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Ruth’s Memoir Monday: High School Graduation

I spent the week leading up to my high school graduation begging my mom for a new outfit.  You don’t need a new outfit, it’ll be covered by your gown, she told me over and over and over.  At seventeen, I didn’t appreciate her practicality.  Little did I know that thirteen years later I would be happy to have the same sense about me.

The day of graduation I laid it on thick.  Being the mother of a high school senior, her defenses were worn down and she gave in at 4:00 on Friday afternoon.  I zipped to the nearest clothing store and bought a new outfit.  I should have felt more remorse for insisting on a new outfit, but I didn’t.  I was too caught up in being a high school senior.

That evening, as I sat in the long row, surrounded by classmates dressed in blue and red, I awaited my name to be called.  I sat a little straighter and smiled a little more, simply because I was in a new dress.  My thoughts of being thankful for the new dress were interupted as the kid beside me leaned forward and threw up.  Everyone around him shot back, leaving him alone.  After the initial wave passed, I felt compassion for him and moved back to see if he was okay.  Apparently he wasn’t, since as he turned to talk to me, another wave of vomit occurred.

It covered my gown.

I sat stunned and disgusted.  Turning to my wide-eyed best friend, I said:  What do I do?  Lose the gown, you can’t stay in it, she half whispered back.

So I removed my gown, wiping my hands on it.  The sick-guy used it to mop up his mess.  Disgusting, I know . . . but this is high school.  My name was called and I walked across the stage with my red cap and new outfit.

My parents stood proudly.  My mom later telling me she was thinking, God is teaching me a lesson.  Sometimes new dresses are important not because people see them, but because of how we feel in them.

NOTE:  As I wrote these words, I felt compelled to find photos from my high school graduation and create a scrapbook page.  It’s these kinds of memories/lessons that I want to preserve for my children.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “Ruth’s Memoir Monday: High School Graduation Leave a comment

  1. Ruth
    That is quite a story and I felt bad for you and your sick friend, but I also liked your ending and how you wrap up your thoughts so nicely.


  2. Reminds me of my grandma, “Always wear clean underwear!” Who does that as you leave the house? My grandma did! She always went to her room and I think she changed her panties! She told us go change into clean undies! LOL


  3. Oh My Goodness! This is a fantastic story. I can only say how wonderful that you had a new outfit. In 1977, no one told us what to wear, so we wore halter tops and cut off blue jeans under the gown. Another good reason why we should always look our best in public.



  4. Wow Ruth!

    That was not only well-written, but you sucked me in and brought me right back to that day. I could even smell the puke.

    Lose the dress. Great words.

    Can’t wait to see the page you create!



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