Be Mine

It’s the season of celebrating love, like it or not, in cheesy ways or thoughtful poems. You can take your pick. Recently I saw a tutorial for making the perfect bacon rose for your man. Excuse me while I laugh a little, because who ever thought of bacon and roses together? I just love the diversity of humanity.

Last night I watched a young man stagger out of Walmart with a gi-normous teddy bear. The older man with him asked in disbelief, “How much did you pay for that thing?” to which he replied a little glumly, “Forty bucks!” I sure hope his girl likes it.

I had a flashback to a younger me who declared to my brothers that if I ever have a boyfriend who gives me a teddy bear, I will not marry him. This was in the era of the journal that nearly killed me. 🙂 Fortunately Gabe gave me mugs and chocolates and handwritten letters and such like. I was sunk. Once he even brought me a used copy of an out-of-print book that I had wanted badly and he happened to see it in a library sale. That was worth about 10 Valentine’s teddies to me. Anyhow, here’s to individuality and thoughtful love. Me being me, I don’t mind getting roses at some time when nobody else has them 😛 but there are ladies who feel very neglected if they don’t get their dozen in February. A wise man knows these things about his woman. (Poor guys.)

I thought you all might enjoy a love story, one that nearly didn’t happen. Yes?

There was once a girl who decided that she wouldn’t get married for a very, very long time. She would put up high defenses and pour out her heart in teaching elementary students. Maybe by the time she was about thirty a total stranger would catch her eye. Or maybe her husband had died in infancy. Most of her immediate circle of friends had either gotten married or headed off to various posts of voluntary service by the time she was 23. Even her best friend brother had taken off to the mountains of North Carolina with her best girl friend. There was nothing to distract her, really.

The year that she had the first through third grade classroom, the school board had a sudden crisis of needing a teacher for the next grades. One of the board members had a nineteen year old son who really wanted to teach, and this was his chance. The girl teacher felt sorry for him, stepping in with so little time to prepare, so she helped him figure out the schedule and showed him around the school cubbies and store closets.

He showed a real aptitude for the job, a natural teacher, even though she thought he was really young. The students respected him, and because the school was small, their classrooms shared recess time. He did well with organizing playground time and she gladly let him go ahead with that. There was the matter of him getting a bigger paycheck, just because he was a guy. That irritated her a little, but otherwise, school went along just swimmingly.

There was an upper grade classroom, and that teacher had a girlfriend. Sometimes they all played Mille Bornes after school, leaving the checking for later. It was really a lot of fun. She had not expected to have such jolly times with her co-teachers, seeing as there were no other ladies on staff, but it turned out to be okay. There were many conversations about the students, about how to reach the needy ones and how to keep learning exciting, and does learning always have to be exciting, or should one just keep plowing through.

By midterms the girl realized that she had a very high respect for that co-teacher, that she valued his opinions much more than she ever would have expected. She was astounded. This was her kid brother’s friend. He was four years younger than she, and how in the world had he breached those high defenses that she had put up???

To be continued…

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