I Survived the Ceremony!
Yes, I did. Actually, there were some good, if not great, parts to it. One that was really great! *grins* I suppose the only “not so great” part, was that, rather surprisingly, transit got me there a half hour early! Is there such a thing as “Fashionably Early?” I think not! So, I paced back and forth on the sidewalk, had a cigarette, tried to have another, but then tossed it away! I am NOT a chain smoker! I NEVER have been! Blech.
Okay, arriving 15 minutes ahead isn’t so bad? Of course, no one else was there. I met the President and the Executive Director who I had been emailing for a fair bit. They had those cheesy “Hello My Name Is” stickers, but I told them I’d rather not affix one to my shirt, lest it not come off. This may have been true due to the fabric. I can’t stand those stickers.
There were no formal place cards on the tables, so I just stood around like an idiot not knowing where to sit. I was parched (left over side effect from the Lamictal/Lamotrigine titration?) I lost all patience, and finally took a chair at one. I reached for the pitcher of ice water and a glass in the middle of it. Ahhhh…much better.
Eventually a trickle of people wandered through the door in groups. I wondered who the hell would end up sitting with me alone at my damn table! Finally, a nice couple did who drove in from out of town. Their daughter lived here, so she was to meet them separately. We chatted and they were really nice!
The woman told me I was I was so brave in coming by myself, as she never could have done it. I just laughed and told her it took me two Valium to achieve the accomplishment! Then I showed them my Medic-Alert Bracelet, and made my typical joke about them having expert engravers to write all of my comorbidities on it. Oh, what was the big deal! We were in a room full of people with crazy, messed up, heads! It just so happened that they all shared this one form of craziness in common.
Let the show begin! Let the photo shoot begin! Wow, I thought I might look like an Aspie before? I’m quite sure I will, now. Not just because of my facial expression, but there were multiple cameras! I didn’t know whose shutter was going off and when. So there’s some true Aspie shots! Looking like I can’t even make eye contact with the lens at all! *laughing*
As I also suspected, the President stood in for my “Family Shot.” Although, the nice couple offered to be my “Surrogate Family.” So sweet. It didn’t end there, though. How many group shots did they do? Three? Four?
The President read a portion of my essay (along with a couple of others) that were representative of the overall theme of what they had received. I didn’t bat an eyelash. Why on earth would I??? Then, he read an entire one by this young girl who made quite the fuss about it. Well, really, they all were a bunch of young kids (except the daughter of the couple beside me–she seemed older and was very intelligent and mature.)
Now, okay. I’m not sure if this is an “Only PA!” moment or not. While there, I met a man affiliated with the organization, and I jumped on him, cornered him, sat beside him and talked his ear off! He is the Director of this particular “head malady” at one of my alma maters, and even though Professor Emeritus in Pharmacology, he still teaches. WHEE!!! He gave me his card and told me to email him. I’m going to ask him for his lecture schedules and sneak in, even though I’m not a student. I’ll try to refrain from speaking up in his classes. *smirks*
Another great moment as I left. I thanked the Executive Director again, as she was walking to her car. She told me that she was sorry that she couldn’t have given me more money (I didn’t receive the full amount of the scholarship for which I had applied.) She said she had been fighting for it right up until the day before the ceremony. I was stunned. I just said, it was alright. I was already so happy to receive what I had already been given. But on a parting note, she said that the President was blown away by my essay. At that point, I definitely didn’t know what else to say. Only another, “Thank you.”
So, off I drifted into the night for the transit ride home. I was thoroughly exhausted. Once back, “boom” went the skirt and heels, and then came a new pair of comfy pyjamas!