): I Would Be Excited, if I Weren't About to Pee My Pants

I had to say "cumulative" five times, which might not have been so bad, but I had to say it five times in front of 2,000 people. Give or take a few hundred. I would have been, should have been excited, but I couldn't really drum up the motivation to be...especially since I was pretty sure I was about to pee my pants.

Sitting there on the hard surface of the metal folding chair, feeling my insides turn to mush, I wasn't looking forward to my future. I wasn't even thinking about my future. The only coherent thought that seemed to be present in my normally over-active adolescent mind was that I had to say "cumulative" five times, and dammit, I wasn't sure that I could even say it once.

One of my fellow graduates was taking her turn at the podium. She was polished, eloquent. Everything that I was not. Her cap sat perfectly atop her head, tassle moving beautifully with the breeze. My cap sat slightly askew, flattening out my unflattering layered bob until it poked out in strange places and took on the appearance of a lady-mullet. Not my best haircut ever, I'll admit.

Miss Fellow Graduate made eye contact with the crowd, smiled a dazzlingly white smile. My own mouth full of teeth encased in metal taunted me. The sharp metallic taste was worse than usual, and I knew that the slight lisp the braces had given me would make my struggle with "cumulative" that much more difficult. I sighed, squirmed in my seat. Why couldn't this night just be over?

With each passing minute, my moment in the spotlight grew closer. Sweat beaded on my brow, I tried to steady my breathing. It wouldn't do to go up there and hyperventilate. I needed to get a grip. I was just an honor graduate; I was just reciting some statistics about our class. It wasn't like I needed to get up there and inspire everyone to immediately run off and become doctors and lawyers. And that was a good thing, too.

The girl at the podium was taking her seat. That meant it was my turn to go up there...in front of all those people. Would I pass out? Would I throw up? Would I, in fact, pee my pants? All would soon be revealed as I took my place in front of the crowd...

This memory was written for The Red Dress Club's RemembeRED prompt:

It's that time of year...graduation.

For this week's prompt we are asking you to remember a graduation.  It doesn't have to be yours and it doesn't have to be high school.

What amazing (or interesting) memory do you have of your high school graduation?


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