I currently have two this week. In no particular order.
The first award goes to: college graduations. As Amy Poehler would say on Saturday Night Live... Really?
I hate them. I am proud of the people who are graduating and happy for them and so impressed by their accomplishments, but the ceremonies are awful. Something snaps when I get in there and I feel grumpy, impatient, and irritable. Basically, I think I start acting like a two year old.
My mom graduated this past weekend with her Doctorate in Ministry and my sister received her Masters of Divinity (and finished summa cum laude) from Southern Methodist University here in Dallas. It was amazing. My mom got to hood my sister and they walked in together and both joined the cult of higher academia. And yes, you are officially a cult if you get to wear hoods and robes and throw the word laude around like you actually know what it means. We had a big dinner party before the ceremony, all my family came in, old friends, gifts and toasts, and we even had cake!
But then there was the ceremony. The president of this college gets up there to give the commencement speech and I swear I was at a fundraiser. An awkward one at that, it felt like an self-esteem therapy session. He threw phrases around like, "we may not be your number one school, but we hope to be your number two," "you make us look good to the rest of the world, don't let us down," "you may not ever send us your money, but we hope you do." And on and on. We got a run down of school statistics and Newsweek reviews and the most inspiring statement was, "You've made a lot of promises to people of the things you'd do once you get out of here, so now you have a lot to do."
Yikes. I am pretty sure I would never go to school there simply because of this one horrible speech. But, he is not alone. The Baylor University graduation this past May was exactly the same. Give us your money. Make us proud. Join the alumni. And here are the amazing things we are doing to make ourselves more profitable in the future. Blah, blah, blah.
Problem: us. us. us. Colleges have turned graduations into fundraisers and self-esteem rallies. And they are killing us with uninspired boredom!!!
Solution: We are not at your college for you, we are there for our loved ones. Here's how you do it: Sincerely congratulate them. Remind them that they are fortunate to have been challenged intellectually, stretched emotionally, grown relationally, and inspired spiritually. Tell them they have a chance to go do something great in this world, whether that is raising their families, working corporate in China, or anything in between. That the world needs great people, great leaders, great minds, and great activists and that you are proud to have been a part of their journey and hope to send them out to be such people.
Congratulate, inspire, and walk off. And everyone gets an alumni package at the door.
Trust me, you will make a lot more friends and money this way.
Rant Number Two: my stomach has moved into my lungs. Where there should be growling there is something kicking me and beating me up. Where there should be breathing there is growling like a crazed bear. And where I should be eating I am simply trying to keep my lips open long enough to get air in. I have literally given up half my stomach for this little person to hibernate in, and that is a lot to give up. Especially for someone like me who likes to eat.
And speaking of eating, my doctor says I need to cut back a bit. It went something like this:
I stepped on the scale. The nurse looked stumped and then said, "hum, get off and let's try taking your shoes and some other things off and get back on."
Not a good sign.
Ryan shook his head at me like, "I told you to stop eating like a hunger crazed maniac."
I got back on and her only response was, "Thanksgiving was sure good to you this year!"
Is that supposed to be cute or funny? Are they serious? There is a little thing inside of me eating me out of house and home or whatever that phrase is. And my stomach will not stop growling. And it was thanksgiving. And I have stretchy pants!
Apparently you are not supposed to gain nine pounds in four weeks. Wait till they see me after Christmas!
I am happy to be with child and all, but seriously, my stomach is inching its way up into my mouth and I am worried about choking in the middle of the night.
What if I stop breathing? What if my lungs fill up with guacamole on accident? What if I have to permanently walk around gasping for air while being constantly soccer-punched in the gut?
These are the things on my mind today. I need a divergence.
I will go eat an early lunch.