You might recall that recently, Val lamented that Hick had brought her NOTHING from his trip to France. Not even a giant Toblerone from within the county lines of Backroads. Nor had he gifted her with a semblance of thoughtfulness, like that time he gave her a $3.00 change purse and two boxes of Sno-Caps for Mother’s Day. But let’s not forget that Hick DID give Val a gift within the year 2016. For her birthday. Or perhaps Valentine’s Day. Hard to say, because Val’s birthday is within three days of that sweet holiday.
Far be it from Val to complain about actually getting a gift. Well. Unless it happens to be a $3.00 change purse and two boxes of Sno-Caps. But Hick does not understand the ramifications of the conditions he places on his gifts.
Here it is.
There was some question as to how much input Hick had on this token of affection, and how much was left to The Pony. There’s nothing wrong with the gift itself. Except that Hick played the guilt trip card.
“I see your gift is still sitting on the bookshelf. Aren’t you taking it to school?”
“Oh. Well. I guess I could…”
“That’s why I got it. For you to put on your desk at school.”
Let the record show that Hick has gotten me other gifts that he expected me to take to school. One was a nice pen and pencil set, in our school colors, and a fancy case. Any teacher knows that you can’t put that on your desk at school! No matter how well-behaved and well-trained the students, of any age, one day you’re going to walk back to your desk and see that your pen is gone. Gone, baby, gone! Then you’ll have to spend the hour walking around the classroom, looking at your pupils’ writing implements, and say, pointedly, “Did anybody borrow a pen off my desk? Because nobody asked, and it was there just a minute ago, and now it’s gone.” And somebody will sheepishly say, “Oh, I thought you let us borrow the ones you had out on your desk.” Or you’ll have to zero in on the one clasping it in his fingers, and he’ll say, “Oh! This? Yeah, I think I might have gotten it off your desk. Do you want it? I forgot my pen. I was just using it.”
Or that fancy cut-glass paperweight that could only become an implement of noggin’ knockin’ every time my back was turned. Some things you just don’t put on a teacher’s desk.
I do admit that I liked the shiny nameplate on a block of wood that was nicely done. Quite professional. IF I worked in a law firm or some prestigious office job. Or even as a receptionist at a scrap yard. But teachers don’t have them on their desks. The kids know who we are. Because we write it on the board for the first few days of school. And the parents know who we are, because they are fired up to talk to us, and aren’t about to confuse us with somebody else. It’s not like they’ll wander into every room, reading nameplates on desks. They will check in at the office and be directed to us.
So…to appease Hick, something I am rarely concerned about, I took that felt flower in its glass (!) vase to school. I put it on my desk.
GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!
You would have thought I’d set out a platter of caviar. Strung a line of shrunken heads above my desk. Wheeled in a baby mammoth for dissection. Tongues were a-wag. “Mrs. Thevictorian! What’s that on your desk? Where did that come from? Who gave that to you? What does it say? Can I hold it? Don’t you like it? Turn it this way!”
Yeah. It generated a lot of excitement. You might picture our school in sepia tones, or gray and drab and depressing, like in the movie Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. That little pink felt flower was the talk of the building.
Let the record also show that the majority of my pupils are high school freshmen.
As it came to pass…the very next day, actually…one class took a shine to that felt flower, and gave it a name. Clyde. And I have to hear about him. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
“Clyde doesn’t like you.”
“Clyde can’t see the board.”
“Turn Clyde around. He want to see ME.”
“How’s Clyde today?”
“What did you do to Clyde? He turned his back on you!”
“We’re doing WHAT? Clyde doesn’t like that.”
“Clyde wants to watch a movie.”
Yeah. Putting that little fake flower on my desk costs me several minutes of unneeded attempted time-wasting every day, and extra effort to settle down the kids from all that excitement.
The school year is almost over, you known. I think it’s time Clyde came home.