that time i stole a watch from a teacher
theme post tonight. 1st time we felt like an adult.
i developed early but breasts really weren't what made me feel like an adult.
i was in fourth grade, my teacher was mrs. quiring - i hope i spelled that correctly. if she liked you, she was nice to you.
she liked me.
she used to say i looked like a little angel.
she was very mean to kids she didn't like and she especially didn't like the kids who were living in poorer situations.
there was boy named david pierce.
i loved david.
he was my 1st real romantic kiss. but that would come in 5th grade.
in 3rd grade, the teacher had decided we'd all go to each other's birthday parties. and that's how i learned that david's family was not making it economically.
for instance, before his party, carol had thrown a costume birthday party and he had dressed up as a hobo. and then every kid wanted a costume birthday party. and while the rest of us varied our costumes, he came in the same hobo outfit every time.
and then it was time for his party. his mother made a delicious cake but that really was their splurge. and for a whole class of kids it wasn't a big enough cake.
my mother explained that to me on the way home. (i'd griped at her for bringing cup cakes when we driving there. i told her that we shouldn't bring food. she brought cup cakes and sandwiches and walked in and said that she'd made these for a church thing but then remembered today was also david's birthday party so she hoped it was okay to pass them out to the kids. in reality, she knew how tough times were for david's family.)
but david didn't have money for anything. his pants were hand me downs from his brother and too high (high waters). his uncle visited on his way back from some where (he was in the military, he might have been coming back from korea or wherever). and he bought david a really nice watch. he bought david's brother some stuff too. but for david (who was named after this uncle) he bought this incredible man's watch.
and at school, every boy who saw it envied him for it. and to finally have something that every 1 wanted to see was a big deal to him. as it would be to any 1.
so mrs. quiring hates him and she finally says, 'david, we've all seen enough of that cheap watch' - i'll never forget her calling it cheap - 'i should just make you throw it in the trash but instead, i'm going to take it up and, at the end of the school year, if you've learned your lesson, i'll give it back to you.'
what a bitch, right?
i couldn't believe it.
and david was furious. and so mad he was bright red and looking like he was going to cry.
so she puts it in her desk and goes on with the lesson.
the next day, david's not in school. (much, much later, i'd learn he'd gotten beat by his father for losing the watch.)
since mrs. quiring trusts me and since david's not there, i took the watch.
i knew she couldn't blame him because he was out.
and i knew she'd never blame me.
i thought about it all through lunch and wondered if it would make me a bad person. but i never answered that question and just though how much it would mean to david and how unfair what she had done was.
so as she was yacking away about something (little house on the prairie?) and had her back to us, i walked right up to her desk, opened the drawer and grabbed the watch. her back was to me and the whole class was watching me stunned.
i went back to my desk, put the watch in my purse and she still hadn't turned around.
this fat little girl who hated me was named natalie jane. and natalie jane raises her chubby little paw and hollers, 'mrs. quiring!'
mrs. quiring turns around from the board and asks her what she needs.
'i heard that some 1 had been in your drawer and stolen the things you took up.'
she sort of sticks her lips out and slowly turns to me while mrs. quiring is opening the drawer.
she gasps. she wants to know who did this.
fat natalie jane says, 'becky did it, mrs. quiring, i saw her.'
mrs. quiring looks over at me then back at natalie jane and says, 'natalie jane, it is bad enough you stole these things, now you are blaming some 1 else!' and she hauled her off to the principals.
and my friend julie said, 'becky, you've got to tell.'
'no, i don't.'
'you'll get caught!'
'no, i won't.'
'if you lie about this now, becky, you will still be lying about it when you're old! you'll be married and you'll be lying about it! you'll be the saddest 30 year old around!'
to us, that must have been old.
but i told her, 'i'll never admit it.'
i knew that to give david the watch would mean never saying a word. i would have to let natalie jane take the fall (no problem after she tried to get me in trouble). and i was fine with that.
i felt i was doing what needed to be done and if some how i later got caught, well i would live with that too.
david couldn't come to the door his mother told me when i went to his house after school.
'okay, i was just dropping this off.'
his mother was so thrilled to see the watch.
and the next day, he was at school and i told him before we went in that he couldn't let mrs. quiring ever see the watch. and he didn't.
and natalie jane never stopped trying to get me into trouble and she never succeeded.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'