Friday, May 18, 2012

I Need More Hours in the Day

I had a leisurely day planned for today. Physical therapy at 9 a.m. and a graduation to attend tonight at 6. I wanted to mow my yard, do a little house cleaning, some reading and maybe hit the gym. However, it did not turn out that way. I got done with therapy at ten and called Adam to see if he wants to go to the gym with me. He informs me that we just got hired to do a show at a local school that starts at noon. It was the last day of school and after the awards ceremony the school wanted to throw a party for the kids.

I flew home to get changed and we headed out to get the equipment. We get to the school and set up. They had a bouncy house, a jousting ring and obstacle course for the kids. The students ate outside, ran around like mad, danced to our music and requested a bunch of songs that we could never play at a school function.

At this event, I was told of an open house that afternoon at the homeless shelter I have been working with for the last year. After breaking down, I had time to go home, get showered from sweating outside all afternoon and go pick up my daughter before heading back to pick up Adam and go to the shelter.

After shaking a few hands and eating a few brats, we took Adam home to get to the school for the six o' clock graduation. On the drive over, I was explaining to Kirsten how the day had not gone as I had planned and I was looking forward to this graduation being over and getting back home. I was worn out.

The great thing about this graduation was that it was at a small private school. Very small. The high school graduating class consisted of two boys. Between handing out the diplomas, a commencement speech and a little Pomp & Circumstance, we should be back home by 6:30. My unexpected long day was moments away from being over.

When we got there, I noticed that there were an awful lot of people there to watch two kids graduate. I soon learned that there were four graduates, not two. Another kid who had completed the off-campus studies program and would be crossing the stage with these kids he had never met and a 75 year old man who had never graduated high school and started taking classes to get his long awaited diploma. That was actually pretty cool. However, it still seemed like a lot of people for only four graduates.

We took a seat next to a couple that we knew but hadn't really seen in a few years. They had a daughter who was about to turn three and I had never met. She was immediately taken with Kirsten and wanted to sit by us and talk.

Two minutes after meeting me,
she is telling me her life story.
A lot.

She talked and squirmed and crawled under the seats and tried to lick her finger to stick it in Kirsten's ear. Her dad said that at home she has her own version of the Wet Willy. It's called the Butt Willy. I'll leave you to figure out how that works for yourself.

Once the ceremony started, her dad made her sit in his lap. He said it was because he didn't want her to be a nuisance, but I couldn't help but notice it was right after I asked her if she would get in my car if I gave her some candy. For the next few minutes she kept asking me when we could go get the candy.

The principal stepped up to the mike to welcome everyone, said a quick prayer and stated that he would announce the graduates. I checked my clock: 6:07. We would be out of there in no time. After announcing the first name, a 4 foot person approaches the stage.

THIS WAS A KINDERGARTEN STUDENT!!!

Apparently, due to the size of the school, they do all the graduations at once. This would take a little longer than I thought. They gave the precious child her diploma and then had several children come to the stage to sing a song. A very loooong and slow song. When it was over, they moved to the 8th grade graduates. There were three in this class. They walked the stage fairly quickly and then brought up the singer to commemorate their achievement.

Here is one of the things about small schools...or any small organization. There is not a large talent pool to pull from. I know that not everyone is good at everything, but when you have 1,200 people to choose from, at least a few will be exceptional at any given talent. When you only have abut 20 people to choose from, you may end up with this:

video


I understand that she should be commended for having the courage to get up in front of everyone and sing, but courage will only impress people to a degree. Since this song was rather long and I was slowly coming to the realization that I was not getting out of here any time soon, I needed something to entertain myself.

Looking for something to do, I noticed the little girl from earlier staring at me. Every move I made caused her eyes to follow me. So, I turned off the flash to my camera and decided to have some fun.

I stuck out my tongue. She quickly followed suit.


I sucked in my lips and she did the same.


I pushed my nose up like a pig and she pushed hers up as well.

I crossed my eyes and she did this.


We had great fun for several minutes until something she did caused me to laugh.

She did not appreciate it and screamed at me.


I was able to escape her father's detection and played dumb.

That outburst caused her to have to go sit with Grandma.
With my entertainment gone, my attention was shifted back to the stage. The graduating seniors were brought to the stage and given their diplomas. The senior citizen and off-campus student were both recognized and the on campus graduates each addressed the crowd. No mention was made of valedictorian or salutatorian, but when there are only two people, does it really matter?

After their speeches, we were treated to a slide show set to music that chronicled every picture that had ever been taken of each of these boys.

Being a Christian school, it was followed up with a sermon and then finally concluded. This ceremony for one kindergartner, three 8th graders and four seniors (total of 8 people) had taken one hour and 37 minutes. I promptly told Kirsten to say her goodbyes and head to the car.

The principal jumped on stage for a last announcement.

"The families of the graduating seniors have prepared a meal and you are all invited to stay and eat."

Well, that changed everything. The main reason I wanted out of there so fast was to get some food. We fought the crowd to get to the tables in the back. Once sitting, the allure of food and good conversation distracted me. When I rose to leave, over two more hours had passed.

