Friday, 20 March 2009


Hey guys, come in. Long time no see, I know, my apologies: but this relationship is a two way thing you know. Your comments get my posts. Ah, maybe that's just me trying to justify my absence, which has been rather long this time. In fact, it's been about 10 weeks long, the entire academic term of my university.

That's right, I study in a university in Britain (a fact I had tried to conceal initially, but I was just too proud to let go of British spellings in favour of American ones, even for the sake of my cover. Besides, who cares that much? Wow, those were long go back and read the sentence again whilst excluding the brackets so it makes sense!) and am going to graduate this year, all being well, with a decent grade.

I would like to turn up to my own graduation ceremony, it's one of those things in life. Perhaps contrary to popular American belief, in every day life the modern British populace do not go around in black gowns and tasseled hats whilst clutching scrolls, meandering cobbled London streets on a chilly eventide, tipping hats to damsels who pass us by. Which is in my opinion, frankly, a shame, as it would be absolutely brilliant to do all those things.

Ah, I can imagine myself now, meandering those London streets, preferably with a cane in hand, a fashion statement in my youth but a useful tool in my old age - a tool for tripping up boisterous children with, that is.

Anyhow, enough of that daydreaming. I graduate. And I have a dilemma.

Seeing as how this is a significant event, I would like my girlfriend to be there. But I'd like my parents to be there too. That is, my non-Jewish atheist girlfriend and my Orthodox Jewish parents. See where this is going? Good.

I've been dating my girlfriend for a year and am still even more madly in love with her than when we started. It really would mean a lot to me for her to be there. But I don't want sparks to fly either...I have a few options, some of which aren't options:

(1) Not invite my girlfriend and (2) Not invite my parents
I have clumped these first two options together as they are both equally insensitive and a rather inane "solution" to the problem. Not inviting either of the parties is out of the question.

3) Invite my girlfriend for after the ceremony
The ceremony itself will be rather long and tedious. I'll be on stage for all of 20 seconds as I shake the hand of someone who is supposed to be important, whilst they hand over my degree [that I've paid for through my own blood, sweat and toil]. Really, there's no reason she should be subjected to that tedium when she can see me after the ceremony at my university still in robes and all.

4) Invite my parents for after the ceremony.
Not really an option for all sorts of reasons, primarily because they're my parents and really ought to be there. They educated me and helped me get into university in the first place, so really ought to be there.

5) Invite both, but give them separate seating.
This is the best solution I've been able to come up with so far. Giving them separate seating would solve a lot of issues, but it still presents others. Who do I hug first? Do I hug my girlfriend in front of my parents? Should they be given room to chat and size each other up? Will my parents even come if they knew my girlfriend would be there?

A lot of those issues can be pre-empted simply by telling my parents that my girlfriend will be there, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when I do hug her, etc.

Plus, this wouldn't really be an official meeting of the parents, as the sole purpose of the meeting isn't to meet: it's to be there for me. It just so happens someone in addition to my parents cares about me (a fact for which I am very happy) and has turned up to this event in my life. But then again, as there will be meetage at some point: it is completely unrealistic to keep them apart the whole time, the idea is just to ensure they're not alone together, hence the separate seating idea for the ceremony.

What do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

there seem to be a lot of "what ifs" in this post. i don't think any advice can really be offered until you know how your parents feel about the situation... so i think the best option would be to test the waters by telling them that you want your gf at the ceremony too. it's only from there that you'll know whether you'd need to have seperate seating or whether cordial relations could be maintained for a day.

Gordon said...

There was a wondeful set of British comedies by Richard Gordon called Doctor in the House. These appeared in a variety of formats: books, films, television, etc.. A vignette from one of the books comes to mind. In the middle of the night an inebriated med student confids in a peer that he'd just proposed marriage to a nurse, his dilemma being how to extract himself from this situation. His friend suggests that he immediately propose to each nurse in the building.

Invite lots of friends.

Anonymous said...


Someday when mom and dad are gone and there is no-one left of their generation, you will be the old, wise adult and if your relationship with your lover is 1/10 as good as you describe, it is better than the relationships which have had to compromise so the parents would not need to realize that their son was now his own man.

Every compromise you make to the old people at the expense of you and your love takes its tole on your love's well being.

Invite your lover to graduation. Tell the old folks exactly how it is with the two of you and if they want to be there, it is optionally up to them. Make it clear that you plan on being together after they pass on to the next plane of existence and you are not going to sacrifice your shared happiness.

I wish I had had someone give me this advice. I would have had a happier existence had I not opted for making old fools happy at my expense. Life to too short.

Be happy and live your life for you and your love, because no one else will.


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