Well, it has been 3 months now since Stubble graduated from High School – and the monetary crassness of the entire experience of Senior Year still rankles so I guess I need to tell you all about it.
It begins with the class ring. Back in my day, we got a gold ring with the school name and our initials on it and our only choice was what color piece of glass you wanted in it. Ah, but these days you need your choice of metal, your choice of stones, your choice of symbols that tell the entire world that you played basketball or volleyball or marched in the band. By the time the choices are made (online by the student in question) the ring costs upwards of $600.
“Mom! Can I have your credit card?”
Once the ring is here it is time for Senior Portraits. One for the yearbook – because the school demands one “official” pose and background. But why compromise the entire year for your Senior by not allowing a full 2 hour photo session during which they get unlimited costume changes as they express their “unique personality”. There goes anywhere from $1200 to $2000 or more by the time that you have chosen your prints. And once those “special pictures” have been taken there is the special yearbook “individual page” that presents a montage of photos that your student wants his friends to remember him with. Another hand held out to collect your money– this time $250. And the yearbook is such a bargain at nearly $100 in the first place.
Then there are the graduation “supplies” to be ordered. The cap and gown (“would you like the deluxe souvenir tassel with that?”) and the announcements with their inserts and name cards and the deluxe gold lined envelopes – all of them coming a la carte. We could also get commemorative graduation picture frames, book covers, sweatshirts, and an entire collection of everything we need for the graduation party from invitations and decorations to thank you notes.
This is a racket.
Now comes Prom and the local tour ships, banquet halls, and any attraction that can claim to make Prom Night “special” get to take their cut. Stubble’s Prom was on a cruise ship. The year before it was on an observation deck overlooking a local ball park….and then there is the limo, the dinner, the tux, the flowers in addition to the prom tickets….
OK, that is all over now, all classes have been passed and it is time for the Big Night. But there is one more hand reaching out for your hard earned cash – the local florists for whom prom didn’t make enough profit. Your graduate will be heartbroken if you do not present him or her with one or more leis to let them know how proud you are of them. “Would you like yellow or white?” And when you pick up your diploma following the ceremony? Inside is an order form so that you can have your diploma mounted on wood, or professionally framed. “Would you like the deluxe package? Your Senior will want a permanent memento of his High School Journey.”
All I can say is, thank GOODNESS that the college doesn’t do a yearbook!