Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Moving on from moving up.

I was not drunk at Seamus' moving up ceremony.  I went so far as to consider drinking a glass of wine, but who wants to drink wine, alone, at 9:00am?  The only time I drink wine in the morning is at funerals.  I thought about buying some champagne and making mimosas, but again, the thought of me struggling with a champagne bottle, alone in my kitchen, seemed beyond pathetic.  And they didn't have any champagne at the new Whole Foods.

So my last moving-up ceremony is over and done.  We will certainly skip the 8th grade version of it, which is what I did with Grace, but I felt that 6th grade is too young for cynicism.  The ceremony itself was similar to the others, although they curtailed the speeches.  The usual suspects were present:

  • Obligatory parent dressed like a pimp.
  • This year's out-of-control mom who screamed, "Yeah, honey!  Work that stage. WORK THAT STAGE!" Even the peanut gallery where we were sitting was appalled.  The woman behind us said, "That was embarrassing," although she yelled lustily enough for her own child.
  • The middle school principal's speech.  He bellowed at the audience: "ARE YOU GONNA READ A BOOK?"  After getting a loud enough "yes" response, he turned to the parents:  "HEY PARENTS, ARE YOU GONNA READ A BOOK? YOU GONNA READ A BOOK, PARENTS?"  (How did I get here?  My poor mother is turning in her grave at the environment in which I have placed her grandchildren.)
  • The Rotary club gifts--free thesauruses (thesauri??) for all the kids.  With four kids in my house, all of whom also got thesauri at 4th grade graduation, I can hardly find space on my book shelves, we have so many of them. The Rotary club representative betrayed the fact that he thought he was at a fifth grade graduation.  
  • The instructional coordinator scolding the "students" for  screaming during the presentation of certificates, when it was obvious that it was the parents doing the screaming.
  • The crowds of people standing in the very area that I got kicked out of last time--and no fucking asshole to make them sit down.
  • The very second the last certificate had been handed out, every single person in the balcony section where we were sitting got up to leave.  The principal was still saying, "Thank you for your support..." and by the time she got to, "...please allow the children to exit first," at least 80% of the audience was already standing in the aisles.

And now for something completely different.  A BRAND NEW BIGGER AND BETTER Whole Foods opened here in Charlottesville, to much fanfare.  Yesterday was the grand opening, and like an idiot, I thought I'd check it out.  We couldn't even get into the parking lot.  We couldn't even get into the driveway that leads to the parking lot.  We couldn't even get into the lane that turns into the driveway that leads to the parking lot.  Indeed, traffic was slowed down the 250 bypass as far as Dairy Rd. I gave up, but returned later, about 7:30 pm when it was still crowded, but at least I could find a parking space.  I can't give a good review of the store yet, it was all so overwhelming.  Things were arranged differently and I couldn't find some of what I needed and it was too crowded to back track and hunt.  I'm not sure I like how much of the meat is behind a counter and you have to get in line and ask the butcher for it.  This type of set up never seems to work in Virginia, with people all milling about, no one knowing whose turn is next.  I did like the huge bin of discounted frozen fish and the local produce display in front of the store.  And the bar.  Is it an actual bar, or is it just for tasting?  I  poked among the wine, looking futilely for Champagne. I'm sure there's a lot that I missed.  One thing:  the parking lot is better than the one at the old Whole Foods and much easier to get out of--if you're paying attention to the signs.  


  1. I'm gonna give Pimp Guy some credit: At least he took the time to dress up a little for the event, unlike the mother who showed up fresh from the gym and the scads of people wearing shorts and sneakers.

    I was so glad that our superintendent didn't speak that it made everyone else's speech seem so much better.

    As for the demand that we read this summer, I almost wanted to ditch my summer reading pile of 15 or so books and go completely illiterate for the next 11 weeks, just because he irked me.

  2. The "work the stage" parent is someone I'd better keep close to heart as my son gets older.

    I will not be that parent. I will not be that parent.

    As for drinking in the morning? The last journal entry I wrote before leaving Japan was me cheering my last morning beer. It's like morning coffee, but better. It's also a tradition I left in Japan. :)

  3. Deb, the photo on this post is from the Air France lounge in Paris. At 7:00 a.m.

  4. How awful. Just awful. What a bunch of hooligans wrecking it for the rest--they should have 2 separate ceremonies--one for the "regular" folk and one for the "amped" crowd.

    We don't even have a regular whole foods here--and you get a new, improved one! Golly!

  5. The most we get during our prizegiving ceremony at the end of the year is a restrained clapping, although a haka is often performed by our Maori kapa haka group for an outstanding effort.
    We still present mostly academic and sporting awards, with an emphasis on achievement, not just participation (though they are still given for cultural and citizenship based areas). Every year the top two academic kids in the whole school are presented to everyone as the Dux and Proxime Accessit, cups and certificates are awarded, and we all finish by singing the National Anthem, with the entire school and audience standing. Nobody leaves until the "official party and guests leave", then everyone else drifts off to our staffroom where we provide drinks (unfortunately non-alcoholic)and snacks.

  6. This made me laugh out loud. I think I would have had to shoot a spitball at that principal for the whole "You gonna read a book?" thing. If you're going to treat us like children...ha.