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Topic: Graduation (08/30/04)
TITLE: Not A Great Day
By Annette Agnello
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That was the time of paper dresses. Instead of renting robs our class bought paper ones. We hated them especially the girls. Traditionally the girls wore one of the school colors and the boys the other. My class decided they wanted everyone in the same color, navy blue, the administration decided we would wear both navy and gray as always. The boys were even willing to wear the gray but they were told that was not the way it would be. So I had a paper gray robe which was mine to keep. As if anyone would want such a thing.
The paper robe had torn much more easily than fabric would have. It was impossible to patch and being on light gray, red mud and blood really stood out. I couldn’t even use a wet cloth to clean it.
We were lined up for the graduation on stage in the school auditorium, it was raining and we had to be inside instead of on the football field. My maiden name started with a “C” so I was on the front row. I had rubbed pastels on the stains trying to paint the mud and blood grey to match the robe; not much help. The tear was patched with duct tape, which kept it from hanging right. Duct tape is pretty heavy and the paper just a little heaver than notebook paper. It was bad. I wanted a new robe, one that wasn’t soiled and marred. There were none to be had.
I wanted to be beautiful and get a good start on my new like away from a school where I had never been popular. I was sure I would be popular the next place I went. I always did like fantasy, but I didn’t realize people would see me pretty much as they did in high school. The problem is if you go from one place to another when you get there, you are the same person you were before you moved. I needed to change me, not just my address. I needed to work on being less shy. I needed to Christ in my life.
Being unpopular I didn’t have many dates. About two weeks before graduation someone I had liked for years asked me out for graduation evening. I was really looking forward to a date where someone actually ask me, just me not a whole gang to go. The guy was nice and attractive, side from smoking he was great. And he had asked me out.
Graduation night we were all decked out in full regalia, cap, gown, and tassel. I was waiting in the library and saw Joe talking to his former girlfriend. She had gone to Texas to live with her father early that year. He had arranged for her to come and graduate with her friends she had gone through the first eleven years of school with. I was looking through a glass wall, but saw them talking and her running away crying. I confronted Joe saying, “She’s crying!” He mumbled something incoherent and that’s the last I saw of him.
I was stood up. I suppose he was busy making up with his former girlfriend. I had the diploma, a torn gown, and nothing to do for the summer. The day did not live up to my expectations.