Sunday, May 22, 2005

Cigarettes, Nursing Uniforms and Phone Cards!

I just got back from the Portchester flea market. I went with my dad, the both of us in search of fine quality, five dollar leather goods. We each left with two belts. This was technically a mission accomplished, but I was still a smidge disappointed. Usually a flea market affords me the opportunity to exchange an incredibly minor portion of my discretionary income for ridiculous kitsch. And while I can't begrudge Portchester its light up Virgins of Guadalupe, or its off-price, off-the-truck designer jeans, or its "Fleece Blanket and Hunting Knife!!!!" emporia, I didn't find anything sufficently stupid to buy. Not one religious statue, not a single belt buckle (though the "I (Heart) Square Dancing" buckle almost became a birthday present for Brad) seemed worth it.

There was one announcement I heard that made the trip worthwhile: Come over to the (somthing mumbley something garble) booth! We may not have DVDs or fancy jewelry, but we are the best for cigarettes, nurses uniforms, and telephone calling cards!

I'm rounding out the afternoon with a couple of chili dogs and a few quality hours of Comedy Central. If I can't fill the void in my soul with glass hummingbird statues and fiber-optic paintings of the Tappan Zee bridge, then I'll sure as hell feed it with a hot dog smothered in chili straight from the can.

The past couple of days have been strange; both good and bad, and sneezy to boot. I was "sick" on Thursday to attend Kai's graduation, and then sick on Friday because of seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies, fellas. That's right, take a number.

Kai's pinning ceremony was surprisingly great. I only say surprisingly because graduations tend to be about as interesting as four hours of reading the phonebook. The only things keeping me awake during my graduation were the awkwardness of sitting next to an ex-friend and thread of walking accross the stage with drool stains on my dress. Well, those, and the fire alarm that went off halfway through the "M"s. Every graduation I've been to has been about that boring, so I wasn't expecting much from Kai's ceremony. I was just hoping I'd stay awake through the speeches to do all of the necessary polite clapping. At least at my own graduation I could suffer through the rest of the alphabet writing myself into my own teen movie--watching every boy I had a crush on cross stage in what might be the very. Last. Time. I'd ever see him. Sniff. Ever.

Kai's pinning ceremony was contrary to all of my expectations. Unlike my graduation, there were no hour long musings on apartheid, no presentation of honorary degrees. There were just two quick and heartfelt speeches, the wonderfully painful vocal stylings of a graduating student, the presentation of pins, and the recitation of the "nurses pledge" before we were on our way to the party. One of Kai's classmates was hosting a dinner for some of the nursing graduates and their families.

I can only assume it's a tendency of the nursing profession to attract friendly, compassionate and genuinely nice people, but Kai's classmates were exceptionally so. All of the nurses Kai introduced me to (as well as their spouses) were some of the best people I've met since I've been living back at home. I had a great time with all of them, and I'm glad to know that they're the kind of people doing the job that they'll be doing; I'm thankful that if I'm ever in the position to be pooping in a bedpan, the people taking care of me probably won't be thinking any less of me.

Clorox's wet dream
Clorox's wet dream.

Nurse in Wonderland
Nurse in Wonderland. I forgot to change the setting on my camera, so let's just say this is from my Blue Period.

Now smile!  Smile!  Look pretty, this is for your AUNT!
Classic family function.

Graduations are kind of heartbreaking, even when they're not mine. Seeing all the weepy speeches and semi-inebriated declarations of everlasting friendship reminded me once again that, yes, it's been an entire year since I graduated from college. A whole year. Though I can't say this year's been as exciting as any of the twenty-one before it, at least it'll make for a good place to put a commercial break in my episode of Before They Were Stars.

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