Thursday . May 22 . 2003 . 11:45am
So that was anticlimactic. I mean, after the wedding and the honeymoon and all that, this just seemed like an afterthought. It was kind of fun to get dressed up in the robes and hoods and velvety tasseled caps, but it also felt a little silly. I looked like Magellan or something.
The graduation ceremony had kind of a county fair feel to it, between rain, the hastily constructed leaky tent, and the Dean's absent-mindedness. ("Oh, stand here? Say this now? OK. Now, congratulations, and godspeed! The reception is in the...oh wait, I forgot to give out the diplomas.") The valley between two of the tents was actually positioned directly over the podium, and as the rain continued, a reservoir of several gallons of water collected in this area, springing several small leaks as the straining tarp bowed down. I kept waiting for the ultimate Carrie-at-the-Prom moment, but it never happened.
After the ceremony, Joe and I went out for dinner with both sets of parents to Smith and Wollensky's, a famous steakhouse in the midtown area. (True to reputation, it was filled with big old former-fraternity-brother-but-now-I-work- in-the-Financial-District-and-sometimes-smoke-cigars-type men. Looks like a great place to have a bachelor party if you have a lot of money to spend.) It was the first time that our parents had seen each other since the wedding, so they were full of stories, sharing photos, laughing it up. My dad had brought some champagne and wine along, and as the bread came, we all toasted "the new doctors." (Well, they toasted. We made our "aw shucks" faces.)
Later on in the meal, over the main course, the waiter brought over another bottle of wine. My dad was confused, as, being lightweights, we hadn't ordered any more wine. But the waiter pointed at the empty table behind us, the occupant of which had just left, and informed us that this random stranger had just sent over the bottle as a gift to the table. He'd also sent over a handwritten note for me and Joe, scrawled on the back of the waiter's pad. It read:
Respect your parents
Honor your parents
Ignore your parents
Live your lives together.
New Yorkers blow me away sometimes.
Michelle Au, M.D. (the first time I've written it!)