Monday, March 27, 2006

I Just Can't Get a Break

Today, as most other days currently, I was substitute teaching. During the time I had my prep period another class entered the room. It turns out there was another class in the room I was in during that time and they had a substitute, too. The sub for this class was this very attractive young lady. She seemed a bit nervous and remembering my manners, I introduced myself.

"Sorry to take over your class," she said.

"Well, it's not really my class. I'm a sub here today, too."


We chatted for a few minutes and then I left to go get lunch. I wasn't going to eat lunch, but I had 90 minutes with nothing to do. I could have stayed in a teacher lounge area, but I've made it a policy of mine not to visit teacher's lounges. I learned when I was substitute teaching in Indiana that teacher's lounges are kind of evil places--there's so much gossip, negativity, and ill will in those places that it makes me sick. I'd rather stay in the classroom during the time reading a book. Anyway, after coming back from eating lunch, this sub was still in the class room. I walked over to the other desk in the room to lay my coat and book down.

"Do you mind if I stay in here?" the lovely lady asks.


"Are you going to eat lunch?"

I was surprised by the question. Women like this usually don't even know if I exist let alone acknowledge my existence and ask me a question.

"Well, normally I don't eat lunch but I already went and ate since I had so much time."

"Good. I'm just going to stay here if you don't mind because I don't usually eat lunch either."

At this point this beautiful woman was talking to her mom on her cell phone, making arrangements to meet her after school. Then she says to me, "I hate the idea of dating. There are just too many mind games." I'm not sure what to say with this comment and since she's still talking to her mom, I'm not even sure if she's talking to me.

I ask, "Are you talking to me?"

"Yeah. Sorry, just a minute." She then brings her conversation with her mom to a close. "Dating is just so troublesome. Are you married?"

"No. No, I'm not."

"Do you have a girlfriend? Are you dating someone?"

"No. Unfortunately, I'm not. I wish I was, but my luck with women just isn't all that great."

"Well, neither is mine. With men I mean."

For the next 40 minutes I had this wonderful conversation with this lady. She told me about the previous three relationships she had been in and how they had all been pretty serious. She told me about this guy she was kind of seeing now (with who she was struggling with and frustrated with) but really wasn't "seeing" because she had decided she wanted to try to be a "player" (her words not mine) and discovered that she really wasn't. She was torn because she kind of liked this guy, but she didn't think she liked him enough to pursue a more serious relationship. Besides, since they had decided at the beginning that this wasn't going to be serious, she thought he was seeing other people. "I thought I wanted that, too, but I don't. I'm just not like that," she said.

We talked briefly about our faith (something we shared in common). She asked for advice and what I thought this guy meant by some of the comments he had made recently. I told her I wasn't the best person to ask in a situation like this because I had never dated anyone seriously and that I tend not to think like other guys do. But, I gave her the best advice I could. I learned she had attended school at Eastern in business but found the business world too cut-throat and that she was now getting her Masters in Elementary Ed at Lindenwood. I learned that she had grown up in Bethalto. She learned from me that I had grown up in Sorento ("Do you know where Greenville is?" "Yeah, I drive by there to Centralia and when I went to Eastern." "Well, it's north of there."). She also learned that I was supposed to have gone to film school in California and then after that fateful summer of 2001 felt led to come back to school and get my teaching certification. We talked about how we hated head games and asked each other why people just can't be real with each other.

"I just want to get married, settle down, have some babies and build a life with my husband," she said.

"If only life was so easy," I replied.

"So, now you're looking for a teaching job for the fall?"


"High school right? In what?"

"English and speech."

We chatted a few more minutes, but by then the bell rang and students were entering the class. She had to go back to her classroom and I had to stay in mine. She came over to borrow the tv and DVD player, another couple of times to ask a question, and once more to bring back the tv/DVD combo on the cart. We only talked for maybe a total of 45 minutes. Not much time at all in the grand scheme of things. But by the end of that time I was completely enchanted with this woman (I won't mention her name). Now, granted, this lady was extremely physically attractive: about 5'7", blond hair, blue eyes, great skin. She could have worked as a model. All the high school guys were whispering to each other, "Did you see the hot sub in Room such-and-such?" That was part of it, I'm sure because like I said at the beginning, girls like that usually don't notice guys like me at all.

There were moments of obvious flirtation. As a male, I admit that I don't pick up on body language and nonverbal communication very well. But there were winks nods and a bit of laughter. It was all very jovial, but it was there.

But there was something more. In that short time, we had connected. There was something about this woman that I found irrestible. I wanted to immediately get to know her better. In the past, I haven't been very bold in matters like this. I'm still like a twelve-year-old kid when it comes to women I like. I don't know what to say. Usually my words come out all wrong. I get tongue-tied, my stomach turns in knots, and sometimes I break out in a sweat. Then, for whatever reason, my request for a date or my revealing of my feelings is met with refusual and rejection. It wasn't like that this time. My stomach was turning a few knots, but I had said all the right things and I knew what I was going to do, for better or worse. I wrote my phone number and email on a piece of paper and after school during the few moments before we would head down to the office, I was going to speak with her, give her the slip of paper, and ask if she wanted to go out.

The final bell rang. The last of the students left the class. I sauntered over to the class next door and she was gone. I looked all over the department, but she was nowhere to be found. "Ms. So-and-So's already left" someone said. What a blow that was.

Gone. Gone for the day. Gone out of my life. Here was a chance. Here was an opportunity. I was going to take it and now it was gone. All I have is a name. I have no way of contacting her.
There is no hope I will see her again.

It's really bummed me out and ticked me off. I just can't seem to get a break.

No comments: