Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Pomp Plz

Just popping in to say that I am flying to Santa Cruz tomorrow for my PhD graduation ceremony. I'm going out there alone, but lots of friends will be there, and my gal Erika is flying up from LA to make it a weekend of special lady time.

I had dreamed of our family of four all going to see me walk. As the time drew closer, though, it was clear that there were better ways to blow a few thousand bucks. Like eating food and living inside. But I just didn't want to miss it, as I'm certainly not going to ever earn another degree. I mean, this one took for freaking ever, I should go mark the occasion even if I did get the diploma back in the fall.

So today I was busy getting ready for my trip and such, and in addition I made two separate trips to the pool at the swim club--not our neighborhood pool--once for each kid to have lessons/practice. And I worked out with Pretty Neighbor and I parented the foster kids a bunch. Finally at about 5:30 I was opening my mouth to tell Matt that I was going to go get my nails done before the nail place closed. At that moment he told me that he was about to leave to play basketball with the guys from his old office. They needed 8 to play and he was number 8.

I just looked at him, assuming that any moment he would realize the importance of my arriving in California to see all my friends with properly groomed nails. I said, "So you want me to not get my nails done before I fly to California to see all my friends and be in my PhD graduation ceremony?" He went into, "You know I am happy to watch the kids whenever you need me to, you just have to tell me so I can plan," etcetera blah blah. I don't mean "blah blah" in a bad way. But you know. He really hated to back out of the game, wouldn't it be fun to get a pedi in California, man man husband talking. Reader, I am not even asking you to take my side, because even the very rocks cry out that they are on my side.

So I did what anyone would have done, which was to lie down on my dining room bench and cry. Matt came and stood concernedly over me, squeezing my knee, while tears trickled down into my ears.

"It's not even about my nails, I just feel that this whole graduation ceremony is an afterthought and nobody notices and nobody cares but me and even my finishing my dissertation was a story that got swallowed up by cancer last year and who really gave a crap and I had a lot of happy feelings a few minutes ago that just went away just now," I explained.

Nearly daily I have reason to be glad I put a bench in my dining room. You will never be sorry if you do.

Matt made protesting and soothing noises about how proud he was of me and how he hadn't been thinking of this graduation as a big enough deal. He seemed a bit taken aback by my sudden emotional fragility, and so was I. We were a sad little tableau, there in the dining room. Me prostrate on the bench, him standing there in befuddlement.

Then I had a brainwave. By this time, the foster daughters, who I had sent home fifteen minutes before, were back in my house having never gone home at all. I asked them if their father was awake and they said he was. I texted him and told him that I had a nail appointment and could Hank come over there please? He said of course, and it is lucky for him that he did.

Then I went away and got a mani pedi and darned if that didn't make me feel all better. And Matt and I kissed and made up. Our bark sails on. And Hank stayed at the neighbor's for two hours, and now I am all packed. I have narrowed down my graduation dress to three choices and I'm taking them all.

I'm taking the same shoes I take everywhere. I believe that there is no shoe environment I couldn't conquer with my Haflinger wool clogs and my tall Kork-Ease wedges. And I threw in a pair of cheap thong sandals I got at Target. They are a metallic pewter and when I put them on and saw how my pedi looked with them, I wanted to have sex with my own feet. Gross!

I will pop in later and tell you how everything went. I love you all!

25 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh congratulations. And you know, for what it's worth, when I describe your blog to my friends, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS tell them that you have a PhD. In my world, that's HUGE. So huge, that I WILL CAPITALIZE THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE FOR EMPHASIS.

Have a wonderful time, you brilliant Dr. Suburban Matron, you!

Jenni said...

Congratulations, Becky. This really is a huge moment for you. When Nelson got his PhD, I cried. That thing was our first child.

That bit of discord with Matt - Nelson and I have these moments, too. I think they stem from the fact that when your main job is as a stay at home parent, huge victories are few and far between. We are just keeping the wheels turning and while that is important stuff, it is not something that we (or our spouses) celebrate daily. Or weekly. Or monthly. Or pretty much ever. But here you did this very real, very huge, very difficult thing, writing and defending a dissertation! You deserve praise. And to get your nails did.

Have fun in SC with your lady, xo!

Jenni said...

Oh, and not that I'm dissing your awesome husband who I love and adore, or my own who is okay too, just saying that maybe they forget to see what is important because they are so used to see us everyday? I don't know. Anyways congrats again!

Michele said...

Congrats and have a great time at graduation!

When I tell JR that I need to get my nails done his response is; why pay someone to do your nails when you can do them yourself? But, this is the same man that says we don't need a cleaning service because we made the house messy so why can't we clean it up. For someone so smart he sure can be an idiot.

Amy said...

I'm so so proud of you! Truly, and if I were in that hemisphere I would fly out and bust all up IN your lady time! Congrats, Beck!! I also constantly brag about you to others.

I could absolutely visualize the dining room tableau. And hear your choked up voice and picture Matt's bewildered posture. So glad you found a solution! And I can't believe CG was actually part of it? That is perhaps the most surreal element of this tale.

Anyway, love you!! Have a fab time, and swagger across that stage. Sashay, even!! Xoxox

Amy said...

Oh, and graduation presents! Requests?

