How My Best Friend's Ex-Boyfriend Ruined My Graduation
Before I go into the depths of the suckiest graduation ever, let me preface by saying I was already on edge when the day came.
Graduation is stressful, people! Sure, overall, the worst is behind you, but the actual day, itself, isn't all roses and unicorns. It was at least 80 degrees outside, and I was already feeling totally insecure about my appearance. A mixture of sweat and black eyeliner was running down my face (not from crying) before I even sat down with the other soon-to-be-grads. My hair, a frizzy, haphazard mess, swooped beside me, as my head spun in a million different directions.
I was stressing out about my guests. Would they know where to sit? Did they have good seats? Would my dad embarrass me when I walked down to get my diploma? Where were we eating after? Would nighttime be fun? Would I ever again see the guy I was casually dating? The simplest things sent me into a spiral (though I must say, not much has changed all these years later).
(Lizzie McGuire via Disney Channel)
I guess the one thing keeping me somewhat sane was knowing that I'd have my best friend Natalie* by my side that night. She sat next to me at the ceremony, and I was looking forward to hanging out with her afterward. While I was excited to have some of my other close friends with us from other schools, there's something about the person who has known you best throughout these last four formative years.
After the big ceremony, I was still a frazzled mess. Natalie went off to do her thing with her parents, and I was on edge while my family and other guests made our way to eat. Natalie and I agreed to reconvene later that night to party-hop and hopefully have proper farewells with all the crazy characters who graced our lives over the past four years. We agreed to meet at 7 p.m., but at 6:45, she texted to tell me her obnoxious ex-boyfriend Jonathan* was at her place, wanting to have a farewell heart-to-heart.
(Atypical via Netflix)
I'm not one to judge people seeing their exes, and I get that graduation is a sentimental time—fine. But this was no ordinary ex. When someone's behavior affects my life, that's when I harbor resentment. All throughout the last four years, his presence sabotaged some potentially super fun hangouts between Natalie and me. He was super controlling and manipulative, and highly, highly narcissistic. And, quite frankly, he wasn't even cool! He was cheesy and totally self-serving. I tried to be accepting, and sometimes we did get along (we were kind of friends-ish at some points), but this was my grad night and I wasn't about to let him have control of it.
I wrote back to Natalie's text and asked when she'd be ready. She said "soon" and left it at that. Meanwhile, I had my guests with me and I was trying to plan our night. It was a lot of angst-y standing around and waiting. I was super frustrated. Yes, I could go out without Natalie, but I felt more comfortable having her by my side.
(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)
Finally, after many follow-up texts, she replied to me at 8 and said she'd meet me at my place at 9. I was livid. I didn't feel cute and I was so annoyed by this. Our other best friend had plans with her family all night and wasn't going to go out with us. By the time 9 o'clock rolled around, I was kind of over it. I was physically and emotionally exhausted from a long day, I hated my outfit and I was frustrated with the situation. But, alas, I knew if I didn't go out I'd regret it, so once Natalie arrived, she, me and my two guests went to someone's party.
It was then that I excitedly accepted that I was officially a graduate and that I was very deserving of a celebration. I decided to let go of my Jonathan angst and make the most of the rest of this night—that is until he swooped into the picture yet again!
As if his lengthy farewell earlier wasn't enough, he showed up, unannounced (to me at least), and told Natalie that he wanted to have one final night with her and his group of friends from freshman year. I looked at her with such passionate distaste. "You've got to be kidding me!" I said. But of course, following suit with the last four years, he somehow coaxed her into ditching her own priorities and granting his wish. I was livid.
(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)
She gave me this look as if she had no choice and was being forced to go with him. "This is our night," I said. It didn't matter. She clearly made up her mind. "You can come if you want," she said, with a voice of hesitation. "No, I'm over it," I said. By that point, I was beyond over it. Sure, I could have stayed at the party with my two guests, but they didn't know anyone there and I was in a horrible mood. We ended up going back to my place and mocked Jonathan and Natalie the rest of the night.
Looking back, my graduation was definitely not a highlight, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's just another day. Having my diploma is what stands out, and having the experience from the past four years. Graduation day is tiring and stressful. I'm happy to be done with school, and equally happy to say I no longer communicate with Jonathan or Natalie (who endured a failed engagement shortly after graduation). Good riddance!
*Name has been changed to respect privacy.
Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect on grad day, HERE are 10 major changes you'll experience once you leave high school!