Commencement… of Insanity…

Or: How to ensure your graduation event is chaotic in 101 easy steps.

  1. Decide on a date.
  2. Choose your announcement provider.  I recommend WestWillow at  She’s AMAZING.  We’ve used her for two out of four girls and I’m probably never use anyone else again.
  3. Tell her the basic information with the wrong date.
  4. Send the correct date in a separate email
  5. Change your mind a few times.
  6. Take so long that you have to have another date because the woman can’t possible get your order to you in time.
  7. Finally approve your order after it’s been siting in your Etsy convo box for days.
  8. Pay for rush shipping.
  9. Wait impatiently for them to arrive.
  10. Assure your daughter, once a day, that they’ll get here.  Twice if necessary.  It will be necessary.
  11. Forget that your Christmas Card List (a.k.a. Graduation announcement list) is on the old laptop and spend hours figuring out which folder you stashed it in.  It’s best to do this while you’re trying to finish editing your next book release.  The added tension provides for a better scene.
  12. Notice when the announcements arrived, that you didn’t catch the wrong date on them when you approved them.
  13. Go shopping for white pens to make the five into an eight.
  14. Praise the Lord that it was those two numbers instead of a one and an eight.
  15. Correct every single one of the announcements for all of your friends and extended family.
  16. Correct each one again when the white fades and you can still read the five more clearly than the alterations into an eight.
  17. Do it a third time hoping it’ll be a charmer.
  18. Slap pictures onto each one.
  19. Print up the slips for inside giving party details.  (We choose not to put that info in for friends and family who  live so far away that it’s just salt in the wound of not getting to come.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we like a short announcement.  Nothing at all.)
  20. Address to all the local people.
  21. Hand deliver them because there is now less than two weeks until the party.
  22. Ignore that it’s really  more like “just over a week until the party.”
  23. Stare at the pile of “to be mailed” invitations.
  24. Assure your daughter that the house will be clean for the party but you’re not scrubbing under baseboards until the day before or the day of.  It’ll just get dirty again.
  25. Forget that your asthma is a killer and won’t let you clean like you used to.
  26. The Monday before the party, assure your daughter that she won’t be left without food or refreshment for her friends.
  27. The Tuesday before the party, assure your daughter that her friends won’t be sitting on a pile of laundry.
  28. The Wednesday before the party, assure your daughter that people will come.
  29. The Thursday before the party, decide to do something insanely crazy like plan a Stampin’ Workshop.
  30. The Friday before the party, wake up and discover that your husband has scrubbed the kitchen, hallway, and living room within an inch of its life.
  31. Thank the Lord for your husband.  It is best if you repeat this often.
  32. Go shopping.  It is best if you despise shopping.  It makes things so much more interesting.
  33. Forget that your daughter likes Dr. Pepper and don’t buy any.
  34. Send your other daughter after it.  Make sure to remember a few other things you “need.”
  35. Buy way too many plates.
  36. Save your receipts.
  37. Forget where you saved your receipts.
  38. Watch your husband clean up your sons’ closets and out of pity, pay your daughter to clean your room.
  39. Buck up and head to the grocery store.
  40. Remember your wedding reception fiasco and buy more food than a wedding needs.
  41. Forget a cake.
  42. Wake up Saturday morning to a shining bathroom.
  43. Thank the Lord for an amazing husband.
  44. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
  45. Wait until an hour and a half before the party starts, and begin making the tortilla rollups.
  46. Stab yourself under your fingernails with toothpicks.
  47. Repeat at intermittent times.  It is best if you avoid dripping blood on the food.  Just sayin’.
  48. Chop up fruit and skewer for a *lovely* fruit bouquet.
  49. Chop up fruit for eating.
  50. Arrange the table.
  51. Ten minutes before your open house is to open, decide to clean up your mess in the kitchen.
  52. Get dressed @ t-2.
  53. At time, carry laptop to the bedroom and pat it with affection.  You’ll be back!!
  54. Wait for first guests.
  55. Assure daughter that people are coming, but since it’s an open house, no one is going to arrive on the dot.
  56. Greet first guests.
  57. Laugh.  Prepare to do this a lot.
  58. Stay hydrated from all the laughter.
  59. Move chairs around for better conversational seating.
  60. Laugh.
  61. Enjoy fellowship.
  62. Eat.
  63. Laugh.
  64. Eat.
  65. Drink.
  66. Be Merry.
  67. Eat.
  68. Laugh.
  69. Say goodbye
  70. Say hello
  71. Laugh
  72. Eat.
  73. Did I mention eat?
  74. Collapse in chair in utter exhaustion when the last person leaves.
  75. Grab more comfy clothes and change.
  76. Eye your bedroom door warily.
  77. Announce that it is every man, woman, and child for themselves for dinner.
  78. Turn on the wind turbine in your room that you graciously and affectionately call a “fan” and take a nap.
  79. Wake up exhausted.
  80. Look around at everything that needs to be cleaned.
  81. Collapse in your chair with the laptop and ignore the mess.
  82. Watch your kids clean up.
  83. Thank the Lord for kids.
  84. Thank the Lord for husbands who are worth far more than… emeralds?  Without them, those kids wouldn’t be cleaning up.
  85. Consider that without the husband you wouldn’t need to clean up the mess in the first place– no kids= no graduate!
  86. Forgive the husband for existing.
  87. Pray you are less exhausted the next day.  You know, Mother’s Day?
  88. Wonder what genius thought it was good to have a graduation open house the day before Mother’s Day.
  89. Realize it was you and thank the Lord you didn’t ask aloud.
  90. Drink.  There’s lots of Coke left.  You made sure of that.  You are smarter than you thought.
  91. Sense a nagging feeling that something is undone.
  92. Ignore said nagging feeling.
  93. Work on your novel until late into the night.
  94. Forget that there is a new Dr. Who episode you could be watching.
  95. Kick yourself in the morning when your third child wishes you a Happy Mother’s Day and asks if you saw it.
  96. Get that nagging feeling again.
  97. Ignore said nagging feeling.  Again.
  98. Enjoy a day of chocolate, the first flowers your husband has ever bought you (gorgeous!!!) and a steak dinner in utter blissful ignorance of the doom awaiting you.
  99. Go to bed with a nagging feeling.
  100. Wake up with said nagging feeling.
  101. See the stack of unaddressed/unsent announcements and realize that your “event” isn’t over until the postal woman hauls them off to destinations… known.

I chose not to include the stack of unaddressed cards as my Fifth Amendment plea.