Back in the early days of my teaching career, I taught middle school for three years. It's as close to hell as I ever want to come. Seriously.
There were only two teams of teachers for each grade level, so we were a pretty tight bunch.
But sometimes even people who work closely together should know when to back off.
I was the youngest of the bunch (those were the days), so some of the older teachers sort of mothered me sometimes.
One day I was on hall duty, and I am guessing my co-worker could tell something was wrong. I don't hide my emotions very well. Or my pain. I couldn't walk without grimacing, and standing was killing me.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing," I lied. Poorly.
"No, really, what's wrong?" she insisted.
"I'm okay," I answered, mortified by the realization that I was not going to escape from this conversation.
"Are you hurt?"
"No, really, I'm fine."
"You've dislocated your knee again, haven't you?"
"No....." That would have been a perfect lie, and I don't know why I didn't run with it. Except that the absence of crutches and physical therapy might have given her a clue. But at least it would have shut her up right then.
"Then what is it? I can tell something is wrong."
Why, oh why won't people just give it a rest sometimes?
"Uh........it's not really something you talk about in polite company."
There. That should do it. That's as big a hint as I've got in my arsenal. Subtlety has been abandoned. Time to back off.
"That's okay, what is it?"
I turned beet red. I couldn't think of a lie on the spot that would satisfy her, so I finally gritted through my teeth.
"Let's just say I will never laugh at another Preparation H commercial."
She looked appalled and walked away. I would have kicked her square in her nosy rear end if I could have hobbled that fast.
I apologize profusely for sharing this with the unsuspecting public. Okay, the three people who read my blog. I'm sorry.