Friday, November 27, 2009
A "Crushed" Friday Five
...in high school, I had a crush on my Chorus teacher. He was a young guy, and he had gone to college with some cousins of mine, and over the summer between 9th and 10th grade, we ran into each other at a series of pre-wedding parties, and I feel DEEPLY in like.
1) Did you ever have a crush on a teacher?
My first first-grade teacher, Mrs. Peters. After a Kindergarten in Hell where I was traumatized by an irascible old relic from normal-school days who had finally begun to melt down in the thick of the Baby Boom, Mrs. Peters was my savior: She treated me with kindness and respect; she actually encouraged my intelligence and curiosity -- unlike my kindergarten teacher, who treated me like an annoying problem; she let me do special tasks for her like help decorate the class bulletin boards at recess instead of going outside. And unlike the rest of the faculty -- the sort of Sensible Women who wore orthopedic shoes and their hair in buns -- Mrs. Peters was hip, with a "That Girl" flip and mod clothing. When circumstances caused our elementary school to add a new first-grade teacher to the roster and shift the original classes around, I found myself in a new classroom, with a dispositional clone of my ogre-like kindergarten teacher, and I was distraught for the rest of the year.
2) Who was your first crush?
I had a boy crush on a little kindergarten classmate.busmate of mine, Ronnie, who bore a close resemblence to a baby seal or a Precious Moments figurine; he had the biggest blue eyes and longest eyelashes of anyone I'd ever seen. He was a tiny, slight boy who was constantly picked on by the bigger kids, and that brought out my protective instincts. I remember Ronnie being tormented one day on the bus ride home by some older students, and that angering me so much that I -- and I too was often the brunt of teasing and unkindness on the bus -- stood up, waved an accusatory finger at the older kids and told them that they'd better leave Ronnie alone. I was loud enough to attract the attention of the bus driver, who finished the job of reprimanding the bus bullies. This of course did not win me any friends among the cool kids, but Ronnie was grateful, and even gave me a kiss on the playground at one point.
3) Have you ever given a gift to a crush?
Just my current crush, who also happens to be my partner.
4) Do you have a celebrity crush? (Around my house we call them TV boyfriends and girlfriends...)
The fact that Fellow Traveler and I have been discussing this for five minutes and are unable to come up with names or faces is probably an indicator that I don't. Now, I used to have an auditory crush on Fiona Ritchie's voice -- she the Scottish hostess of The Thistle and Shamrock. And both Fellow Traveler and I are rather taken with Geoffrey, Ina Garten's amiable, beloved and amazingly well fed husband.
5) Have you ever been surprised to find yourself the crushee?
One evening when I was a freshman in college, walking back to the dorm for supper after a late class, I was startled to find a male classmate sidling up next to me. He was someone who I had, in my mind, voted Most Likely to Ascend the Clock Tower and Start Shooting Random Bystanders With An Assault Rifle. ("He was really quiet..." "He always kept to himself...") I remember noticing, of all things, his hands in class -- he had short, fat hands like a garden toad's front claws, and I remember being disturbed by that, and by the way he stared at me and other students when we engaged in class discussions. Anyway, Fat Hands started talking to me, innocuous stuff out of the "How to Start a Conversation With a Girl" handbook, and even though I was quite curt and unencouraging in my responses he followed me all the way home to my "island" of dormitories. I decided to eat in the cafeteria of the dorm next to mine, so he wouldn't figure out where I actually lived. He followed right behind me in line, and sat across from me, and kept trying to engage in conversation with me. I finally lied; told him that I had a date with my boyfriend and couldn't talk to him anymore. Despite this, he got up when I did and was ready to follow me to this date until I finally told him that, no, he needed to go home now, or my boyfriend would be angry. He finally took the hint and left...and to my relief, he never attempted talking to me or walking with me or anything else ever again. I always felt that my guardian angel was working overtime that particular evening. But the experience left me very afraid for weeks afterward.
Thinking back on this bizarre incident, I'm astounded at how passive I was and how afraid to hurt this guy's feelings. My God, it's no wonder that so many university students wind up victims of sexual assault. If something similar happened to me today, I think it's safe to say that things would be handled...um... differently.