Robe Envy

There had to be 1,500 robes walking solemnly into the ceremony. The arena was hushed as parents, relatives and friends watched the procession.   Occasionally a camera flash pierced the silence.   One by one, the robes took their place and the ceremony began.   This would be one of five such ceremonies over two days.   Yikes; that's a lot of robes.

My niece was in one of those robes. It was her college commencement.   Hard to believe she's old enough to graduate from college, and with a degree that is way more difficult than mine.   I could tell from the dangling cords decorating her robe that she was a member of an honor society.   Something I never achieved during my collegiate years.

With six nieces and nephews, Hubby and I will be attending many commencement ceremonies over the next 15 years. That's a lot of robes; many heartfelt commencement speeches by dignitaries; a lot of listening to pomp and circumstance . Wonder if we could get Aerosmith to play at one of these things? Sure would be different.

I loved watching the doctorate candidates, followed by masters and then bachelors, each in a robe.   It was then that I discovered I have robe-envy.   Sure, I have the masters and bachelors robes.   But I want the fancy robe, the one with the velvet trim and colored hood that comes with obtaining a PHD.   Since I have no aspirations to become a professor, the degree would have little significance for my career and wouldn't lead to more money.   I just want to say I achieved the feat.   It would be fun to have my friends call me doctor .   And the robe itself is beyond coolness.

Honestly, I just want the recognition that comes with working hard to achieve a goal.   And to hear someone cheering for me.   That's not too much to ask, is it?   Hubby says I should go for the robe and the PHD that goes with it, if I want to.   Still contemplating the idea of going back to school.   It's been a while since I wrote an academic paper.   The idea of research makes me a bit nauseous.   Of course I guess it might be easier nowadays, with the Internet. No more nights at the library trying to figure out the Dewy Decimal System simply to get a book that turned out to be less than good.   I ™m still mad at that Dewy guy.  And all that reading!   If it's not a romance novel or People magazine, I ™m not too interested any more.

Still, the lure of the robe is tempting. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with achieving a goal. And the recognition from others that I did it.   I made it. My hard work paid off.   Recognition like this is rarely seen once you enter the work force.  If you ™ve ever been laid off, you know that getting recognition for your work “ no matter how small “ is really valued. And missed when you're without a job.

So yes, I ™m considering the possibility “ however remote “ of attempting to get the fancy robe.

In the meantime, I ™ll have to settle for the recognition that comes with working hard and that my years of experience are valuable.   I may bling-out my bathrobe until I can get the fancy robe.   Go ahead and be jealous. Robe-envy is hard to shake.


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