The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Dear Class Of 2011…

On June 27th, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by

I’m a little late this year and, as a result, the cards and letters have been pouring in wondering about my message to the graduating class of 2011.  As you know, I like to tell it like it is.

Honesty, a little cynicism, lots of humor, and a dash of embellishment for the purpose of making a point have always been my formula.  And apparently some of you want to hear what my commencement address would’ve sounded like should some esteemed, high-brow institution of advanced learning actually were to give me a cap, gown and a microphone from which to expound.  Here is an excerpt:

Dear Class of 2011 @ State University: I’m not here to motivate you with some inspiring message about accomplishment.  You’re an adult; motivate yourself.

If you’re lucky, this pomp and circumstance is the only thing between you and hooking up with your friends and family for a cocktail, burger, barbecue, or a pool party.  So I’ll be brief.  If you’re unlucky, you’ll be having a formal luncheon with aunts, great aunts and an extended family tree heavily burdened with branches that you didn’t even know existed.  You, in turn, want me to ramble on for hours.  Sorry – life is waiting to happen.

Many of you have shorts on under your robes.  Today, you have donned your best flip-flops.  Your t-shirt is the latest in dorm wear, and you’ve been contemplating a bet (since you woke up an hour ago) as to whether or not you should do something stupid when you cross the stage to get your pretend diploma; “don’t” is my best advice.  You really want to be in a hundred other places, but you’re not; so shut up and endure.  Endurance is a good trait for tomorrow and every day thereafter.

Oh, there is so much to say.  If you want to lose the extra pounds you put on over the last four years, do it sooner than later.  Not too far down the road, losing weight will be more difficult than your new boss.  And believe me, that dude or dudette is no picnic!

Do not interpret your parents’ invitation for you to move back in while you “transition” as heartfelt.  “Transition” is a relative word and they’re thinking on the short end of time.  Your old man hasn’t worn pants around the house since you’ve been gone and he likes it.  He’s not anxious to wear anything more than boxers in his big chair.

Yes, mom loves you, but she’s really gotten set in her ways since you’ve been gone.  You’ll return home and bring with you the countless bad habits you’ve acquired over the past four years, and she won’t be pleased.  She can barely put up with your dad not wearing pants, and now you, too.  God help her!

Late nights will become earlier.  Snookie becomes far less entertaining without your posse and a 12-pack.  Friends will re-position as acquaintances, and texting some incoherent drivel will slow dramatically.  You’ll come to realize how bad TV really is when you have to pay your own cable bill.  And you’ll contemplate the word “value” to a much greater degree.  You will sneak into “early bird” dinner specials without embarrassment.  And you’ll come to enjoy Cracker Barrel.

You’re not going to get rich with your first job – maybe never.  The classroom’s theoretical discussion quickly becomes reality.  You will become much more interested in phrases like “government waste,” “lackluster economy,” “job creation,” “real wage growth,” and “headline inflation.”  You’ll have an unexplainable desire to get to know Ben Bernanke and his monetary policies.  Guys, you’ll clip pens in your shirt pocket.  Ladies, your heels will become flatter.

That’s enough.  The world awaits you.  Remember to take your vitamins; say your prayers; sing like you can; dance like nobody’s watching; and love your neighbor.  Suck it up; only a mother loves a loser.

Thank you and good-bye.

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