I never did make it to the gym.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

83 comments:

  1. Such a funny post and the pictures of the little girl are hilarious. She looks like such a character! Do you really think that the dad didn't notice your exchange? To me it looks like he is studiously trying to pretend that you don't exist lol. Glad you at least got some tasties at the end of the day (I presume it was tasty) - filling the stomach usually makes everything ok in the end.

    By the way, right when you started and said that you called Adam, I thought it was about to be a new hospital story. Glad it was just the opposite!

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    1. Just had a thought. I would be awesome to have a guest post from your daughter on how enamoured you are. What being enamoured has done to you, how you express it, what it looks like from her perspective etc.

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    2. I have asked Kirsten and her friend to write something and give it to me. They seemed to be excited about it, but haven't given me anything yet.

      I believe her dad was very aware of what I was doing.

      Delete
  2. That's the best thing about playing with other peoples kids. They are not yours and you don't have to be responsible.

    Time to go to the gym myself

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    1. And the best part is they don't have to go home with me.

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  3. Seems like you were working on your ninja skills with this post! I'm impressed, especially since you were sitting right next to each other.

    I thought you were going to have another hospital story when you mentioned Adam and as funny as those stories are, I'm glad that it was just a funny story about how you never made it to the gym.

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    1. No hospital luckily. My ninja skills are getting better.

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  4. You, sir, are a far more patient man than I.

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    1. Thank you. I thought it might make too much of a scene if I left.

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  5. Days like that are often the best days ... but sometimes they leave me whiny and grumpy =p

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    1. I made lots of snide comments to the people around me during the ceremony, but it ended up okay.

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  6. I cant believe that I forgot about the open house at the shelter. We were going to be there. Oh well I had to go out of town anyhow and that would have just made my day longer. I am glad you had a good day. Cant believe you made that sweet girl cry. Bad Brett.

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    1. Sorry you missed it. All this craziness was why I didn't make it out to the ball field.

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  7. The candy comment made me laugh out loud! great stuff brett

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    1. Her parents laughed also and decided they better have a talk about strangers.

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  8. When you have grandkids, I am going to take them and do exceptionally normal things with them. I think it will be a nice change for them.

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    1. Melinda, they might enjoy that. I will always be there for an adventure.

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  9. Bahaha. She absolutely loved you! Glad you had some fun despite some of the other stuff. I was not anticipating it to be as long as it was either, their services are usually super short.

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    1. It was a good night. I exaggerate my impatience. I'm glad we went.

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  10. A BUTT WILLY!! I'm going to try that one on my wife tonight! I bet she'll be surprised, i'll let you know how it goes.

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    1. She really does this. She didn't demonstrate for us, but I heard about it.

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  11. LOL! Brett you are wonderfully wicked! The part about the candy, had me snorting with laughter. Seriously, I sounded like a pig snuffling out truffles!

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    1. She kept asking to go out and get the candy. She didn't see the humor in it. I mentioned candy and it was time to pay out.

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  12. Look at you practicing your super secret ninja skills!! I am very impressed.

    But wait . . . did you say you have candy? Where'd you park that van again?

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    1. I just had the camera sitting in my lap and snapped them while it was pointing in her direction. I missed her a few times.

      And I do have candy.

      Delete
  13. The best plans often give way to even better experiences. You certainly ended up with a long, full day, but lots of fun in the process. Having sat thru boring-to-tears college graduations that lasted over three hours, this wasn't all that bad, and food at the end certainly made for a good finish! :-)

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    1. It wasn't really that bad. I am happy that I went and got to see everyone. It did get a little boring, but I enjoyed the evening.

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  14. Sounds a lot more exciting than what I remember my Elementary graduations to be like. I think we just sat through a slideshow of everyone growing up. :\

    And there was no food at the end either.

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    1. I've been through a lot of graduations. Some good, some bad. Thus was the first one with food.

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  15. Hang in there Brett! that first hour and a half may not have been so easy without your entertainment! Anyway your the one that messed it up, you laughed and made her scream! You got the poor child in trouble!

    I'm gonna tell!!!

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    1. That did make it easier, but I think the parents were on to me.

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  16. What a precious little girl.
    Where is my birth control?
    I mean, just look at those gorgeous blue eyes.
    Where did I put my birth control?
    I just want to run my hands through her flaxen hair.
    Seriously, where are those little pills?

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  17. The little girl is Just like her momma was growing up!

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  18. Aww, you got her in trouble AND taunted her with candy! How could you do that to such a cutie?!?

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    1. She soon got over it. I spent most the rest of the evening stealing her bubbles and throwing them down the hall.

      That may sound mean, but she seemed to enjoy it.

      Delete
  19. I'm so sorry! I can't believe I didn't comment. (sometimes when we talk about your post later, I say what I wanted to say, and forget to add it here.)

    At my high school graduation, we had each (all 44 of us) picked up a shell from our class trip to the gulf coast, and when we shook the headmaster's hand, passed him the shell. He was annoyed at first, until he realized it was an ongoing joke. Then he got into it.

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    1. Quite alright. I wasn't offended.

      It's cool he enjoyed it. Small thing to get upset about.

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  20. Lol.

