Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dropping The Ball

The Scene: It is Thursday afternoon and Ms. Sheep is sitting slumped before her school laptop. She is thinking. She is supposed to be working since it is still technically "school time" but she is too tired. The kids have been taught all they are going to learn that day and have earned their afternoon free time. (sort of...sometimes you have to be flexible about these things)

Sitting next to Ms. Sheep is The Stalker Who Has Followed His Teacher Since Fourth Grade And Through Three Schools But Will Say That It Is She Who Is Stalking Him. The Stalker is happily playing a computer game and, finally, quiet.

If asked, Ms. Sheep would have said that she was thinking about practical things like her dentist appointment the following day and the plans she would need to leave for the class during her absence. She might also say that she was dwelling upon that one fingerless mitt she'd finished and how she needed to make another magically appear before the weekend. Christmas shopping might also come up, as that is a highly practical thing to be thinking about these days.

Were she to say these things, she would be lying. What she was really thinking was how much she wished the holidays were over and that she was just relaxing for the school vacation week. Christmas is stressful and forces her to bake and knit and flit hither and thither far more than she likes. Ms. Sheep is already tired of this holiday season.

She doesn't recall saying any of this aloud. Nor does she believe that she did so. But, somehow, The Stalker picks up on these thoughts. They've been together a long time, after all. It isn't out of the question for a teacher and student to become psychically linked after a billion years or so. He has his own thoughts on holiday trauma.

The Stalker: I can't watch that New Year's Eve show on TV anymore.

Ms. Sheep: Mmmm-hmmmm....

TS: It brings back horrible memories.

MS: Like that whole Y2K thing?

TS: Y2-what? Wasn't that from back in the olden days?

MS: Never mind. And I think you just failed math.

TS: Whatever. Anyway, that wasn't it. It's that ball dropping. You ever heard of that?

MS: Once or twice. It's been going on for a while now.

TS: Well, a few years ago, I was watching that on TV and that's when it happened.

MS: What?

TS: know what happens when the ball drops?

MS: New Year's Day?

TS: No. Well...yeah. That happens. But the other thing. You know?

MS: Music?

TS: No.

MS: Confetti? Silly hats?

TS: No! That thing! That the people do! I was watching TV and my mom was there and then...

MS: What? What happened???

TS: I can't say it.

MS: I'll be honest with you. I didn't much care when this whole conversation started. But now I have to know. What happened that made you scared of the ball dropping in Times Square?

TS: (taking a deep breath) I was there. My mom was there. My dad came in. The ball dropped. It was New Years. And know.

MS: This is getting ridiculous. And you are all red. Why are you all red?

TS: Please don't make me say it. That thing. That thing people do when the ball drops. That's what happened! If only my dad had stayed in the kitchen...

MS: Wait. You mean how people ki...

TS: Stop! I can't hear it!!!!

MS: I'm saying it.

TS: I beg you!

MS: Here it comes.

TS: (puts head on table and makes incoherent gurgling noises)

MS: They KISSED!!!! Your parents kissed each other! HA!!!!

TS: (raises head and mumbles) It was awful. I was just a kid. Sometimes I still see it when I close my eyes.

MS: You know, before you came along your parents used to date. They held hands and everything.

TS: You are not funny. You think you are. But you're not.

I suppose that the holidays bring stress to everyone at times. Even 14 year old boys are not immune. And if I added to that stress by making loud, juicy kissy noises for the rest of the afternoon, I'm not admitting to it. Or proud of it. Except for the part where I was kind of proud. If nothing else, it was nice to know I'm not alone in my Christmas Crisis. I even felt a little surge of holiday spirit flicker deep within my cold, hard heart.

That spark was enough to fuel the knitting of half a fingerless mitt and the baking of cupcakes today. It's not much and it still may be a case of Too Little, Too Late. But that's OK. It was just nice to have a little holiday spirit back in my life.

And there is still another week of school left before the kids go on break. On Monday, I'm bringing in some mistletoe. That should be good for another round of teen trauma and the will to knit up a scarf.



trek said...

Number Guy laughed out loud.
I grinned (can't laugh - makes me cough).

Neatnik didn't get it at all. :o)

Adelaide said...

I've always enjoyed pointing out to friends with younger siblings that there's physical proof their parents did a lot more than just kiss - and probably while they were all under the same roof...
I'm the youngest in my family :-)

Mouse said...

hee hee hee heee hee hee hee.

Mel said...

You know, my parents used to try to embarrass us with that sort of talk, but being a practical sort and a natural-born biologist, I was always immune to it. It's never stopped me, though, from using it on younger siblings and now nieces and nephew who aren't so impervious.

Beth said...

That is too funny! Especially where you made loud kissing noises. :)

Donna Lee said...

At least you stopped at "held hands". No use traumatizing him totally.

Elaine said...

You are entirely too funny! I love it!

=Tamar said...

Oh, you are mean. snicker.

Kath said...

Just so you know, those of on the receiving end of home-baked cupcakes really really really do appreciate it. I was gifted with such an awesome thing recently and the happy memories of it linger on long after the last crumb is gone!

Lorraine said...

ROFLOL! When I need to speak to hubby about private Santa-ish things, I just start kissing him and kids scatter to the four winds, "Euwww"ing and gagging all the way.

Glad I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of grossing out teens.