Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Chronicles of Dating - Installment #5: When Your Teacher Has to Set You Up

Every high school has that handful of teachers with endless rumors about their questionable past. At my high school, it included all the pedophile gym coaches, the Driver's Ed coach that got a student pregnant (totally NOT a rumor, by the way - they got married after she graduated), and the humanities teacher who was rumored to have posed for Playboy.

The Playboy bunny is who set me, and all of her students, up on a date.

This sounds weird, but nothing was weird for Ms. Lees. Every class started with her having us recite Shakespearean verse, complete with actions. The majority of our grade was based on participation in over-the-top sketches about famous artists. The last day of class consisted of her reading personalized letters for each of us out loud. We also had extensive discussions about the color code test and listened to her read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight out loud during story time.

So, like I said, setting her students up on dates with each other and having us write a report about it when returned was not entirely weird for her at all.

Ms. Lees claimed she drew names out of a hat, but I have strong suspicion that she was secretly extremely deliberate in her pairings.

It was, slightly embarrassing to say, my very first date ever.

I was set up with some boy named Nick (totally don't remember the last name, but you would like to know, wouldn't you?) who lived disturbingly close - too close for comfort - to me, and who made me go pick him up. If you have, as we all have, gone on an awkward date, imagine that weirdness amplified by the situation I was in and the disagreeable moment I experienced when picking up a guy from my class who I didn't want to go on a date with and who was acting like he didn't really want to go on a date with me.

We went ice skating, and he didn't know how to ice skate. We spent most of the night engaged in awkward conversation and in awkward juxtaposition with the rink wall.

He thought I was weird because I chose broth over hot chocolate out of the hot drink dispensing machine, and I thought he was weird because I was too shy and embarrassed to be on a date to think anything different.

In the end, thank you Ms. Lees for breaking me into the high school dating scene in the most awkward way possible.

Oh, almost forgot!!! After the uncomfortable date, I didn't speak to or hear from the guy until he came into my dance class looking for me to be a subject for his year book committee assignment, at which point I apparently said I wanted to be a pediatrician when I grew up. What the devil was mixing into my brownies that day? Whatever it was, it made sure that I was completely oblivious to the obvious flirtatiously-inclined coincidence that he sought me out to put me in the yearbook.

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