    This little girl is like the birdie! Maybe she's a shape shifter and came to watch over you and see if you had any candy, by changing into a little birdie.

    What do you mean set up - what do you and "Adam" do? DJ? Also I just wrote a graduation post today hee hee so not sweet like this one.

    Since it is a child you should probably either draw a mask on her or ask her parents for permission? Yeah. So draw a mask on her maybe? Idk. People are weird on the internet. Just you typing little girl, candy, van, probably leads to unwanted visitors. Idk maybe not.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Adam and I can be hired for parties, wedding, or anything you may want a DJ for.

      the little girl's parents approved this blog before it went up. I would not use people's kids without their knowledge.

      Kids and animals seem to want to talk to me.

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    2. Ya I should have known that about you, of course. So sorry!! I have been kind of offending people left and right this week. Sorry for being a poop-dork. Or I should say feces-cranium.

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    3. Feces cranium? I have never heard that one.

      I wasn't offended. The girls' mother is a regular reader and commenter, so when I told her that I wanted to use her daughter for my blog, she was very cooperative.

      Delete
  21. That was pretty funny. I like that your laughter terrified her...makes me think she has never caused anyone to laugh before. Way to startle her! lol.

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    1. She seemed quite offended. She would not sit still.

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  22. I'm still laughing that you offered that little girl candy. Haha! And the last picture of her is hysterical- see what you did? Haha!

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    1. She loved the candy idea. Her mom said, "Maybe I need to talk to her about strangers."

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  23. Hahah I love the pictures that went with this. Less than two hours isn't bad - I'm used to 4 hour college graduations. Ick.

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    1. Four hours would be awful. I would have to bring a pillow.

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  24. I am eternally grateful that I've never had occasion to have you sit beside me while trying to herd toddlers!

    I also have an Uncle who was well known for getting all of us kids wound up and in trouble. Then, after spending hours joking around and teasing us he would complain that we never left him alone and as I type this I realize I probably just described you.

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    1. I think you are right. I give them a hard time and then want them to stop when I am ready, but it rarely works that way.

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  25. Free food interrupts my previously scheduled plans every time! Loved your funny face contest with the little girl :)

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    1. I find myself asking the question, "Will there be food?" quite often.

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  26. My daughter has decided not to walk with her classmates. I would be disappointed, but she has over 700 kids in her class, so my mouth is shut because I don't want to sit through that any more than she does. I think my graduation was over 4 hours and I had over 500 in my class. No thanks, I'll pass.

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    1. I had 27 in my graduating class. My daughter goes to a large school and I am not looking forward to that ceremony.

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  27. I greatly dislike having to sit through graduation ceremonies... long and not all that exciting. But woow your day! I was exhausted just reading about it!! Happy you made it through it and with a tale to tell.

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    1. It was a full day and most of it was thrown at us last minute. I had no idea what I was in for when I woke up.

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  28. oh man. the graduation ceremony. my dad was a pastor growing up. the only thing worse than sitting through graduation was having to sit and listen to your dad for 45 minutes...while wearing tights. {me. not him. although, i think i just thought of how it could have been worse.}

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    1. The follow up sermon was very good, but after the long service, it seemed to drag more.

      Putting the preacher in tights could make it entertaining.

      Delete
  29. Wow, you made it through! I don't think I can go through 5 minutes there, nonetheless it's your graduation! ;) Congrats.

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    1. Thank you. I was happy to see everyone, but the timing really surprised me.

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  30. Oh. My. Word. That was excruciating. For you. Very funny for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel better about all of my May and June school activities. I now know how bad it really could be. Ellen

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    1. You are very welcome. The rest of the summer should be more entertaining.

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  31. I'm sorry you went through this, but thank you for providing me with entertainment.

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    1. Thank you. As soon as I walked in, I knew I would be writing about it.

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  32. I love that you tried to lure her to your car with candy. Great way to get the dad to "take over".

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    1. The bad part was that I didn't have any candy...I think that's the bad part.

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  33. At least that little girl was providing you with some entertainment, because that song was, indeed, awful!

    Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny!

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    1. Thank you. Thankfully, she only sang one verse. She couldn't remember the second and had to stop.

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  34. The talent pool is sad, indeed! Holy Guac!

    Just be glad it wasn't a Catholic School...

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    1. I haven't done a Catholic School graduation.

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  35. that is some PRICELESS entertainment. love that.

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  36. Those photographs are freaking hysterical. This was entertaining enough to make me look forward to the grad season. Thanks!

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    1. She was more than willing to pose for pictures, but she wanted to see every one immediately.

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  37. Those pictures are great :-)

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  38. I think it's hilarious that you blurred out the kid's face. And that you totally let the three year old suffer for her indignation. After toying with her father's stranger danger buttons!

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    1. Thank you. I do like to use humor, but I had a practical reason as well. Since I was not being very flattering to the singer, I thought I would protect her identity. Plus, I did not have her permission to use her image.

      The parents of the little girl allowed for me to post her. In fact, her aunt wrote one of the comments above.

      Delete
  39. So safe to assume no gym visits during graduation season? Will also now try to find you on goodreads!

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    1. Very true. I will try to plan ahead for next year.

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