they were a haphazard bunch and if you asked me today to name them all, i could not. cornell, mississippi state, emory, um...
so i applied and i waited. and i waited and i waited.
and then one spring day a letter of acceptance arrived. i, faitholine eaton, had been accepted to the foley bellsaw locksmithing school.
in my family, which loooooooooooooooves jokes, this promptly became the joke of the year.
me! a locksmith! hilarious!
by the time everyone else's acceptances came rolling in, we had perfected our routine.
a friend would say his/her son/daughter was going to harvard and i would smile knowingly. my father would put his arm over my shoulders and hug me close and say, beaming with pride, "our caroline has been accepted to foley bellsaw." my mum, completing the triptych of familial exaltation, would nod sagely and pronounce my new "field" the next "big thing."
my acceptance into foley bellsaw was my single greatest accomplishment that year. never mind that i played rachmaninoff, learned to waltz, had perfect attendance and won the world history award. foley bellsaw garnered more parental pride than those feats combined.
ultimately, obviously, i did not become a locksmith. and, aside from a few moments of regret during undergrad when i realized i should have taken locksmithing more seriously as a source of added income given the frequency with which people at mississippi state were locked out of their cars, i forgot all about foley bellsaw.
that is until my father, annoyed by the complications of the countertop dishwasher as well as my continuing inability to properly identify male and female fittings, sighed and said, sometimes i just wish you'd gone to foley bellsaw. you could've majored in locksmithing and minored in plumbing and then i wouldn't have to keep telling my daughter what to do with her female parts.
and i have to agree because he makes a valid point.