I’m six days away from graduation, and feeling hot. The weather, always mercurial in Pittsburgh, has blessed us with steamy nights and cloudy days. My graduation weekend hassomething like a 40% likelihood of rain. Thank you rust-belt.
I am not really graduating. Because of my 5th Year Scholarship, I will be receiving my degree in May 2012. But all of my friends are leaving this year, and I will walk with them.
I’ve gone through some of the early rituals–buying my robes, arranging for my tassels and stoles and shoes, coagulating my schedule–but the full impact of my coming loss is only touching me lightly. This coming weekend will be a dry-run into a big world of full-time, employed, adult life.
What hurts the most is losing daily contact with women who know me well enough to laugh at my jokes, don’t treat me as unattractively peculiar, and smack me out of beweeping my outcast state. After this weekend, I will be much more responsible for watching my own diet and moods and schedule.
Living with my 5 housemates has sort of been like having 5 wives, in a wonderfully ironic way. We each pick-up after each other, care for each other through blue days, make sympathy food and do empathy dishes. Though conscious effort, we are all mostly kind to each other, and generous with our forgivenesses.
I chose CMU in small part because I could not imagine spending my time surrounded by women, as I would have been at Smith. The scheming, screaming, grinding drama which I experienced in my three-day visit to Smith four years ago was simply not to my taste. Nor did I relish the idea of being stranded in a precocious northeastern town with no Amtrak and few good Indian restaurants.
Of course, in fleeing a world of relationship theater to CMU’s geeky calm, I now find myself living in a house of female Drama majors. Who I will have to see walk this weekend, into unsettling and unsettled futures. We have spent a few late nights imagining our futures: they are chewy and troubling and writhingly exiting.
I am glad I get a dress-rehearsal of a graduation; I am grateful for the fine women who’ve gifted me with their friendship.
I just wish they didn’t have to go.
“I prefer the word homemaker, because housewife always implies that there may be a wife someplace else.”–Bella Abzug