When my mom and dad met on their first blind date in 1969, they were both teachers, and seemed to hit it off immediately. I found out recently that my dad had the hots for my mom and grabbed her tightly and deep-throat kissed her on their first date.
Oh dear God. Let me get that image out of my head now.
Over two years ago, when I registered for the online dating site, eharmony , I discovered they kept “matching” me up with teachers. So, I went out with teachers–several of them, in fact.
The first one was named Jon. He was a math teacher. He tried to teach me about algorithms and gave me an awkward side hug at the end of the night. I actually went out with him three times, and each time we had nothing to talk about. He would send me random texts that said things like, “Whew!” Or “Time to rest,” when I had no context as to what the heck he was talking about. When I get a random one word text that is sent to me in the effort to provoke conversation, I have absolutely no idea what to say.
The second teacher I went on a date with was named Donald. Donald was a language arts middle school teacher. Donald liked to start all conversations with the phrase, “Let me tell you something about me.” The list of things he told me about himself included the following:
1. “Let me tell you something about me. I am a gentleman. I will always open the door for you. I will always pay for you.” Okay, weirdo.
2. “Let me tell you something about me. I call everyone–even the cashier at the gas station–by his or her first name.” Even weirder.
3. “Let me tell you something about me. I have a boat. A big one. Come on my boat. Just make sure you get that bikini ready!” Aren’t we moving a little too quickly here?
I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live after meeting Donald, because I fantasized about writing a piece of sketch comedy centered around him, or a character like him.
The clincher for me, however, was when I heard him state, “Well I got into teaching so I could have the summers off.”
At that point I said, “Let me tell you something about me. I don’t think you will ever see me in a bikini.”
And then there was the elementary teacher, Kyle. I must preface the Kyle story with the fact that I have never been one to get caught up on how tall a guy is–I’ve dated short, tall, overweight, underweight, etc. So I never looked at the height stats on a match that eharmony sent me. When I was getting ready for my first date with Kyle, my neighbor stopped by, and I showed her his profile. “Oh, he’s 5’1″. Better wear flats.”
When he showed up at Moe and Johnny’s for dinner 30 minutes late, he appeared around the corner, peeking at me in embarrassment. Talk about awkward. Because I had been forewarned of his height, though, I knew who he was immediately.
“Sorry I’m late,” he said, and proceeded to order a big a** pizza and gobble it up. Then he began to tell me about all the awful eharmony dates he had been on and how he really makes no money teaching and would rather be a chef.
“So you went into teaching expecting to make loads of money?”
Kyle abruptly ended the date after my comment, but he did walk me to my car, before he said goodbye and faded into the mist…much like a leprechaun would.
Okay, maybe calling him a leprechaun was a little harsh, because Kyle actually was nice. We just obviously weren’t a match. Here’s the thing–I get so fired up and passionate about teaching and how important it is to have educators whose primary goal is to guide students into being successful learners, that I just can’t talk to a teacher who wants anything less than that.
So it’s not that I won’t date teachers, I suppose, as much as it is that I won’t date teachers who aren’t on the same page as me. Teaching is a career that one enters knowing that your dedication to your students is what keeps you going–it’s not just a paycheck. It’s definitely not about vacation time. It’s about changing students’ lives, building relationships, and doing your best every day to assist them in paving a road to success, and SHOWING students–not telling them–who they can become.
And here’s a random picture of my favorite teacher. My dad. This is from an outtake of an interview I did with him about the time he got arrested. More to come on that later this week.