The Commencement Address that No One Asked Me to Deliver

16 May

(Written in 2002.)

Dear Graduate:

How proud both you and your parents must be of the monumental journey you have completed.

Considering that you were once a kid incapable of coloring, reading or sometimes even being nice, this is incredible.

When you were younger, there were mornings when your mom woke up late because she stayed up reading “Woe is I” (The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English) by Patricia T. O’Conner or, as it is more commonly known, the Tylenol PM of books.  (“[W]hen you need a comma or a period after a possessive word that ends with an apostrophe, the comma or period goes after the apostrophe and not inside it.”)  The defense rests.  Literally.

Dear Graduate, I’m sure you must have some questions.

Who stays up reading grammar books?

Your mother because, like all mothers, she wanted to make sure that your application was noteworthy so that you could get into a good school, earn a decent living and move out without having to move back in after she already converted your bedroom to a yoga studio.

What happens when mommy wakes up late on a school day?

Well, she staggers around trying to comprehend how it can be both horribly early and horribly late and then eats her oatmeal while driving a stick shift- in all weather- which is not just unsafe, but also unsightly.  She barely contains her road rage (who does 43 in a 55?  Don’t people who are up this early have to be somewhere?) so that you can get to school without being marked “tardy.”  Too many “tardys” and you can just kiss Princeton University goodbye.

So what happens now that you’ve graduated?

Well, your father and I have a party where the grown ups drink cosmos and beer and you cry and cry after having too much cake and soda until someone sends you to bed.

You know this behavior can’t continue.  You’re a kindergartener now- act like it.

Now get out there and change the world.

Who’s hungry?

One Response to “The Commencement Address that No One Asked Me to Deliver”

  1. ydaf May 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm #



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