Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hot for Teacher: He Blinded Me With Binomials

Picture HIM – Tall, blond. . . uniquely gifted at figuring out the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle. The kind of guy who struts down the hall and instantly a soundtrack of I’m Bringing Sexy Back blares in your head.

Picture ME – Pale, overweight. . . singularly uninterested in isosceles triangles unless they directly relate to one of my two ultimate goals: 1. Getting the Hell Out of School or 2. World Domination. (I’d have been equally happy with either, incidentally. Still would. But I digress).

So, HIM and ME. A match made in heaven, you say?

I agree.

In fact, this became the topic of many a sordid journal entry throughout my high school career.

Make no mistake, the competition was fierce. I attended a small, private all-girls school plagued by the most heinous polyester kilts ever conceived, along with button-down shirts so box-like they made even the anorexic girl look blobby. And did you catch the part about all-girls? Yup. That means no boys to slow dance with, or sit next to, or talk to, or cast oogly glances toward during study hall.

Just HIM.

Our very own mathgod.

Which probably explains why HE became such a focus of attention.

For hours we’d slave away at the mirror, slathering on the blue-frosted eye shadow and Aquanet hairspray, each girl hoping this would be the day HE’d notice. We did all our homework (plus extra credit). We prepared questions so HE’d stop by our desk, perhaps leaving a soft cloud of Drakkar Noir in HIS magnificent wake. We found reasons to tap HIS shoulder or say “hi” to HIM in the hallway.

For years, this went on. .  .until the JUNIOR CLASS LOCK-IN.

As potential fire hazards go, it was one of the cooler ones. We all showed up on a Friday afternoon, with our jammies and sleeping bags and pillows. Popcorn was popped, mix-tapes exchanged. The ugly girls were made to cry, and the pretty ones consoled one another about their most recent boyfriend dramas. The typical Friday.

Then HE walked in. With his wife.

Now, it honestly never occurred to me that HE might be married. If it had, and if you’d asked me what HIS wife might look like, the image I’d have produced would be something like this:

The reality, however, was more like this:

Which meant, according to the Rules of Dating, that we may have – just possibly – misjudged HIS global appeal.

Yes, when you stripped away our testosterone deprivation, our desperate need for male attention, and our adolescent addiction to fantasy space, all the mystique of HIM – no, check that, him – faded. What we were left with was this:

’Nuff said.

So did I learn my lesson… that just because something’s off-limits doesn’t mean it’s good?

No, I did not.

This was a good thing, or I might not have crushed on (and married) my grad school Teaching Assistant. (Oh, chill-lax, rule-mongers. We didn’t even kiss until after the class was done. AND we told the teacher everything so future-hubby wouldn’t be in charge of my grades.)

Nonetheless, my point stands:

We all romanticize what we can’t have. In fact, the existentialist Arthur Schopenhauer believed humans are innately motivated toward striving. If we ever got our hearts desire, we wouldn’t be happy. . . we’d be bored.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with having unattainable goals.

Fantasy is good. Crushes are good.

They keep life interesting.

Just don’t forget to pull your head out of the sandbox occasionally to assess whether you’re actually chasing the Ark of the Covenant, or whether you’re stalking a crate of musty-smelling cat litter.

Because, honestly, they don’t look that different.

Now it’s your turn!

Ever had a fantasy revealed as something… less than expected? 

Cecily White is a Golden Heart finalist and author of the Angel Academy series, coming in 2013 from Entangled Teen. You can connect with Cecily on Twitter, and she'd love for you to add her debut to your Goodreads shelf


Melissa Landers said...

Great post, Cecily! Thanks for visiting! I admit to having a crush on one of my History professors in college. He was tall and lanky and reminded me of Mr. Rogers. ::shrug:: I never could understand the reason behind that one.

Lorie Langdon said...

Love this post Cecily!
And your conclusion that if Mathgod's wife was geeky then you could have a chance -- such perfect teenage girl logic!
Thanks so much for stopping by Honestly YA!

CareyCorp said...

Mathgod - I love it Cecily! Thanks for stopping by. Good luck this weekend. :)

Cecily White said...

Um, tall, dark, and trustworthy? ;-)

Cecily White said...

Thanks for having me!!! Wish I were less busy at RWA. I'd stalk this site more! Love you guys!

Cecily White said...

Thanks Cary! I'll let you guys know how it goes. Wait, you're not here, are you???

Stephanie Jarkins said...

I never had a crush on any of my profs. They all looked like refugees from the corduroy and tweed factory. I did not know about how you and your hubby met ... hmmm, very interesting! Great piece.

Sharon Davis said...

Ah, memories of my sixth-grade English teacher. The man who introduced me to Tolkien and Toblerone. Your writing is always such a kick to read!

Sharon Davis said...

I connected with your post on a deeper level as well, though. Too much of my life has slipped away while I poured my energy into the wrong goals, things that really didn't matter in the long run. And you're right -- you don't even notice how bad that crate of cat litter smells while you've got your nose buried in it. That really resonates with me right now while I'm struggling to balance the myriad demands on my time and carve out a space in my life for writing.

Wanda Kay said...

If only I could remember back that far! Great post though.

Angela said...

7th grade history... Vic Knight. Yep... By 8th grade we were on a first name basis (he had left for Sweden and I was devastated!) We remained friends for many years. He was someone I knew I could count on. So what if he looked like Barry Manilow!

Goals are important... it's when we begin taking too many of the side streets we begin to lose sight of where we wanted to be in the first place. All roads lead to somewhere... but not necessarily where you want to be.
Be safe and Best wishes this weekend!

Cecily White said...

Are you implying tweed isn't sexy? ;-)

Cecily White said...

THANK YOU!!! Dude, Tolkien and Toblerone? I think I'm in love!!!

Cecily White said...

Remember to breathe. Robyn Carr said something cool today at her RWA luncheon: Be FEARLESS.
Angie Fox said, "What would you write if you knew you couldn't fail?"
The big message is, find your passion and inhabit it. Because you, Sharon, are WAAAAAAAY too talented to let your gifts slumber.
That goes for the rest of you, too!

LiveLoveLaugh... and all that other zen stuff!


Cecily White said...

Hah! Sometimes I try to forget!

Cecily White said...

Hmmm. All roads lead to somewhere... I like that!!!

Thanks for the wishes!

erica m. chapman said...

HA!! Love this. So cute. Great message too ;o) <3<3<3 Yep. I crushed after the grad assistant in my English Lit class in college. He had the shortest pants on earth, but I didn't care. He was adorable!!

LOVE this post ;o)

Romily Bernard said...

Cecily! How did I miss this post?! Because I had my head up my rear as usual probably. Sigh. Love the post. Love you. Going to GoodReads now to add your debut :)

Kimberly said...

I loved this post. I can just picture you drooling over your math god. LOL.
It was great meeting you in Anaheim. Good luck with Angel Academy. Any math gods there? I'm picturing kilts and tweed and all kinds of super sexy things...