I honestly don’t remember a time in my childhood where I actually thought girls were icky. I watched Romper Room as a wee child and thought Miss Judy was pretty hot. Infatuated with my Kindergarten teacher the string would have continued except my grade 1 teacher reminded me of grandma and my grade 2 teacher terrified me. In grade 3 I crushed again on my teacher but she was married and by grade 3 that started to matter. In grade 4 my teacher was single and I thought she was pretty sweet.
I was also interested in girls my own age but with a late birthday almost all the girls were older than me so older was just older, what was a few years?
The biggest problem with any crushes at that time of my life were that they were impossible to talk about in a helpful way, or even talk about at all. Liking a girl at that time consisted of doing the obvious, passing a note, or doing the subtle, catching a bee.
Neither one worked out for me.
In grade 4 I had a crush on Laura. She sat up in the front row and I thought she was pretty and because she occasionally spoke to me I assumed she must like me to. One day I prepared a note that said, “Do you like me? ___ yes ____ no, please check one.” I broke the lead off my #2 Ticonderoga so I could go up front and sharpen it again. On the way up I dropped the note on Laura’s desk as I passed by. I couldn’t look at her as I walked back to my desk after the sharpening but I could feel the red that covered my face from collar bone to the top of my head. The red went darker as I sat down, looked up and watched from the back as Laura shared the note with friends sitting around her, giggling and stealing glances back at me. I was hoping to die before recess.
The less direct route, which amazes me even more, was catching bees. At recess, in the still too close to summer to be actually going to school times in late August and early September my friends and I caught bees. The bees were trying to collect some pollen from the million or more dandelions that covered the playground. The bank in town thought it would be a brilliant idea to give a ton of tiny coin holders to us. Besides advertising for the bank it was a place for us to keep our lunch tokens. The football shaped holders opened by squeezing both ends and as you relaxed your grip they closed tight. We would take these to the dandelion field, sneak up on a bee, squeeze open the coin holder and trap the bee inside. The danger of being stung kept it all exciting.
The next step, if there was a girl you really liked, was to take the buzzing coin holder over to her, especially when she was looking the other way, shake the bee to get it really humming and then open it so the bee flew out on your crush. We weren’t trying to get anyone stung; we just wanted to get a reaction. It was the same impulse that led me to daily take a pounding from Missy on the death ride we called the “Merry-go-Round” on the playground. Somewhere, “I like you” got lost in translation in these moments.
So far my experience in life has led to me to believe that mostly we’ve never recovered from this ‘failure to communicate’. However, I did learn enough that I didn’t drop a fill in the blank note on Donna’s lap or unleash an angry, stinging insect in her directions when I asked her out on our first date.
Anybody else have any teacher crushes they want to confess or “I like you” attempts that went wrong?