44. Pamela’s Lovely Day


It was a lovely day for Pamela. She had taken seven years to get her university degree. All in dribs and drabs. All very hard grind. And today was graduation day!

She had studied part-time towards her degree in applied mathematics, while working full-time (almost) in a take-away bar, and trying to be a loving grandmother. Now the world was her oyster (almost). She simply had to find a job to go with it. But being sixty (almost), finding a job that needed applied mathematics wasn’t all that simple.

Not to worry! Today was her day, and she had spoiled herself by buying a brand new dress to wear. It was a classic swing dress, formal enough to be formal and casual enough to be comfortable; universal enough to be usable on other special days. It was in soft peach, with a cross-over bust and a waist cinching panel, with a full skirt and vintage shoulder bows. Pamela looked stunning. She was on top of the world. She felt as young as she looked. Her daughter, Amy, was there for support. And her three grandchildren — Imogen, Asher and Mia. The single sadness was that her late husband was (as Pamela jokingly liked to put it) “otherwise engaged”.

The graduation procession began.

– Mutton dressed up as lamb
– Bet you she can’t cut the mustard
– She’s put her only egg in one basket
– Seems every man and his brother gets a degree
– A walking flea market
– They give token university qualifications to pensioners?
– I wonder what street corner she worked on to put herself through university

When, the following week, she got a highly lucrative job at the chemical industrial laboratories, Pamela was ecstatic. But she always thought, when recalling her graduation day, why oh why didn’t the world let her have her special moment?

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