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Baccalaureate


Lilith666
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I'm graduating from high school in a week. My grandma said she was planning to come to the baccalaureate service, and I said I'm not going. She said, "What? Of course you're going." My dad walked in, so she told him what I said. He said, "Yes, you are going. It's a tradition." 

 

I don't want to go. I quit religion three years ago and hate Christianity in particular. He knows it, and I think my grandma knows. They've decided to push it anyway.

 

Later

Him: You're not mad about the baccalaureate thing, are you?

 

Are you serious?

 

Me: *lying to shut him up* No. 

 

Him: Good. Because going to baccalaureate is a family tradition. Your grandma will be very disappointed if she doesn't see you there in your cap and gown.

 

Me: *fuck you* *says nothing*

 

Him: You don't think it's a church service, do you?

 

Me: Of course it's a church service.

 

Him: Barely.

 

Me: There's going to be a guy singing "All to Jesus I Surrender."

 

Him: *gets snarky* Oh, isn't that just awful. 

 

He used my grandmother to try to guilt me into going to the service. Then he lied through his teeth and said baccalaureate isn't really church. He actually said that my dislike of church is "pathetic." I stopped caring about his hurt feelings a long time ago.

 

I don't want to listen to some pious asshole tell me that I should give glory to Gawd for my hard work. And I sure as hell don't want to let my bastard of a father trap me again. If he doesn't like it, oh well. He never gave a damn how I felt. He just got on his I Am Your Father pedestal.

 

He's paying $20,000 for four years to my college and is throwing me a graduation party (of which he loves to remind me). He is my dad, for lack of a better term. Am I morally obligated to go to the service? 

 

Don't think I give a rip about his feelings. I just don't want to sink to his level, or upset my grandparents.

 

What do you guys think?

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I don't think you're morally obligated to go and I think your dad is being an ass, but for the sake of your college tuition it might be a good idea. 

 

Going to graduation tends to suck. But those things are in large part about making the family happy anyways...

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I second SilentLoner. No, not morally obligated, but if he's going to foot the bill, this is just one evening that they want. I'd just do it.   Believe me, being part of the working poor isn't fun and if your parents want to take on that debt, I wouldn't discourage it. Doesn't sound like they are forcing you to attend services weekly.  

 

When I visit some family, I usually go to the church service if I happen on a Sunday because it's a huge deal for them. I think they just like getting all gussied up, honestly. But, it just happens so rarely, and they've already gone out of their way to pick me up an hour and a half away, let me stay a couple nights and drive me back, that I don't think it's too big a deal to suffer one hour of service and singing. 

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Go and have fun on your own terms. I'm sure there's some little prank you can pull or a few snide remarks to make while you're there to make it up to yourself. It sounds like your dad's arrogance is what's really getting to you, and college will give you plenty of ways to break from that.

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Lilith666: It's tough having to follow parents' requests when you know you are old and mature enough to

follow your own path. Just remember you are right at the point where you will be starting to make all

your own decisions.

 

If I were you I would go even though I didn't want to just for your parents. Remember, decisions you make now last forever. We can't predict the future. If you were to decide not to go, there may come a day

many years from now when you wish you had made this concession to you parents. Consider it to be your

own graduation gift to them. I'm sure they have done some things for you that you want to thank

them for. This is not the time to boldly assert your independence. That will come soon enough. Good luck

and congratulations for your graduation. bill

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It's not that I mind the service so much. I'll daydream through it. I just hate letting my father win. When it's over, he won't say, "Thank you for coming. That really meant a lot to us." He'll say, "That wasn't so bad, now was it," and pat my shoulder or something condescending like that. Then I will feel the need to take a shower. When he said yes I am coming because it's a Family Tradition, he shot me this "I am the divinely-ordained head of my household so suck it up" smirk. He has no respect for me or my right to independence. Yeah, someday I'll be able to tell him to shove it. But right now he is a smug asshole. I know this sounds disrespectful, and it is. But this is the same guy who used to point his finger in my face every Sunday morning and scream because I didn't want to go to a place where they said I'm going to hell. I have no sympathy for him anymore.

