Friday, August 31, 2007

Call Me Ishmael. I Wasn't Pregnant. Tiny Appendages.

The new post over on my blogfriend Sparky's * blog reminds me of something that happened on the very first day of my very first teaching job, ever.

I was 21 years old, so it's been a while back.

Fresh out of college, and still believing all the malarky that was in my textbooks, I entered the high school feeling like a grown-up. This lasted until all my old teachers started greeting me, and, oh my gosh, asking me to call them by their first names now that we were colleagues.

"Call me Helen." "Call me Valera." "You can call me Byron now." "Please, call me Pat."

I couldn't. The level of fear respect was still so high that to call these people anything that didn't include a title was beyond my comprehension.

Also, whenever a student called ME by a title, I got the giggles. I hadn't yet made the big crossover, you know, to the OTHER SIDE OF THE DESK. That took several years. I mean, the first time I chaperoned a dance, students asked me to dance and I DID. Mistake. But I digress.

Still on that first day of official adulthood, I was trying to navigate the huge new building my old high school was now using. Schedules be damned, the brand new building still wasn't quite ready to be populated, but that never deters school corporations from opening right up anyway; after all, it's just kids, not voters PEOPLE.

In other words, the stairs had no banisters and the restrooms were not labeled yet.

I could deal with the banisters, but the restrooms were important; when I have to really, really "go," I look pregnant. By mid-afternoon, any stranger would have taken me for eight-and-a-half-months, so I decided to take my chances and run for the nearest one before someone called an ambulance and rushed me to obstetrics.

I peeked inside the unlabeled room and the coast was clear. I went into a stall and did my bidness. When I emerged, ten pounds lighter and with a flat stomach (which I really miss. . . .) I noticed for the first time that one wall was covered with urinals. Standing at two of the urinals were two of my former teachers. Two of my former male teachers.

I was in the wrong restroom.

"You might as WELL call us by our first names, now, Janie," said one of them.

I ran away and sucked my thumb in the corner for a while, and then I emerged, all grown up and unafraid.

Here's why, and I've never confessed this to a living soul until now.

Anyone with a penis that little was not to be feared.

*I call her Sparky because, wherever she goes, she sets something on fire. I find this endearing, but after she visits my house, which I sincerely hope is soon, I might not. Fortunately Unfortunately, almost everything with moving parts that resides in my house is broken right now, and awaiting the arrival of trained personnel with large tool boxes ** so there really isn't much she could do in the way of arson unless she comes armed with a pack of matches.

** Is this a euphemism? I don't know yet. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:57 PM | |


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