A time and place for everything

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2006

Graduation arrives this week for our county’s four high schools. It is one of the major milestones in most people’s lives, and it should be treated as such.

I just hope all those who attend these functions realize that.

I have been to graduations in the past (I won’t name any particular school’s name) where I have been sorely disappointed in the behavior of some of the spectators.

There is, for example, a time and place to chat on your cell phone. The middle of graduation exercises isn’t one. Turn that phone off, set it to vibrate, leave it at home or in the car. Enough said.

As for carrying on a conversation with someone sitting near you throughout the entire event – blabbing through the prayer, chattering through the speeches, talking so loud those near and dear to the graduates can’t even hear &uot;their&uot; senior’s names being called out – my dears, it is simply rude, crude and socially unacceptable. It’s downright disrespectful.

Applaud your special grad, give them a little shout-out if you will, but don’t trample on the opportunity for others to celebrate their kith and kin.

I have also seen all manner of dress at graduation events. Now, I am not one who thinks you must necessarily don your best suit, gentlemen. Ladies, you don’t have to bring out the hat and gloves, girdle and hosiery along with your frilliest frock for such an occasion (nothing wrong if you choose to do so).

But there’s no reason not to wear clean, decent-looking clothes. Think khaki pants and a polo shirt, if you will, or a nice little sundress.

I have watched in dismay as people have strolled into area graduation exercises wearing flip-flops, stained t-shirts and faded shorts that should have gone into the rag bag a long time ago. They look as if they just came from Weed-Eating their lawn or working out in the gym.

As my typing teacher Mrs. Askew used to point out all those years ago, in 6th period class on those sticky, hot Friday afternoons, &uot;Folks, it doesn’t cost a lot to use a little hot water, a wash rag and some soap. Go home and take a bath this weekend – and use some deodorant, please!&uot;

Certainly, the events this week make it the time and place to be clean, punctual, quiet and respectful. Our young people deserve nothing less.

Congrats to all the grads at Greenville High, Fort Dale Academy, McKenzie and Georgiana Highs: may you all have a memorable, wonderful graduation night.

Remember, there is a concert/youth rally scheduled from 9 p.m. until at the Butler County Fairgrounds, following the graduation exercises this Friday night. Local band AXIS will be performing; concessions will be available. Consider making it a safe and inspiring evening with your friends.

Good luck and God bless!

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.