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In the long run you might be better off letting your dad win for one night.  Yeah, I remember what it is like to get out of High School and out of my parent's house.  But there are other issues.

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I'm graduating from high school in a week. My grandma said she was planning to come to the baccalaureate service, and I said I'm not going. She said, "What? Of course you're going." My dad walked in, so she told him what I said. He said, "Yes, you are going. It's a tradition." 

 

I don't want to go. I quit religion three years ago and hate Christianity in particular. He knows it, and I think my grandma knows. They've decided to push it anyway.

 

Later

Him: You're not mad about the baccalaureate thing, are you?

 

Are you serious?

 

Me: *lying to shut him up* No. 

 

Him: Good. Because going to baccalaureate is a family tradition. Your grandma will be very disappointed if she doesn't see you there in your cap and gown.

 

Me: *fuck you* *says nothing*

 

Him: You don't think it's a church service, do you?

 

Me: Of course it's a church service.

 

Him: Barely.

 

Me: There's going to be a guy singing "All to Jesus I Surrender."

 

Him: *gets snarky* Oh, isn't that just awful. 

 

He used my grandmother to try to guilt me into going to the service. Then he lied through his teeth and said baccalaureate isn't really church. He actually said that my dislike of church is "pathetic." I stopped caring about his hurt feelings a long time ago.

 

I don't want to listen to some pious asshole tell me that I should give glory to Gawd for my hard work. And I sure as hell don't want to let my bastard of a father trap me again. If he doesn't like it, oh well. He never gave a damn how I felt. He just got on his I Am Your Father pedestal.

 

He's paying $20,000 for four years to my college and is throwing me a graduation party (of which he loves to remind me). He is my dad, for lack of a better term. Am I morally obligated to go to the service? 

 

Don't think I give a rip about his feelings. I just don't want to sink to his level, or upset my grandparents.

 

What do you guys think?

 

When you finally tell Dad to stick it you will smile and then go get a job somewhere (college or not) and there will be another asshole just like him who will be your boss telling you to do something else you dont want to do or which you feel is stupid. And in the next job, the same , ad infinitum.

 

Use your leverage if you can to get what you want. One card to play is "I'm moving in with so-and-so" friend. If you're 18 you can do that. It could work in your favor if your parents can't bear to see you go. Another card to play is "I aint going to college even if you pay for it." Either of these may backfire. Only you know your parents' leanings on these issues. Playing these cards may help you a bit.

 

Like someone else said though, getting free college is a great thing and doesnt happen often. If you're at college will you be out of town? If so, less Dad that way. Then when you get your degree you can really tell him to fuck off. :-) Or hug him for spending a ton of money on you.

 

Good luck.

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Sounds like your dad's an immature jerk, except that he is paying for your college tuition.

 

You say this about your own goals: I just don't want to sink to his level, or upset my grandparents.

 

The pros about going seem to be to:

 

  • please your grandparents
  • feel good about yourself for taking the higher ground
  • stay on good enough terms with Dad to keep him wanting to pay your college tuition (or will he pay no matter what?)

The cons seem to be:

 

  • suffer/sit through religious ceremony
  • give in to Dad/let him win

It is unclear to me why you would feel "trapped," so long as you know you're an okay person without his approval. You're not doing this for him. You're doing it for you and for your grandparents. Let him think what he wishes if that is what it takes. College tuition is a lot of money.

 

That said, if you're an adult, in the final analysis I think it's your own decision if you're prepared to live with the consequences.

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I am so glad we do not have HS graduations here. Finishing HS merely means you have the ability to learn. You really have zero life skills post HS. The kids here go back to school in January to collect their certificates w/o any ceremony.

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I would go, but it depends on your relationship with your father. If you just have some difficulties with him, I would do him (and your grandparents and friends) the favor. The relationship between you two will probably change after you move out. He wont have (too much) control over your life and you might realize he is actually not an asshole. I used to be angry with parents for being too controlling and overprotective but after hearing so many stories about parents that didn't give a shit about their kids and after having some distance, I realized that they are actually pretty good parents. And if it makes them happy, I would go to any service (as long as they dont expect me to believe/pray).

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So what if your dad "wins" one battle. I can tell right now he's lost the war.

