There were some times, especially in my early years of teaching, when I knew, just knew that one of those hormone-raging, angst y little teen-aged boys had a crush on me. They'd have that glassed over look and get all goofy when I asked them a question about what I was actually fucking teaching. Now, I think it's interesting to mention that this was not a male-only scenario.
Oh, yes. A few years ago I had one of my female students flirting with me. I thought it was in my head, but this gal--we'll call her Melissa--was just a really cool, smart girl who happened to be in a band. We had lots of small talk after or before class: she'd ask about my dog, I'd ask about her recent new hair dying experiment (gone wrong). Because she was a female, I didn't think anything of it. And then, she would be coming in after school every day asking if I needed help with anything.
No, I'm solid but thanks gal. Have a good afternoon.
Nope, I'm good!
Want me to rub your shoulders?
Silently: Whaaaaat the fuuuuuck?
Melissa went from asking to help me staple some stupid packets to physically touching me. I gave her a blank stare to which she then added: Do you want me to play with your hair?
And that's when you realize that girls have crushes on girls too. Since I've never been gay, this really didn't dawn on me. Sadly, the Melissa scenario got a little creepier before it got better. She made me a beaded bracelet with the letters to my first name, and then told me about a song she'd been writing...about me. Gulp. Right as I was starting to get a little paranoid and watched Jennifer 8 for clues on how to horribly address these things, Melissa got a little girlfriend of her own! Saved by the ever-changing, volatile world of teenagers. She solved her own problem; I couldn't have been more happy--or supportive. I was her own personal cheerleader. To the point that I think I creeped them both out. The new girlfriend thinking, "What's the deal with that weirdo teacher who keeps smiling and waving at us? And why did she give us this coupon for dinner-for-two?"
The young-cute-teacher novelty would inevitably wear off when the love birds received their shitty report card and realized that in actuality, No, I'm not cool. I'm your English teacher. Now stop staring and get your ass to work! Typically the honeymoon phase would come to a close and we could really get down to the learning business.
Time has passed and I really thought I'd crossed some threshold of teenage attraction. This was welcomed. I'd hit the over-thirty birthday, gotten married, had our anniversary--all of this was public knowledge. I was a teacher who was no longer privy to their lingo, their music, their television programs and I was okay with this. There was a more clearly drawn line between the students I taught and myself. I also did some math, and turns out I am, biologically speaking, old enough to be their mothers! Now, I would certainly be a young and most likely fucked up one, but still!
All this to say the other day I received the most sexually charged anonymous email from one of my students--presumably male from the contents. It began with the "don't try and guess who this is because you won't.." I checked the email and sure enough, it's some bogus name. And then I kept reading the shocking email which contained lines like: "when you wear those grey cords it makes me want to bust out of my seat and have you right there."
When I started to read it, my mouth dropped wide open and I started to laugh. And then since I'm scared of technology, I started to wonder if he could see me... so then I deleted the email thinking that would do the trick. Then I blocked all email from sender.
Of course, this is still the middle of the damn day, so now I have to teach knowing that one of these little horny bastards had the audacity to send me--an adult--his teacher--this really inappropriate email. The first day I hardly made eye contact with anybody. It was awful. Then after talking to the hubs about it--who laughed (thanks for the help)--I got kinda pissed off. It felt like a power struggle and now this over-sexed kid has put me in an uncomfortable position. So, the next day, I was on a mission. I was the one staring at everyone. Making serious face just a little too long. I was also wearing the most asexual thing I could find. I really wanted to bring back that black blow-up suit Missy Elliot wore in some music video, but that was really hard to find with such short notice.
What's also disturbing is that I love those grey cords. I wear them with my converse and a some kind of lame t-shirt. Dammit kid. You've ruined my casual Friday uniform for winter!
So, the mystery here still goes unsolved, but the drama never ends.
The following day, I'm leaving school a little later than usual. I'm on the third floor, and I take the poorly lit stairway where the walls still show years of graffiti that has been painted over and over, but are forever peeling and however much you clean it still smells like Fritos and vomit. In short, it's pretty gross. But as soon as I swing open the door, two students--one of them I currently teach--make a quick gasp. I turn to see her pulling UP HER PANTS!!! and then him crouching down on the ground, his face in his hands as he has recognized that they've been caught, but what's worse--caught by his own teacher. I yell: "Oh my god! Gross!" and then there's the split second of absolute terror for us all. I'm not even sure they were even having sex, or about to have sex... but whatever it was, was NOT OKAY!!!
So, what do I do? The adult. The professional.
I say with my hand outstretched so I don't have to really look at either of them: "I'm embarrassed for both of you. Leave. Right now."
And they do.
After going home and contemplate poking out my corneas with a hot poker, I realize I have to teach that kid the very next day. I arrive early to get my head straight. The kids begin to stroll in and Mr. Lover is among them--not early nor late. Just there. I'm still too mortified to even write him up or, God help me, call home to talk to a parent.
Neither of us has made eye contact since.