Sunday, December 13, 2009

The End of the Semester: Notes


I go to school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and then I am done, done, done.


I call my father. I need gift ideas for his fiancee.

I say, "What does Kathy want for Christmas?"

He says, "She never tells me."

I say, "How about toilet paper? Do you think she'd like some toilet paper?"

I recently bought what I'll quantify as a WHOLE FUCKING LOT of toilet paper because, well, it was a good price. (I felt very thrifty, very Midwestern at the exact moment I was cradling the giant package of toilet paper in my arms and hiking it back to the registers. Really, I was channeling my inner Katy.)

When I arrived home with my whole fucking lot of toilet paper, I realized I didn't have enough room for it. I am in toilet paper surplus. I have more triple-roll spools than I know what to do with. Right now, they are in my closet, stuffed behind garment bags full of dresses.

"Toilet paper, huh?" my father says. "Well, sure. Now there's a gift. Who wouldn't love getting that?"


I call my father again, later.

"What are you doing?" I ask. "Are you Christmas shopping?"

"I am doing the dishes," he says. "Hey. Guess what. We went to a wedding last night."


"No one you know. A friend of Kathy's. Anyway, I skipped the wedding itself, but Kathy went. When we met up before we went to the reception, and she told me she had a surprise for me. Someone we had in common was going to be there, and we'd get to sit with them during dinner."

"Who was it?"

"Your brother."

"My brother?"

"Yeah. And you should've seen him." My father laughs. "That kid was a dancer last night. I've never seen him like that before. He was spastic. He danced with everyone... even the groom. I think he might've had one too many pops, if you know what I mean."


So, there's this student. This student is a male, around my age, an auto guy. I think it's safe to say he has a crush on me. I make this assumption because of the following items: a.) Last weekend I received an e-mail from him that referred to me as "Doll" ; b.) he routinely asks if I'd like to hang out with him on the weekends, even after I've scolded him and told him to stop asking that because I'm his teacher, and he's my student, and NO ; c.) if I come over to help him, he likes to tell me I smell good ; d.) he's said, "So, I bet you have trouble with your guy students all the time, because, you know, you're hot and all." And then he waggled his eyebrows at me.

So, the other day in class, after one of my other students informed me she'd gotten me a Christmas present while she was down in New York visiting her boyfriend--"A boyfriend in New York," I said dreamily. "Swoon!"--the student with the crush said, "Well, I'm giving you your Christmas present next week."

"You got me a Christmas present?" I said. "There's really no need, you know."

"Oh, I didn't get it," he said. "I'm making it."

I think this is something I'm going to have to brace myself for.


My grandmother sent a Christmas card the other day, and after I opened it and read it, I sat down to send a card in reply. When I was done, I realized what a poor job I'd done. I had written about how sad my students had made me this semester--what says Merry Christmas! more than an in-depth discussion of the decaying behavior and skill set of college-level students?!--and then I'd tried to change subjects by discussing the fun I was going to have next week when my friend Emily and I go Christmas shopping in Portland on the night they have free wine in all the stores.

When I was finished rereading it I knew I'd have to throw it out and start a new one. The end of the card--what with its shift in tone from downtrodden to upbeat, just when I'd started discussing Emily and all the good, glittering times we were going to have shopping--was just more evidence that I am a giant, hulking lesbian. And I figure grandma doesn't need to worry herself about that at Christmastime.

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