If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Style

Years and years ago...

...when I was a single mother of two who was trying to make her way in the world as a classroom teacher...

...one of my students tried to play matchmaker for me - the professional woman with a Master's degree and professional high-heels and teacher-attire.

He invited me to a major local event where his father had box seats.  His little seventh-grade self offered up all of the niceties for the evening.  He mentioned that we could enjoy fine dining from the country ham sandwich booth and the fresh home-made donut booth and could cheer for every entrant right at ringside of the horse show.  He was a bit disappointed when I declined the delightful invitation.

Later in the year, his little basketball-playing self informed my cheerleader coach self, as we were riding the team bus to the middle school basketball game, that his father was coming to the game and I should be on the lookout for him.  He was so proud of himself because he had already let his dad know what I was wearing and that I would be seated near the cheerleaders during the game.  I'm sure my face had that frozen look of, "Oh.  My.  Goodness!"  when I reminded him that I was still officially on duty as a school employee and didn't really think it would be a good idea for me to socialize.  Again, he seemed a bit disappointed but still optimistic.

Near the end of that ball season, I was sitting in the stands one evening - grading papers and half-watching the game as I always did.  It was play-off time and I was more than ready for the season to end so that I could get home to my sofa for grading papers and not be driving home after the last person was picked up at the school following a long bus ride.  Engrossed in reading an essay, I didn't notice the first couple of times when this fellow sitting beside me cleared his voice.  However, I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard him say my name with a question mark at the end.

I looked up to see this fellow wearing a golden yellow do-rag on his head.  (For those of you who don't know what that is, a do-rag is a bandana tied around a person's head in a sort of pirate fashion.)  The fellow introduced himself - my little seventh-grade student's father - and asked me if I would care to join him at the end of the quarter for a cigarette and a soft drink.  I'm sure there are few words which could describe the look on my face.  I'm sure I have never stammered quite so much as I politely declined his invitation.  However, he simply smiled and told me he would be back and would like to chat.  So, I watched him leave in his shirt with the sleeves cut out and jeans with a bulldog wearing a studded collar embroidered on the pocket of his baggy jeans.

During that quarter break, I certainly couldn't concentrate on my essay grading.  I also didn't concentrate on my cheerleaders' center-court performance.  All I could think of was to ask myself if I projected myself as someone who would consort with a student's father and with a father who was certainly of a different style than myself.

All that came rushing back to me the other day when I came out of the doctor's office and climbed up into the truck with the man of my dreams - my beloved, sophisticated husband.  Hmmm...