Graduation. Consciously, I felt a desire to get the day over with, particularly the ceremony, because my mother and grandmother were in attendance and I was only going through it for their benefit.
Beneath that, a sense that 4 1/2 years hadn't really gone by and I wasn't done yet. I mean, I hadn't gotten out of it what I was rumored to get. It hadn't been a transformative experience. Not that it had been a waste of time, but the good parts, learning about myself and learning what interested me, had been sparse. I'd listened to a lot of heavy metal, played a lot of Gauntlet, gotten drunk, gotten laid, learned some interesting things about Renaissance architecture, and now was about to be spit out into the world. The rest seemed kind of pointless.
But most of the people I'd known in college had gone, so there wasn't much point staying around.
Being away from my mother was the transformative part. Finding out, almost immediately, that she'd never told me anything about the world.
They gave me shit about the clothes I wore that day, my grandmother more than my mother. I was disappointed by this since my grandmother was the more rational one, but she had a thing about looking proper. Surely everyone in the stands of the stadium was watching for me and my sneakers. The jeans and the Iron Maiden t-shirt were invisible under the gown.
Your parents really aren't supposed to scream at you on your graduation day, but my mother did. I wasn't surprised. Partly it was the clothes and partly it was that my father said he was going to try to show up, and didn't. I wasn't surprised at this, either. That pissed her off, the fact that I wasn't concerned. Or so it seemed, but I was the one getting yelled at, whatever she was thinking. Knowing the occasion would involve some sort of argument was why I dreaded it.
I might have enjoyed graduation, if it had really been mine. Maybe I'd have gotten together with friends and planned something bizarre and disruptive. But since graduation was an event where parents attended, my mother sort of absconded it and I had to follow orders.