Corinna said...

Wonderful!... enjoy it, Becky, such an enormous accomplishment! And so glad you can do so with your pretty nails & toes!

Star said...

Big congrats! What is your diss about? Have fun! It's a wonderful accomplishment, and even more so considering what you went through. Congrats, again!

Veronica said...

Excited to see you and celebrate your BIG AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT. And, I'm glad I don't have to look at a chipped manicure or something when we hang out. Ha! Seriously, glad you got to have a little pre-trip pampering.

Aimee said...

Yay, Dr. Becky!!!

The bench is a great idea...unfortunately, I'd only have room for one if I got rid of the piano. Notsomuch. I know what you mean about the onslaught of tears being so unexpected. That fragility coming out of nowhere is disconcerting, to say the least.

Anywho, I'm glad you got your mani/pedi, and I'm excited for your graduation! Have FUN!

Megan said...

Congratulations! Soak up every minute (and then share it!). You have earned this and then some, so GLOW with pride. I'm certain that your nails cry out to the world "I am pure fabulousness, people!"

Seriously, congratulations, Becky. I so admire your accomplishment, more than I can adequately express.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

CONGRATULATIONS Dr. Becky. You should totally rename your blog DR. Suburban Matron.

delaine said...

I am so proud of you! But then I have always been enormously proud of you in everything you've done . I was totally blown away that you finished your dissertation while having treatment. I am glad you decided to go for the Walk. You'll have good stories to tell. And I'm sure the prof or whoever is passing out the sheepskin will pause, look down, and proclaim, "Nice color! Shaignhai Sunrise or Malibu Melon? Kudos to the lady with the killer nails!" love ya!!

Elizabeth said...

Dr. Becky ROCKS!!! (And aren't you glad now you didn't decide to let CG have what he so richly deserved?!) See, he's not totally useless after all...okay,maybe 99.9875% useless, but not TOTALLY. I know exactly what you mean about the pedicure, unfortunately. I kind of lost my shit a couple of days ago when my semi-estranged husband decided to have a memory lapse TWO DAYS IN A ROW this week about coming home at a decent hour so I could do that. I, on the other hand, still have skanky toes, and you don't--you win!!!

clear screen said...

I think this is going to be a great weekend! And, since I found out you actually finished your dissertation, I've been in dumbstruck awe.

So -- congratulations, Dr. B-Dub! I'm sure you'll be falling off the plane and into the celebratory hugs of your cohort. I wish I could be there (but, frankly, I'd be too jealous/anxious watching members of my own cohort -- or younger! -- walking down the aisle. shame on me.)

Beth said...

We must get a photo of your newly-groomed toes!

Congrats! Have some serious quality lady time. Sounds fab. I hope your robes are good lookin', and I know you'll look very intellectual in your tam.

Post photos!

Kelly said...

We are SO proud of you and this is a huge deal!! Wish we could be there to celebrate but when you get back we'll have a party ;)

mmeperpetua said...

You're the meaning in my life. You're the inspiration.

Seriously, every time a dissertating-parent finishes, it gives the rest of us hope. I know you finished awhile ago...I just don't think I ever said that bit about your rising tide lifting the rest of us sad boats up.

Enjoy each and every moment of it, Dr. B.

Jane said...

Congratulations! Have a great time in California!

A Day That is Dessert said...

Congratulations, my friend. Your accomplishment was not lost on me, despite all you've been through over the past year or so. I would come and celebrate with you if I could. xoxo

jo said...

sending fanfares your way...congratulations that is quite an achievement.

Meghan said...

I say BRAVO and double BRAVO for finishing in the midst of raising a whole family, writing an awesome blog, and having a cancer diagnosis...all of which literally made my jaw drop when you originally posted that pretty picture of your dissertation not so long ago. Since I had not heretofore realized you were quite as thoroughly amazing as you are. Any of us who've seen people birth a dissertation know it is all kinds of terrible. Maybe worse than actual birth, I can't speak personally to either of those. Anyway, I add my congrats to you! Woohoooo!

I also know how it feels to be taken off guard by emotions you didn't quite realize were there. On Thursday I was having a rather happy performance evaluation with my boss, and he says, "well, it's been five years and I often think this is the time to ask about the future. What do you think about the future?" And having just ended a relationship with my boyfriend a week ago, my mind did not go to the professional question, it went to a personal place, and I thought "well, I'm not getting married" and I immediately started crying (and not an insignificant amount). It was not the highpoint of my week. Fortunately, said boss is wonderful and caring and understanding. He also has a Ph.D. Y'all are good people.

Yay again to you! Enjoy the day!

Messy Mom said...

YOU GO GIRL! I am happy for your graduation, I am. I was really ready to stand up and cheer when you thought to ask conspiracy guy for some pay back time. You should get another degree for that.

Kate said...

happy to hear the foster kids family can step in every now and again!

KathyS said...

It's harder than we realize, I think, to do something so huge but that tends to get so little reinforcement. The Ph.D. is a mountain of work, but the hooding ceremony is really all there is to mark that accomplishment -- why there isn't a gift registry, trousseau, fully stocked booze cabinet, and life-long personal assistant as part of the celebrations, well, I just don't know.

But many, many congratulations to you, you Wonder Woman!