It's graduation season and yet--shockingly--my invitation to give a commencement address somehow got lost in the mail. But don't worry, I have never let the lack of an invitation to talk ever stop me from talking. Here is my commencement wisdom for you:
When I look out upon your bright, excited faces--so full of promise and collagen--I am reminded of my own graduation, so many, many years ago. Like you, I sat there wondering: What next? What does the future have in store for me? Why couldn't they get someone good to speak at this graduation instead of this lame woman who wonders--daily--if today is the day she says goodbye to the gray in her hair.
And I am here to tell you that the gray will be there for at least one more day. Because, ultimately, it is not the gray in our hair that matters, it is the questioning of the gray. It is the asking ourselves of those important existential questions--why do I exist? What is the meaning of life? Will students rate me lower on RateYourProfessor.Com if they think I'm really old--that define us, that help us grow and evolve into the kind of people who no one wants to make television programs for. Why? Because when you look at a Crate and Barrel catalog you think to yourself: Wouldn't it be great to have a cast iron griddle that sits on two stove-top burners. But when I look at that catalog I think to myself: Where in the world would I store a heavy, cast-iron griddle?
Graduates, age and experience do not make us wiser. They just make our closets fuller. Actually, that is not true. Age and experience do make us wiser. Age and experience are the only things that will make you truly believe the following, irrefutable facts: You will get pregnant if you don't use a condom. You will throw up and cry like a little girl if you mix beer and bloody Marys. A sock on the doorknob means stay out or you will see something you don't need to see. But you are college graduates! You know these things! You see: Age and experience taught you these lessons very quickly. Except the one about the beer and Bloody Marys. But when it sunk it, it really sunk in!
The point I'm trying to make is that, now, you are ready to embark on new adventures, new experiences. And these things will settle onto you like fine layers of dust, slowly entombing you and paralyzing you with the weight of the knowledge that all things die and that dissatisfaction is inevitable. But don't worry! No! Don't worry! Because I am hear to tell you that you are not alone. At a certain point everyone realizes that life is a loser's game that you never even asked to play. But, you see, that's all right because the more you can accept that the easier it will be feel on
your soul when you are left to ponder your inevitable decline and demise.
So, graduates, be happy! Rejoice in your momentous accomplishment. Too soon everything will fall apart and you will want to remember that day where everyone applauded you for basically wearing a shapeless muumuu, instead of felt sad that you no longer felt the need to wear anything with a waistband.
You are the future! Go! Live! Have fun while you can! And please find your own apartment because I've already rented out your room.