Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cryin' in the Girl's Room

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.)


Discombobulated said...

Aw. This is such a heart breaking story :(
Thank goodness for those good teachers out there.

Anonymous said...

Awww, you poor thing. I can totally relate. Glad you had someone to give you a hug. :)


Amy said...

I can completely relate. I moved from New Mexico to California at 12. Talk about major culture shock and being socially awkward.

As a teacher I enjoyed reading this. I only hope I can impact my students as much.

tootie said...

I think we've all been there! Maybe not in that exact same bathroom, but you get the idea. ;)

Thanks for sharing with us, and so glad that you were able to find someone way better than the boy in this story!

alyssa said...

Wow, that's a really dramatic 6th grade story, but that's every 6th graders reality...well, except for the red, white, and blue plastic glasses ;)

Librarian Girl said...

Wouldn't it be great if your teacher could read this? That you remembered it all this time-- that's so nice.

Lesli said...

I hope Trey is fat & bald by now!

Kim said...

So heartbreaking! When I was in 6th grade, our teacher taught us how to sew a pillow. We all made our own pillow and then sat on them. Well, one day this girl shit her pants during the math lesson and it ended up getting on her pillow. She was so mortified and the boys teased her for weeks, so she eventually had to change schools.

And another random thought inspired by Ms Sexton. My grandpa's headstone is next to a lady named BERNICE SEXTON. My cousin and I, when we were young, thought it was so damn funny for him to stand on the BER and for me to stand on the TON so all that was visible was NICE SEX.

amber said...

man, school can be so rough! pretty awesome though of your teacher. amazing the impact they can have on their students, isn't it?

there was a boy in my middle school that i liked and wanted to at least be pals with, but he was waaay too cool for me. [eyeroll] i actually ran into him my last year of college at a local bar -- i was taller, thinner, my hair and makeup were kick ass, i was sporting cute dark jeans and a body-hugging top and (most importantly) i had just gotten my self confidence back after a really bad breakup. quite frankly, i was struttin' that night ;) let's just say the 8 years since i'd last seen him didn't do much for him in the looks dept. i'd like to say that i got no satisfaction at all from being polite, but making it perfectly clear that no, i wasn't interested in being his friend or catching up on lost time.

but that would be a lie ;)