Teacher Clothes

Truth be told—and this will be relevant later—

(Relevant to what?  Well, nothing but this silly story, I guess, but you’re already here, so)

Truth be told, I AM actually a teacher.

But Amazon doesn’t technically know that. Except that everyone knows your phone listens to you and reports to the FBI, so maybe Amazon does know that.  Hmmm.

Anyway, I am a teacher (have been for almost 22 years; more on that in another post or several), but I was NOT looking for “teacher clothes” when I was playing around on Amazon the other day.  I wasn’t really looking for anything, in fact.  I just happened to pass by my phone on its charger while I was on my way to peruse the refrigerator for a snack, and I thought it sounded kind of fun to get on Amazon and buy something.

I do that a lot.  It drives my husband nuts, but I swear, it’s so fun.  It’s like Christmas every day when the mailman comes! 

So there I was, eating pepperoni out of the packet while swiping through Amazon, and suddenly I saw the most adorable dress. I clicked on it so I could see all of its color/design varieties, and when I finally decided on one to put in my “saved for later” cart so I could pretend like I was deliberating on it for a few days before spending the money (that’s the responsible thing to do, right?), I noticed what it said in quotes just above the picture of the dress. It was the phrase that people who also like to play on Amazon most often put in the search bar that make them land on this particular dress:

“teacher clothes for women”

I groaned. 

It’s not that I don’t like being a teacher.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  I love being a teacher.  And not that virtual crap that they made us do at the end of 2019. I like teaching for real, in the classroom with my students—and I was one of the lucky ones who got to do it in person the entire 2020-2021 school year.

Oh, I love being a teacher.

But being told that you dress like a teacher or look like a teacher?  That’s not so fun. 

It’s kind of like when I used to go out with my college friends, one of whom was (and still is) petite with brown hair and glasses.  We used to see this guy at the karaoke bar all of the time and he would say to her, “Oh, look at you!  You look just like an adorable little librarian!” and she would punch him really hard in the arm every single time.

I think I would love being a librarian.  But being told I look like one?  I’m not really sure that’s a compliment.

One time, my husband and I were hanging out with his little sister and some of her friends.  If memory serves correctly, we were keeping it real classy that night, having dinner at Waffle House.  Someone asked me what I did for a living, and I said “I’m a teacher.”

She paused for a moment and studied me from across the table as a smirk formed on her face.  Then she goes, “You look like a teacher.”

I promise I had not said or done one untoward thing to that girl. But the way she said “You look like a teacher” made it clear that it was not a compliment.  But I took the high road and didn’t respond.

I’m just kidding.  Lol, I never take the high road.

Actually what happened was that I said the first thing that came to my mind (I do that a lot, too):  “And you look like you work at Taco Bell.”

Let me be clear before I go on:  I love Taco Bell almost as much as I love coffee.  The chili cheese burrito has been a diet staple for me since I was 19 years old and hear me when I say that it is an absolute blessing from the Dear Sweet Lord in Heaven Himself and if you don’t see things like burritos as blessings from God then you need to get your spirituality straight and learn how to appreciate the little things.

I also truly believe that the millions of drive-through workers who have handed me my chili cheese burritos through the window over the last 25 years have been angels on earth.

One of the saddest sights I ever saw, in fact, was last night, when I pulled up to our local Taco Bell only to see that it was a virtual ghost town. No lights, no cars…no employees.  People are staying home and collecting their pandemic unemployment checks instead of coming to work and making tacos, and it’s just terrible. I wasn’t made for a world with ghost town Taco Bells.  What even is life without Taco Bell employees?  Is it a life worth living?

Debatable.

Instead of banging my fists on the steering wheel and shouting bad words into the air as was my first inclination, I took a deep, shuddering breath and let a tear—one single tear was all I allowed myself; I didn’t want to open those flood gates—slide down my cheek as I cursed communism.  (I blame communism for everything bad.  It works in any situation, and people never know if you're joking or not, which makes it even better.  You should try it sometime.) 

Please come back, Taco Bell workers.  Please. I’m sorry about what I said that night so many years ago at Waffle House.

Later, my sister-in-law and I were on the phone rehashing our night out and my sister-in-law said, “She didn’t like you.”

“Well, SHE STARTED IT,” I responded.

I think my sister-in-law needs to choose better friends, tbh.  There was another time that a different friend didn’t like me because I turned down her pasta salad at a pool party.

“Remember Amber?” my sister-in-law asked me a few days after the party.

“Sure, I remember Amber.  She was nice enough.”

“She didn’t like you.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah,” my sister-in-law explained (kind of gleefully, if you ask me).  “She said that she offered you some of her pasta salad, and you said you didn’t like pasta salad.”

“Um, my exact words were, ‘No, thanks, Amber.  I’m not a fan of pasta salad even though yours looks beautiful.’”

I mean, I called her gross pasta salad beautiful and that’s how she repaid me?

“Well,” my sister-in-law insisted, “she thought it was rude.  She didn’t like you.”

I shrugged.  It didn’t make sense to me that someone would dislike another person because of a general aversion to pasta salad, but I didn’t care.  You learn to get a little hard about such things when so many people walk around saying they don’t like you.

“Tell her to make something better next time, I guess?”

Anyway, I bought two of the dresses, effectively proving the Waffle House girl's point. I got one in leopard print and one in camo.  I’ll post pictures later, posing with a big old heaping bowl of pasta salad in my lap.



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