Tomorrow my husband and I will be attending a graduation party our friends are having for their daughter. Also, I just read Meno's blog (http://menosblog.blogspot.com/) about her daughters senior overnighter. Both these upcoming events reminded me of our experience at our son's senior overnighter in 1996.
My husband and I volunteered to help with the Monte Carlo games at our son's senior overnighter by running a craps game. Our son and his friends were thrilled that we would be doing this. My husband and I were looking forward to the experience as well.
We were rattled because we were having difficulty finding the location of the senior all nighter and it was making us late. Parking was tight. It was dark. When we thought we were near, we followed signs that said, "Senior All Nighter" with arrows pointing the way. Inside the building we got directions and a bunch of paper chits, that looked like Monopoly money, which were being used as money that the graduates could exchange for prizes.We hurried through the crowd of teenagers. It was like moving through a crowd at a carnival. We were a little relieved, when we arrived at the far end of the festivities, to find that only a few of the seniors had reached that area. Parents who were already running other games, showed us an empty table where we could set up our craps game. They hadn't expected us. We set up and had a grand time with all the kids that came by to roll them bones, while being on the lookout for our son or his friends. After the time we were scheduled to be there had almost passed with no sight of them, I happened to notice what was written on the chits we had been using for money. I hadn't looked closely at them until then.
I asked one of the parents standing near me, "Why do these say Central Valley HS on them," indicating the play money.
She looked at me strangely and said, "Because that is what the name of our school is", duh was quite evident on her face.
I froze a moment while she continued to look at me. My voice lowered several octaves as I said, "Oh. No. We thought this was the M......... overnighter. I was wondering why we didn't recognize anyone."
We were humiliated and left apologetically but quickly, imagining how our son must feel about us not showing up as expected. We were able to get directions to our son's overnighter (same area different building).
Our son and some of his buds were near the entrance when we arrived at the correct place. Their disappointment was obvious to me. Though the time we were scheduled to run the craps game had passed, the boys took us there and we explained what had happened. They sympathized but didn't need us. So, we spent a short time with the boys, then left with our tails between our legs.
I was sure for a long time that this travesty would ruin my son's life. He has become a truly caring, talented, loyal, delightful human being. So, I guess I can let go of this experience now!