Last Wednesday, when I was home in Michigan, I stopped by Lakeshore High School take lunch to my sister, Janel, before heading back to Denver. As we were walking down the hall together, we happened upon one of my old teachers. We’ll call him “Gordon Whitemer”.
He called Janel and me into his classroom when he saw us in the hallway.
“How have you been? Come give me a hug!” he yelled, as we walked into his room. As I greeted him, I noticed a full classroom of students staring at me.
“I don’t want to interrupt your class,” I apologized. “I just wanted to say hello.”
“No no no,” he said. “You’re not interrupting!”
He proceeded to sit on his desk and ask me roughly 8,000 questions. “What are you doing?” “What’s Coleman doing?” “Really, you found a job?” “How are the girls?” “Remember your graduation party?”
Feeling awkward, I tried to respond to his questions with hilarious answers. Surely, these little high schoolers might enjoy a few laughs while they’re listening to some strange former student talk about her personal life when they should be learning something.
Joke after joke.
Not even a smile from any of those dumb kids.
“So, you pregnant?” Mr. Whitemer asked.
“What?!” I said. “No. Do I look pregnant?”
“No,” he explained. “Just seems like it’s about that time for you to have kids.”
“No, not for awhile,” I replied.
“That’s right!” he screamed. “I bet you are ABSTINENT!”
“Excuse me?!” I blushed.
“ABSTINENCE is the only way to avoid PREGNANCY,” he screamed again. “RIGHT?”
Shouldn’t someone shut the door? Can’t every classroom in this entire hallway hear this?
I looked at Janel. She just stood there laughing.
I looked at the students. Not a smirk.
“So, what about Jenny Bock? She pregnant?” Mr. Whitemer asked.
“Nope, not her either,” I responded.
“THAT’S RIGHT! BECAUSE SHE ABSTAINS FROM SEX!” he yelled. “ABSTINENCE!” he repeated, stretching his arms out and turning wide-eyed to face his students.
“What?” I said, confused.
“Well, this is a freshman health class,” Mr. Whitemer explained. “And today we’re talking about abstinence. Right, guys?” he asked the class. No answer.
The children might have just died from boredom, I think.
“Tell them that abstinence is the best way, Jillian. Tell them that you are married, but you are abstinent, because it’s the best way to avoid getting pregnant.”
“Uh…” I thought aloud. “Yep, it’s the best way.”
I rolled my eyes as I talked to the class, hoping that maybe just one of them would laugh at the strange circumstance.
They didn’t even blink.
“Ok, well I guess we’ll leave you alone now,” I said, backing toward the door. “Janel needs to go to class anyway.”
“All right,” he said. “Well, great to see you. Tell the girls I said hi. And Coleman, too!”
“Will do. See you soon,” I said.
I was tempted to tap dance out the door or scream “ABSTINENCE” one more time or something, just as one last ditch effort to make the little students laugh.
But I held back.
Surely talking about my sex life with strange high schoolers, a former teacher and my little sister is enough embarrassment for one day.
That and getting yelled at by the assistant principal shortly after saying goodbye to Mr. Whitemer for not being in class. Geez.