...I had to go to one tonight. Another one.
It was for San Dimas High School and if I hadn't been here tonight, well, I would've been here anyway.
Elizabeth went to San Dimas High for one year before we moved her to Texas. And she vowed early on that she would attend the graduation, no matter what, of her friends... the kids she grew up with. So, if we had never moved to Texas... I would've been here tonight. But since we moved to Texas... well, we were here tonight. Watching the kids that I watched grow up, graduate. Even though we did move to Texas... and Liz couldn't graduate with these kiddos, she got to be here tonight to see what she would've missed.
Now, with that said... I think I'm all graduationed out. Done. Kaput.
But I have to share one little thing. One little faux pas. No, a big one actually.
You see, Liz and I did not have tickets to this graduation. But Liz swore up and down to me that she could get them. And in California, you must have a ticket to attend a graduation. Texas you do not, but in CA, you do. And we didn't. But Liz was SURE she could get us one. Or two.
I stood in line and Liz went a-visiting all of her old classmates... to schmooze a ticket out of someone. Anyone. And while in line, I devised my own schemes to get us in.
I decided to pretend that my tickets were being left at the front gate. Will call. And the closer I got to the front gate, the more I racked my brain for a name of WHO might've left my ticket... just in case the head ticket taker should ask.
I thought and I thought and suddenly a name popped into my head. Ray Hoyt. I would use his name and say that he was leaving me two tickets. Ray was the PTA president when Elizabeth was in middle school. But surely no one would know him now... or, if they did, they would realize his importance and just open the front gates wide open to Elizabeth and me. Uh huh, they would. Because the name 'Ray Hoyt' mean't that I had clought. I mean, I knew Ray Hoyt. People should bow to me.
Things did not go quite as planned, however.
When the line I was in reached the front gate and I told my sad tale to the ticket taker lady... she said, "No, there are no tickets here. Who was leaving them for you?"
"Ray Hoyt." And I waited for the gates to magically open right up for anyone saying that magical name.
They didn't. Instead, the ticket taker lady said, "Oh, Ray? He's right over there." And she turned and called to him. "Ray? Oh, Ray? There's someone here for you."
And I began turning fifteen shades of red. I haven't seen Ray in three years... and he certainly didn't have any tickets for me. And since we went to church together, I didn't really want him to know that I had lied... and used his name in vain. Plus he had been my dentist. He could probably make my teeth fall out.
But fate was on my side. When I saw Ray turn and begin to come towards the ticket table... I smiled, waved and gushed. "Ray!!! Ray!!! It's SO good to see you!" And I yanked him as fast as I could away from that ticket booth and over to an area where I could quickly change the subject.
Fate was nice to me tonight... and I have no idea why. And while I had a hold of Ray, Elizabeth was busy conniving two tickets from a boy that used to have a crush on her. Good ol' Matt.
Ten minutes later, Liz and I entered that graduation field, legally. With tickets. And the ticket lady smiled, knowing that although Ray hadn't left two tickets at the gate... well, that we had met up with him and gotten the tickets personally. I was happy she thought that. And I was happy that she let us in.
After all, we knew Ray Hoyt.
And I'm glad I didn't know that he was now the PTA president for the high school. And his daughter was the valedictorian. And everyone knew him.
But only I used his name in vain. And got to keep my teeth.