Friday, May 23, 2014


It is the end of an era: Kit-Kat graduated.

The day was not without the usual amount of drama. It just seemed to be a little more than usual, but I don't know why.

I will try to list these in order:

I had a dream that I was choking to death and woke to find out that I actually was. Because I didn't have to work,  I slept late, apparently sleeping through my allergy meds. I dreamed I was back in majorette camp, with all the girls I had been a majorette with and our trainer. One thing that may seem odd to some, but made perfect sense to us, was running. She would make us run laps around the outside of our bandroom/gym building. It was for endurance and in the end, helped more than I ever imagined.  I always hated it though and would develop a nasty stitch in my side about the 3rd lap. Thing was, if you didn't complete the lap, she would add another for everyone. I start hacking and coughing right away and I stop. Everyone running by me is asking if I am okay, I can't tell them that I am choking, They are trying to help me run. I finally manage to tell them I am choking and then I wake up to find that I was! I had coughed to the point that I couldn't stop and my nose was so stopped up no air was getting through. I thought I might pass out before I got to the sink for some water. Scary.

"W" was sent with his crew to the furthest corner of the state to work on a new site. Sent earlier than he should have been up. I can only imagine how groggy he was with so little sleep, despite our best efforts to both be in bed early. He called me from the road, a very pleasant surprise. I never get to speak to him first thing in the morning.  He said he thought he'd surprise me, but I know keeping him awake had something to do with it.  After his frustrated little rant earlier this week, he was ready to put his hands around the neck of one of two less than stellar employees, quite possibly the yahoo that dropped a wrench off the top of a 300 foot tower just a few days earlier. I reminded him that I got paid this week if he needed bail money.

After I spoke to W, I called my Mother, who is still recovering from her ablation. We talked for an hour. Ten days out of a surgical procedure on her heart and she is doing great! She gets tired easy right now, but is getting stronger and stronger. We talked about all the funny things she said after her procedure...bless her heart.

After our hour long conversation, I debated on going to get coffee, but am really glad that I did. I ran into an old majorette pal at Waffle House! We talked for an hour there at the counter, over coffee and an All Star breakfast. I brought her up to speed on what had been happening in my life and she brought me up to speed on hers. As I reconnect with more and more people from my past, I am beginning to wonder if this is the "life flashing before my eyes" that everyone speaks about when they are about to die and I am getting mine this way.

Then I went to Wallyworld. I had a few things like soap and shampoo to pick up. As I got in the car twenty minutes later, my phone went off and it was Kit-Kat who had been at my house for the past thirty minutes! She was threatening to break in since I had not answered any of her calls. She was coming to retrieve her graduation gift from Mother. When I arrived, she, her boyfriend Cotton, and two friends, were sitting my driveway.  She was grateful for the generous gift Mother had sent. Because her cap hung off her head at baccalaureate like it was stapled to the back of her head, I gave her advice  on a simple way to alter it so the mortarboard laid flat. A pet peeve of my own Senior sponsor when I was in high school. I was her teacher's assistant then and she ranted for the whole month before graduation about how girls never wear their cap properly with the point between their eyebrows and the mortarboard flat on top, not the back, of their heads. I showed her a quick fix for that. She wanted to know what I was wearing. I told her that I needed her help identifying W's niece, because I had not seen her since they were park league cheerleaders in 6th grade. She asked why I needed to know who she was. Oops. I had not planned on telling anyone about W just yet. Things are still new and undefined. I tried to explain without going into any detail. She squealed, grabbing me and hugging me tight: "I'm so happy for you! You deserve someone who will treat you nice for a change"

Before long, it was time to start getting ready for graduation. I was a little apprehensive, given the date, and how I would be in the presence of D/H (which no longer stands for "Darling Hubby" by the way, but in the interest of continuity, I will continue to call him that for the purposes of this story). Just as I was putting on my new (size SIX) LBD. my phone went off.  It was The Boss calling to verify that she had the only spreadsheet with the pre-orders of the Nationally Known Coffee Shop customer that I manage. I get this spread sheet every six weeks from the Production Manager that contains the customers forecast for the upcoming six weeks. I key all the "production stocking" orders so that they pop up in production report to be filled. Then every week the buyer from the Nationally Known Coffee Shop sends me the actual order, which I adjust accordingly and submit to the warehouse for pick up. Each forecast is submitted with a job number which I use to match the pre-orders to the actual PO's. The problem with this is that the job numbers didn't match a single pre-order. I couldn't answer any of her questions without seeing it and everyone else involved had gone home. I  could not explain the discrepancy and the Production Manager offered to call some people at home to straighten it out.

Time was ticking, so as I dashed out of the house and jumped in the car, I had only 30 minutes to make it down the valley to the church.

Still plenty of time, I kept telling myself.  Everything was going relatively smoothly


my gas light came on


I could see myself on the side of the road, missing Kit-Kat's graduation because I had forgotten a very important buy gas.

Julz called to find out where I was. The church was filling and they were holding my seat. I quickly explained my dilemma. When I panic, my Drama Queen gene rears it's ugly head. (Try not to cry, try not to cry...) "Calm Down Mother" was her reply. "If you run out of gas, I will come get you, it's going to be okay." I prayed for what seemed like ten miles (but was actually only 2 or 3) that the Lord drop a gas station on this curvy country road.  A block from the church, a gas station appeared and I happily pulled in. As I pumped my few dollars worth of gas,  young man tried to sell me some very expensive meat from a freezer in the back of his truck. "No thanks," I replied, "I'm a vegan" (Forgive me Lord for lying to that young man that I really had no time to deal with)

I pulled up at the church, parked my car, and dashed inside. I walked into the sanctuary, along with the graduates. We were seated in the balcony, on two rows. My former in laws, Julz and "Ricky Martin" and me on one row, The First Wife, her husband and boys, Cotton, Tigger and D/H behind us. From our vantage point, Kit-Kat seemed very far away.  By now, several classmates had bedazzled their caps, some with their initials, some with little designs. One with an intricate gold design that covered the entire surface of the cap. But it made them easily identifiable.

All the graduates carried a little plastic ball, that they handed the principal as they shook her hand. Last year, at Tigger's graduation, the teachers were scrambling to find something to put them in. This year, they came prepared with a basket, but it wasn't quite big enough. By the time Kit-Kat handed her ball off, there were several rolling around the stage, hers included.

We left our seats during the singing of the alma mater, my former father-in-law anxious to beat the rush. I took only a moment to hug Tigger, remind him that I loved him, that he would always be my son, no matter what happened, and that I would always be there for him. I teared up, turned, and walked away.

I called W as I walked back to my car. He was still on the job site and not very happy. His crew had gone to "motivate" the crew from another company. The other crew sounded completely bumfuzzled as to what needed to be done and had pretty much left all the difficult work for W's gang.  It was nearly 8:00 pm and he was having to spend the night. Not a happy camper, but my call came at just the right time and he could focus on me instead. 

He asked if the graduation went well, to which I replied that it did. "Are you okay?" he asked. He knew what the other significance to the day had been. It was weird, but I realized not only had I not thought about it, I didn't really care. D/H had looked uncomfortable, and unhappy, and for the first time in a really long time,  I didn't really care what he was thinking. For the first time since all this had happened, I felt sorry for him instead of me.  "Yeah" I responded " I'm good."

W promised to call me back when he got settled into the hotel. That gave me time to get home as well. I sent him the picture of Julz and me after graduation that was taken with my phone.  He shot back "His loss, my gain."

And with that, I graduated.

No comments: