Thursday, June 22, 2006

She didn't want me once she found out I was a teacher

Over at Learn Me Good Mister Teacher is not missing the dress code at his school, which requires ties for teachers. Here in Texas the temperature can often hit the 90s even before the month of May, and since he and I agree a tie with a short sleeve shirt looks too Dilbert-ish, it can make for a pretty hot day, especially if your school has a computer controlled air conditioning system that "averages" 74 degrees throughout the school. All the talk of ties reminded me of an incident that occured awhile back and a young lady I met at a local gas station.

I was only about a month into my first year at the district I currently teach in and since I was the only male teacher I hadn't quite caught on to the fact that males were not required to wear ties. At the time I had a nice collection of ties with matching suspenders. I also had a 1985 Toyota Tercel hatchback (this will be important later).

One morning on the way to school, wearing my tie and matching suspenders, I stopped at a local gas station to gas up. As I waited in line to pay an elderly gentleman, wearing a Mr. T starter kit of necklaces and the biggest gold and diamond ring I've eer seen, drove up in a jaguar, parked up front and came in to use the restroom. 30 seconds later a quite attractive lady, let's call her Daisy, comes in with her head on a swivel. After surveying the crowd (did I mention this gas station is also a truck stop?) she settles on me, saunters over and coos, "That just HAS to be your Jaguar out front". I laughed and explained to her that if it was I would sell it and pay off my house.

Daisy clearly didnt' believe. At least that is until she saw me go out and get in my 1985 Toyota Tercel (windows down b/c the A/C was broken). I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately describe the look of disgust that came upon her face.

HOWEVER, it did add to my basic fact of life's list, which now currently stands at 3.

BASIC FACT #1 - Clowns don't like it when you're funnier than they are.

BASIC FACT #2 - you can't look cool driving around in a 1985 Toyota Tercel (see story above)

BASIC FACT #3 - you can't tell people what they don't want to hear

So thank you Mister Teacher, for reminding me of one of my favorite stories. Next time I'll tell the story of a gorgeous young lady in cutoffs I met at another gas station.


"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Dude, it wasn't that you were a teacher. It wasn't that the A/C was broken. It was the HATCHBACK.

We're not talking Nissan 240 SX hatchback. We're talking Tercel hatchback.

I once met a guy in college who told me he WANTED to marry a woman who was a teacher so that she would have more time to take care of "his" house and "his" children, especially during the summer....

I decided he wasn't worth an assault charge. Needless to say though, my phone number was refused him, very sweetly....

Mister Teacher said...

Hey Mike,
Thanks for linking to Learn Me Good! To tell the truth, I kind of like wearing a tie to work because I have some fun ties that generate comments from the kids. But as you said, when it's hot, it's no fun. Fortunately, the air-conditioning usually works pretty well inside the classroom, now that I'm inside the main building. Last year, when I was outside in one of the portables, the A/C was so incredibly loud that I had to turn it off any time I wanted to be sure the kids were listening to me. So I would turn it on when the kids were working, and we would be cool, and I would turn it off when I was lecturing to the class, and we would swelter.
As for your golddigger story, sorry to hear about the Tercel hatchback, my friend. But I will admit, I have driven some clunkers in my past. In high school, I had an '82 Chevy Malibu -- primer in color, and with a really bad case of epilepsy. Then in grad school, I drove a Dodge Caravan that I had inherited from my parents the day before a hailstorm. After the storm, it had a lot of dings and spots where the paint was peeling off from craters. So I feel your pain, man.

NYC Educator said...

I dunno, Mike, about any relationship based on what kind of car you drive. There musta been a good reason Richard Cory offed himself, and we teachers are fortunate we don't hafta go through it.

I wear a tie, by the way, even though it's not required. When I started out, i looked a lot younger, and security wouldn't let me in the building without one.

Mike in Texas said...

LOL@misterteacher and NYC Educator

I wish I had the problem of looking so young people think I'm a student.

Of course, I work at an elementary school so maybe that wouldn't be such a good thing after all.

I actually have a nice vehicle now, a pickup this being Texas and all. But it sure does lack the personality some of the old clunkers I drove in my youth had.

Mike in Texas said...

Hey misterteacher,

If I order your book can I get it autographed?

Mister Teacher said...

Hey Mike,
I sent you an e-mail saying I'm sure we can work something out.
And I like to think that I have a young-looking face, but there's no way anyone is confusing me for a student -- I am over 6 feet tall. However, some of the ladies that I work with are no taller than the kids, and sometimes they're a bit harder to pick out of the crowd...

Anonymous said...

Teachers should indeed dress professionally, professionally being defined as at least a notch or two above the kids. For example, neatly pressed Dockers-like pants and clean, new polo shirts or similar shirts. Need I mention belts and leather shoes, clean if not polished?

It has been my experience, in many years of police work and education, that the administrations that require ties, etc. in the name of professionalism are usually anything but professional. It is, you see, very easy for even the least effective administrator to determine if Mr. Smith is or is not wearing the required tie. It takes intelligence, time, and some skill to determine if Mr. Smith is actually teaching effectively. Truly effective administrators are commonly far more interested in effective teaching than in ensuring that teachers develop the incredibly complex intellectual skill to wear ties.

Does anyone really believe that high school kids think like this: "I see that Mr. Smith is not wearing a tie, but Mr. Jones is, therefore Mr. Jones is a surerior teacher and I will disregard what Mr. Smith says." Kids will surely notice any teacher who is trying to dress like them, but beyond that...

Mike in Texas said...


Khahkis and a polo shirt would be fine with me for everyday of the week.

HappyChyck said...

This makes me think of one of my dear friends who is the most respected, effective math teachers I've ever known. I think I've only ever seen him in a tie for graduation. In fact, will argue with you all day long how student respect has nothing to do with whether you wear a tie or not--that idea is one of his pet peeves.

LOL! You should see his car, too! It's the kind where you'd say, "Hey, why don't I drive!"

Mike in Texas said...

I actually miss the old Tercel at times. One thing I can say for it, it started every morning and got 35 mpg, even when it had 200, 000 miles on it. It met its demise when an idiot on a cell phone, going the opposite way down the street, made a left hand turn directly in front of me and I T-Boned him. The car I had after that was a Chevy Corsica (also a dorkmobile) that I couldn't always count on to start. At least when the Tercel wouldn't start I could roll it downhill on my street and pop the clutch.