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Time flies, so make it memorable

I couldn’t get my tie tied.

Any story about my high school graduation has to start there, with me standing in front of a mirror, in an empty house, blue and gold striped tie in hand, desperately trying to figure out the correct steps in a double Windsor.

After attending two graduations in the last couple weeks and reading about two more, I have been thinking about that night in May 2010 quite a bit. It is hard to believe that seven years have passed since I walked across that stage. Time really does fly, but before we get too far into the weeds, let’s go back in time.

My family, a contingent of parents, sister, aunts, cousins and grandparents, had already left and headed to the high school in hope of securing good parking and good seats.

That left me in the house alone getting ready. I was already nervous for a few reasons. One, I would be giving a speech that evening as the class Salutatorian. Two, I had injured my right big toe early in the week, and that evening would be the first time I had worn a closed toe shoe since (futons are evil, don’t let anyone tell you different.)

I had been doing well until I got to that dastardly tie though. To this day, I typically have to tie my ties at least twice, because I never get the length right the first time. That evening, it was time after time of trying to get it right. All the time, my tie is getting more wrinkled, the minutes are ticking off the clock and OH NO I’M GOING TO BE LATE!

I finally get it tied, grab my cap and gown and race for the door.

Then, once I make it to graduation, thankfully in time, I realize that the time wasted on the tie has cost me. For in my hurry to depart, I had left my tassel behind. It seems like a small thing, but c’mon you can’t REALLY graduate without a tassel.

Thankfully a friend of mine had bought an extra tassel that she had hanging on her car mirror. Crisis two of the evening averted!

Then it was time for the ceremony. More than 300 graduates decked out in our royal blue caps and gowns ready to leave Brunswick High School (Go Pirates) behind and move on to the next phase of out lives. It had been a hectic evening up until that point, but it didn’t matter. My tie was tied, my foot didn’t hurt, I had a borrowed tassel attached to my cap and my speech made my Dad cry. I’ll take that as a successful graduation.

Time really does fly and all these years later, I wouldn’t change anything about that night. The chaos and near disasters help me to remember how it all went down, and afterward I celebrated with friends around a bonfire.

So class of 2017, congratulations. I hope your evening was crazy, fun and memorable.

Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at brandon.oconnor@vicksburgpost.com.