The Graduate

I hoped no one was looking up my dress.

The requisite white gown I had worn over it was unzipped just moments before, moments filled with waves of heat and confusion as my vision blurred and ears went deaf.

The next thing I knew, I was lying in a pool of sweat on the ground with a headache and no idea why. All I knew was that there was a crowd of (still blurry) faces looking on. My first thought?

I was sure they all looked up my dress.


This was 12 years ago and I no longer even resemble this person, unfortunately, but you needed to see the dress.

Graduation was overhyped—we all knew it.

It was simply a ceremony you had to go through at the end of four years of awkward moments and hours of academic effort. The last few weeks (and by weeks, I mean months) were simply gravy, going through the motions of showing up to ceramics  and an English honor’s class taught by a teacher resembling a haggard Meryl Streep who included sexual innuendo into every lecture and project assigned.

Since I was proficient in skipping, we’ll keep the streak alive and skip past those years for now.

I was actually out of school the final two weeks of my senior year due to an unfortunate incident involving my wisdom teeth, emergency surgery and a head that morphed to much more Ernie than Bert. It was not fun or attractive—much like the aforementioned randy English teacher.

That unfortunate incident was closely followed by a bout with pharyngitis. I know—it was a delightful month or so to be me. I tell you these details not for sympathy—although donations are always accepted—but because they all led up to me feeling rather under the weather come graduation day.

But I was a trooper—or forced to go, the details are fuzzy—and after a pre-graduation dinner with my family and Danny (of the Goldfish Cracker Caper, and no, I did not steal his food this time around) we set off for the ceremony.

Now picture hundreds of graduates shoved into a stuffy hallway outside of the auditorium for what seemed like days, the smell of body spray and lotion vainly trying to mask the smell of smoke.

I started to feel funny—lightheaded and very, very warm.

The noise around me dulled to a muted din, but I could read the lips of my best friend as she asked me if I was alright (or maybe she asked me if I had a light or that I was quite a sight—again, the details are fuzzy.)

The next thing I knew, I was lying in a pool of sweat on the ground with a headache and no idea why. All I knew was that there was a crowd of (still blurry) faces looking on. People rushed to my side and started asking me questions and fanning me with caps and papers.

I was sure they all looked up my dress.

After being reassured that the pervs were at bay, I was taken to the training room and seen by the on-call paramedic while my classmates received their diplomas.


I, on the other hand, received my diploma from the paramedic.

The next day I was fine in that I didn’t have any teeth extracted from my head, the equivalent of strep throat with a migraine or the experience of passing out before a graduation ceremony.

In fact, I felt much better. While resting on the couch in my cap and gown—I had to wear it sometime right?—I decided that 12 years from then I would blog about that experience in an effort to break out of blogger’s block. OK, maybe I made that last part up, but I really did get my diploma from the paramedic.

And I’m pretty sure he never looked up my dress.

28 responses to “The Graduate

  1. Oh my word!! I’m glad you didn’t hurt yourself!!

    Have a lovely night ❤

  2. Hehe. My graduation is still waiting for me. (Okay, this is shameful already.) I’m hoping for it by the end of the year. Let’s see how it’ll be … 😉

  3. Oh yes, I remember when I got my wisdom teeth pulled last year and you comforted me with an abridged version of this story.

    I feel flat on my ass right before the head of school handed me my diploma. It was the punishment I got for wearing heels the first time in my life. But this one time, my friend had a seizure and the whole time I was trying to mask her “area” so the paramedic wouldn’t get any ideas, you know, incase he was a perv. So you got lucky.

    And you looked gorgeous (still do)

    • Yes! I remember when you told me about the ass dive getting your diploma. Perhaps that’s why we’re both so awesome huh? Just another thing to add to our list of things in common–diploma fail. And if we’re ever together and you trip on your heels or pass out from the flu, I promise to mask your “area.”

  4. I would have preferred to pass out and miss graduation. I think somehow my younger brother was allowed to skip his. Sometimes being the oldest sucks.

    • I was actually all about missing it as well–I hate those types of things–so maybe there was some subconscious effort to become unconscious and miss the stupid thing? Meh.

  5. Oh my gosh Abby I’m so glad you were ok!

    Definitely a story to tell the grandchildren 🙂

    • If by “grandchildren” you mean “random people who read my blog,” then yes, I agree. There will be no grandchildren–trust me.

  6. Haha, well at least it’s a great story!

  7. haha! At least you still got your diploma. Love the pics!

  8. Well, at least 12 years on you have a memorable story to tell (I’m not sure I even remember mine!)

  9. I wish I could have missed out on my graduation day, too, though I’m glad to not have passed out like you did. That is scary! I’ve had a couple of those episodes in my life. I think the worst time was in residency when, after a long night of work, around 6am, I was seeing a new patient in the ER and suddenly I got flushed, dizzy and couldn’t seem to hear anything. The nurses rushed in and made me lay down in the doctor’s room while the poor patient was left to wonder what in the hell was going on. Luckily I had on scrubs so I didn’t need to worry about anyone trying to peep a look.

    You look beautiful in your pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us 🙂

  10. Scary story. love the paramedic giving you your diploma- and what a gorgeous dress! Hawt! and yes, of course they were looking up your dress haha!

    I have a funny paramedic story that I’ll tell you some other time 🙂

  11. Oh wow now that is a graduation story. You lasted longer than I probably would have but at least you got your diploma and an awesome story so it was win win right? lol

    Stopping by from TRDC

  12. Oh, love! the dress was fabulous, I’m so glad that no one *actually* looked up your dress and this line? “The last few weeks (and by weeks, I mean months) were simply gravy” is gold. Gotta love the paramedics! 🙂

  13. While the experience must have been misery at the time, you now have an amazing story to share. But passing out does suck. And I hope the paramedic was cute.


  14. Bloggers live for something to write about. These days, we pass out in Starbucks just to have something to post about the next day. You were, quite obviously, ahead of your time.

  15. What a fun post. I love your tone. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting your blog before, but I very much enjoyed this post. You have a lovely voice to your work. I also like the dress, though I’m not sure if I was ever brave enough to wear a dress that white to any event other than my wedding. Kudos to you.

  16. Great post. Great dress!
    Visiting from TDRC…

  17. So what if they did? A little peek never hurt anyone. Heck, you looked fab in your dress, so it would have been a compliment. No?
    I love that a paramedic gave you your hs diploma. Now that is a fun story!
    Came from TRDC.

  18. That was one heck of a graduation! Good thing they fixed they problem and I’m sure you were wearing appropiate under garments. For such a special occasion. Very cute dress:)

  19. That was the funniest – and most horrible – graduation story I’ve ever heard!

  20. Hey, not too many people can say they got their diploma from a paramedic. Except for people graduating from paramedic school, I guess. But, really, how many of those are there?

  21. Hilarious!!!! And yet, for some reason, I kind of wish I had passed out so that I would have missed my graduation. Never really liked the stress that came with graduation. Didn’t seem fair you had to go through something so incredibly stressful as a “reward” for graduating.

    Loved this post! Stopping by from TRDC.

  22. I have had two unfortunate incidents where I have passed out- churchat 16 yr. old and then in the general admission section of a U2 concert as an adult- my husband is still harboring feelings of ill will towards me because of this!
    I feel your pain!

  23. I love this, but I don’t understand why you don’t have Twitter. This is hysterical in its awfulness. You did get special treatment! I hope the paramedic was hot. And I hope you had your clean panties on — just in case someone did look up your dress! 😉

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s