So tonight I was getting my hair did and reading I Know This Much Is True, and the most random of memories popped into my head. Actually, it wasn't all that random since it jived perfectly with what was going on in the book: one of the main characters got locked in the bathroom and was teased incessantly for it by his fellow sixth grade classmates. It took me right back to my own sixth grade bathroom experience...
Picture a scrawny, blonde-headed girl with long hair (with sideburns - YES! You heard me right), a ginormous overbite, and big plastic red, white, and blue glasses (YES! You heard me right on this one too), and that was me as a sixth grader. I had a huge crush on one of my classmates. (I would love to share his full name with you, because it's really one of those kinds of unbelievable names, but for purposes of privacy, just in case after all these years he's decided that he's in love with me and stalks me on my blog, just waiting for me to get divorced, let's just call him Trey.)
Trey was so dang cute! He was tall with olive skin and this curly black hair. He just radiated coolness, strutting around in his Bugle Boys. I would like to say that he didn't even know that I was alive, but he did. Unfortunately. We had several classes together.
One day, on the break between Reading and English (taught by the same teacher, Mrs. Sexton, in the same room), several of us were goofing off in the hallway. I'm pretty sure that my friend Laci let it slip that I had a crush on Trey - right in front of Trey! I can't remember what went down after that or exactly what Trey said, but let's just say that he made it perfectly clear that he wasn't interested. Right there. In front of everyone.
I was mortified, so much so that I ran to the girl's bathroom downstairs. I began sobbing on the way. I felt truly heartbroken at Trey's refusal, but to have to hear it publicly, in front of everyone, was just more than I could bear. I locked myself in one of the stalls and cried my pathetic little heart out. I didn't know what to do. There was no way I could ever face anyone ever again! I could never show myself in any of our mutual classes! My life was officially over!
Before long, Mrs. Sexton came into the bathroom looking for me. I ran out of the stall when she called my name, and she gave me a gigantic hug and held me tight for a few minutes. I can't remember if she said anything or not, to be honest. But I do remember that in those moments, I felt protected. I was able to suck it up, go back to class, and overcome my extreme embarassment. (Eventually, I lost the glasses, the sideburns, and most of the overbite, and I'm completely positive that Trey has regretted not going out with me ever since.)
Ahhh, the kindness of teachers. I've had some really good ones in my life, and I am grateful for each and every one of them.
Boys like Trey, though? Not so much.
(Image from here.)