Substitute Teaching: English (OJHS 3.2)

The girls in first period English looked so awesome. Every one of them wore pink (except one who wore a green sweater with pink, paper hearts stapled to it). None of the boys did. It was very funny. The girls also exchanged Valentine’s cards and candy with each other. None of the boys did. None of the students knew why I was laughing.

“Mr. Guile,” one of the girls asked. “What’s so funny?”

“The boys,” I said, squishing a giggle.

“Huh,” said one of the boys.

“What makes us funny?” asked one of the the others.

“Oh look,” I said. “The bell just rang. Okay everyone, take your seats . . .”

I remember when I was in middle school. I knew I liked girls. I even had a crush on Amanda who by seventh grade was four inches taller than me. I just didn’t get them or the need for things like Valentines. I was busy with wrestling season or math or science or art or drafting or violin or playing DnD. It wasn’t until I was seventeen that I figured out a girl who was practically my best friend while I was in middle school would have liked a Valentine’s card from me: “Who Samantha? I don’t think so. She beat me up once,” I said to myself. She was funny and was in bunches of my classes. She had kinky blonde hair, blue eyes and a vicious right cross.

I could tell many of the boys were just as confused by the girls as I was. Oh sure, some of the boys certainly seemed to have it together, but I have my doubts. In third period, a Polynesian boy came in and gave one of the students a Valentine’s Balloon.

“What’s that for,” another boy asked.

“Shuddup foo,” the Polynesian boy said. “This is for [Asia].”

She didn’t know what to say. She blushed a lot. I don’t think she was expecting anything. All the other girls giggled and whispered. The Polynesian kid had a lot of class and left quickly.

Sure, we studied and had a lot of fun, but I enjoyed most the Valentines misadventures. I know eventually some of them will get it, whatever it is, but I never got very good at Valentines Day. My favorite school Valentine’s Gift came the day I was moving from Oklahoma City to Provo when Christine Hicks kissed me in hall and ran off. I never saw her again.


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