The No Cry Zone

My daughter graduates from college this week, and I’m trying to figure out how I am going to keep from crying at the ceremony.

I’m not quick to cry. I prefer the more dangerous route of expressing my emotions through rage. However, there’s something about “Pomp and Circumstance” that drives me to my emotional knees. I have no idea why.

At my son’s high school graduation, I thought I would be fine. I sat in my little fold down chair looking around the convention center, chatting with friends, and having a pretty good time. My son never really liked school (that’s putting it nicely) and probably should have gotten his diploma from McDonalds since he informed me (after graduating) that he spent more time there than in class.

I was happy for him and happy for us. Then the band began playing “Pomp and Circumstance” and I lost control. I could see my sister elbowing my brother-in-law who elbowed their daughter who elbowed their son. They weren’t used to seeing me get emotional, and I was sucking in air like a donkey right before a really good bray.

So, how will I avoid the tears when my youngest gets her send-off into the world? Here are some things I thought I could do to keep the tears away:

  • Count the number of hot flashes I have and rate them on a scale of one to ten.
  • Add up the amount of money I’ve spent and the amount I will now save every month.
  • Tear my program into small strips and fold them into footballs that I can shoot at the mothers who appear to weigh less than 120 lbs.
  • Twirl my wedding ring around hoping that the motion will erase the indention in my finger caused by fluid retention.
  • Pull my shoulder blades together for five seconds and hold. Repeat 30x. Set off the next hot flash and record.
  • Try to remember what I was just trying to remember a few minutes ago.
  • Act as if I am a medium and try to send the message “scratch the back of your head” to the person sitting in front of me and see if it happens.
  • Start to laugh inappropriately like Mary Tyler Moore in the “Chuckles the Clown” episode.

Or, I guess I could just be proud and happy. Who knows? Menopause will probably decide my mood for me.

For now, I’m planning to be a Grand Dame on a grand day. Many of you have gone through this – any suggestions?