Monday, June 18, 2007


We just had an open house for my daughter’s graduation from high school. You know the drill. It’s the time where you buy Planters party mix by the truck load, coax your lilies into bloom and scrounge up every award your shining offspring has ever garnered.
We did all of the above, but when our little genius was done dragging out her ribbons and trophies and certificates and plaques she looked a little chagrined and asked if I thought it was overkill. I was appalled. Appalled I say! I assured her that this is the day…the ONE day in a person’s entire life when bragging is not only allowed, it’s EXPECTED. The more the merrier. The bigger the better. There’s no such thing as overkill. Even so, in the end she decided to only display her more substantial accomplishments. Still, there were dozens of trophies, scores of ribbons--debate, public speaking, equestrian events. You name it.
Which got me to thinking…you know what I need? More awards. Tangible evidence that I did something right.
In fact, a few years ago a friend sent me a ribbon that said, “You’re a winner.” That’s it. Not too explicit. An all-occasion kind of ribbon. I kept it taped to my computer for years in case I became amnesic during the night and went stumbling groggily into my office mumbling, “What am I? What… Oh yeah. I’m a winner.”
Maybe it’s my own insecurities that made me feel my kids needed every opportunity to excel, but as we get older those opportunities seem to kind of run dry. We work, do dishes (maybe) pay the mortgage (hopefully), and raise our children with nary a trophy to show for our Herculean efforts.
So here’s my thought: We should award the little things. Stock up on ribbons that say things like WAY TO BE AWAKE. Or WORLD’S BEST DONUT EATER. Or MOTHER OF THE MILLENNIUM. We could distribute them at will and make the world a happier place.
Whatcha think? If you were going to receive an award what would it be for?


Betina Krahn said...

Lois, I love the "Way to be Awake" ribbon. I would love to give those out-- especially to store clerks, many of whom seem to sleepwalk through their shifts these days. It would be even better if the ribbons were redeemable at Starbucks for a Grande Latte or something!

Personally, I'd like to get a ribbon for Ssnity in the face of Overwhelming Trauma or perhaps "Olympian Restraint" for NOT telling others (including my kids) how to live their lives. Okay, maybe I'm not always the model of restraint, but I've had some heroic episodes I'd put up against anybody's.

And how about "Animal Kindness Awards" for when you walk into your office first thing in the morning-- full of killer ideas for your new WIP-- and find a pile of dog barf you have to clean up before you start working. . . and the dog survives to eat another lizard and barf another day.

Betina Krahn said...

Okay, the Ssnity was supposed to be SANITY.

Sheesh. I guess I don't get the "online spelling" robbin.

lois greiman said...

Betina, you get the "online funny" robbin.

Michele Hauf said...

Can I get the Can Make Bedroom Slippers Work as Shoes When Shopping award? I'm not so keen on any shoes that requires work, like tying or buckling. Slippers it is!


Debra Dixon said...

Okay...first things first. Graduation open house?? Is that a north of the Mason-Dixon line thing? Either my brain has erased some of life's experience or I've never heard of that. We have graduation parties but no one gets to pull out all their accomplishments so we can see the journey the kid's been on.

And second, I'd stock up on dog show ribbons and give out "Winner's Bitch" and "Best of Breed" ribbons to those deserving.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Deb, I think the graduation open house is midwestern I graduated from high school in MA, and there were parties, but everybody didn't have one for their kid the way they do here. Parents didn't "make the rounds" and drop off gifts. You didn't order announcements by the gross. Gifts came from a few close relatives. I don't remember any awards displays.

I got a huge traveling trophy at graduation for some thing to do with writing or English--there weren't many awards at graduation, either. (The Harvard Book Award went to a boy. The VFW gave a US History medal to a junior--I got that one, too.) Had to polish the traveler a year later so it could travel untarnished. It was kinda cool to see all those other names from days gone by. Felt like being part of tradition. New Englanders are big on tradition.

My niece is graduating in CT this week. I'll ask my sister of things have changed. I remember being surprised by all this when I first started teaching.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Remember the movie "Postcards From the Edge"? Remember when Shirley McClain sings "I'm Still Here"? That's the award I want.

But Tara deserves tons of accolades. She's definitely a shining star. Lois, you done good, girl.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I mean Shirley MacLaine! (I think.) Love her, however it's spelled. Same movie: "Never let 'em see you ache. Or was it, Never let 'em see you ass?" What a great character!

Helen Brenna said...

I'm taking Deb's cue. I want a Best Bitch award. For myself, of course!

MsHellion said...

*LOL* I want a Way To Be Awake one...right now. I'm about to fall asleep!

I think we should pass out awards. What a cheerful idea...

My award:

World's Most Accomplished Procrastinator

World's Longest Sleeper/Napper

World's Wittiest Cynic (hosted by the Diogenes & Voltaire Clubs, obviously)

Award for the Most Unfinished WIPs

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen--My editor has a "Bitch Queen Of the Eastern Seaboard" plaque. Catherine Coulter gave it to her. You know Catherine--she gets away with murder.

Michele Hauf said...

mshellion - I covet your World's Longest Sleeper/Napper award.



lois greiman said...

All wonderful idea!! Wow! Winner's Bitch! Great one!

But Hellion, I'm sorry, I could give you a good run for your money with Longest Sleeper. It's my one true talent.

I think we should start considering giving out awards right now.

Kaitlin said...

Mine would say "World's Fastest Reader" or "The Walking Dictionary". Can you tell I'm a writer & a reader? :)

FIONA said...

Betina, I'll share the "Animal Kindness Award" with you. My dogs don't eat lizards, though.

The following are a few of mine:





Helen Brenna said...

I gotta ask, Fiona - most photographed finger? What?

I think I like it.

FIONA said...

My finger is ALWAYS over the lense. Thank goodness for digital cameras, LOL.