Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Back from the Trenches...of Commencement

I am exhausted and just checked my e-mail for the first time in five days - unfortunately, I'm not capable of doing much more than a bulleted update, but I hope that all my blogadelic friends are doing very well - more of substance soon!

The Dutchman and I are official Ph.D.s now - we have the sweat-drenched, hooded, robe-and-puffy-cap-clad pictures to prove it. And our diplomas. What I do not have is blisters on my feet! We had a huge, long procession and several other commencement events over the weekend - but my feet stayed truly happy for the first time in years b/c of these cute little ballet flats in basic black (I'm seriously considering getting the red patent leather pair, too) - worth every penny!

Graduation was enormously fun, but we are both happy to have our lives back. Parents are all well - family dynamics were as expected - slightly awkward and stilted at times, but totally fine. We ate good food and drank good wine (and we got some as presents!); we saw old friends, but some of them not for as long as we would have liked. We're going to be making some extra trips back to Graduate School Town over the next month to spend some quality time with as many friends as possible before we move.

There were two tough things about having Medieval Mom and Dad et al. in town this week:

1) My mother talks absolutely non-stop; there is no comfy quiet around her. She doesn't talk to fill awkward silences or anything, she just keeps up a running commentary on life at all times. I'll walk into the room and she'll be talking to the computer screen. She talks during TV shows, movies, etc. - it drives me crazy after 2 days. Her latest thing is that "there are simply too many people in this world." This is her comment on just about everything, usually when we're stuck in what she perceives to be "gridlock", but what most people just consider to be rush hour in a New England town (i.e., more than 20 cars in sight). I love her and we had fun anyway, but it took all my medieval-zen skills not to scream once in a while.

2) All of our relatives tend to wander - in this respect they're a little like toddlers. We would get a couple of them in tow to migrate over to the next commencement event and then another one would saunter off. Like fish who are attracted to shiny things in the water. They all walk at their own pace and none can be trusted with a map and a rallying point in case of separation. It was a full time job keeping everyone together and happy in a crowd of thousands - no one got lost for long (my dad was for 20 minutes or so before my departmental ceremony, but he turned up eventually).

Other than that, we've had a lovely day today - we are cleaning out our apartment bit by bit - taking as much extraneous material to the Goodwill as possible. Going to see the first of the summer blockbusters. Eating greasy Chinese food. All is well, but I'm tuckered out and hitting my little haystack early!


At 4:33 PM, Anonymous The Pink Bride said...

Congratulations are in order, both for the degree and for surviving your whole family. All the best!

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Ancrene Wiseass said...

Congrats on all accounts--a degree, unblistered tootsies, a family visit safely negotiated, Goodwilling, blockbusters, Chinese food, and getting to bed early!

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Carrie K said...

Congratulations on the degree! And the family wrangling. It gets more endearing, annoying or pronounced.


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