:D

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Sounds like your dad is basically going to pay you 20 grand to go to the stupid service.

 

I don't know about you, but I can be paid to do just about anything and I'm not ashamed of it. Ten thousand bucks an hour would be very convincing to me.

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Sorry, Lilith666, I agree with the others that you might as well just go. I agree with all of the posters above, all of them, so I won't repeat anything here.

 

If it helps, think of something to distract you during the ceremony. Look around you. I am almost 25 years out from my hs graduation. Many of the popular hot chicks are now... well... NOT. Many of the jerky jocks are working mediocre jobs in my boring home town, and still reminiscing about the glory days of hs because that's all they have. (Well, they are still nursing old hs sports injuries into their 40s, so that's something too.) The successful and kind kids I cared about in hs have all moved away and are living respectable lives. I don't keep in contact with any of these people (not even the ones I liked), because I have my own new friends here, I have my own life away from all of that, and I just don't care.

 

I have gone to one reunion, and I'll say that most of my former classmates had mellowed and were much less (whatever negative thing they were in hs). Even my disgust for my parents has mellowed over time too.

 

This ceremony is just a stepping stone. You'll survive. Get through college and go out and find your own path. You will find fulfillment there. (SilentLoner is right: you will win the war.) High school days and living at home under mom/dad was really a drag, but looking back now, I see that it was just a little blip on the screen of my life.

 

Ten thousand bucks an hour... just keep repeating that to yourself. Peace!

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Maybe I'm ignorant here because I didn't grow up Christian.  Can someone explain to me what a baccalaureate service is?

 

EDIT: Just looked it up.  My goodness, for a religion that claims to be Christocentric, Christians seem to spend a lot of time focusing on people and life events.  Combined with baptisms, dedication ceremonies, first communions, and talking about the importance of voting Republican, it's a wonder people in these churches actually spend any time worshiping a god.

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Lilith666, the more I read about your dad, the more I want to punch him in the nose. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif I think it would probably be best to go to this thing anyway, but don't do it for your dad. Do it for your grandparents only because you clearly do not want to upset them.

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It seems to me like you're wasting your last bit of opportunity to be a smart sarcastic teenage girl. I guess you're too young to remember the show Daria, but go over to amazon instant video or get the dvds (oops, you might not have a credit card, but there's always youtube) and check that out for some inspiration. You can throw your dad's smugness back at him by making witty retorts that are just light enough to keep the tuition coming. What you say off the cuff probably won't be as good as what someone writing a script could come up with, but it will work out a lot better for you than outright fronting off with him, because that's what he seems to want in the first place.

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Thanks, everybody. I think flockoff is right: I don't mind the service so much as Dad's attitude. I'll live through it and won't have to deal with him forever.

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You will be asked/called upon to attend many ceremonies or services in the future, mainly weddings and funerals. Are you going to disrespect your friends by not going to those? It doesn't cost one thin time to show respect, and doing so doesn't mean you accept their beliefs as your own. Respect between friends and family is often far more important than facts concerning beliefs or sexual preferences, but can take time to earn and build up to the point that it overrides surface considerations.

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You will be asked/called upon to attend many ceremonies or services in the future, mainly weddings and funerals. Are you going to disrespect your friends by not going to those? It doesn't cost one thin time to show respect, and doing so doesn't mean you accept their beliefs as your own. Respect between friends and family is often far more important than facts

concerning beliefs or sexual preferences, but can take time to earn and

build up to the point that it overrides surface considerations.

As I said, the service itself doesn't bother me so much as my father's hypocrisy and superior, domineering attitude.

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As I said, the service itself doesn't bother me so much as my father's hypocrisy and superior, domineering attitude.

 

It's his last ditch effort in a losing battle. His attitude is one more nail in his coffin. You will go off to college, start your own life, and then soon enough you get to make the rules and decide who is allowed in your world. That may or may not include him. You will be free soon, and he knows it. Just play his game a little longer and look forward to the day when time and distance will help you make decisions about healthy relationships on your own terms.

 

He may live to regret his asshole attitude. Maybe you will both mellow from all this over time, and you will choose to keep a safe relationship with him. Either way, it will be up to you to decide. Your day is coming. Hang in there!

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