Order forms for cap and gown rental for our oldest daughter are due tomorrow. Of course, they send the catalog for graduation announcements, thank you notes, memory albums, senior jewelry (yes, you heard me), and class rings along with the cap and gown forms. It sure seems like they want you to buy a lot of stuff to anchor you to the school you are about to leave.
High school graduation is a huge milestone in both a student’s and a parent’s life. It’s something they have worked toward for so long that it seems that if they don’t have all the accompanying hoo-hah, they are not having the entire “experience”. I’m sitting here looking over all the options, trying to look at it from my daughter’s perspective. I remember how cool it was to have the class ring and the modest announcements we got when I was a Senior. I also am aware of how much use senior jewelry and class rings and memory books will get after she leaves for university in a few short months. The choices run the gamut from plain to extravagant. If I don’t order the best and biggest, does that somehow reflect on my child? A short consultation with my daughter is in order – the companies do their marketing well.
The one thing we must order tomorrow is the cap and gown. Is there any piece of clothing that we still wear that is so useless yet so full of tradition and pride? We wear them once or twice in our lives, possibly three times if we work hard. They are an anachronism that makes the Graduating Class of 2011 look pretty much the same as the Graduating Class of 1976 or the Graduating Class of 1937.
Perhaps that’s why we still have them; so the graduation pictures we take now will look the same as the ones she takes of her son or daughter someday. I had better make sure I get the form turned in on time.