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Here is another complete work, from my compilation of “REGRETS: 100 GUYS I NEVER DATED”, a.k.a. book 2.
I hope you will enjoy the tale of a twelve-year-old and her woodsman…
#13. Mr. Woodsman
If I was technically twelve years old, and he was technically forty-five, then this installment needs to be cancelled…right?
Well don’t call the cops just yet, there is more to the tale…
…Junior High was an interesting stretch of education. Only two years at this transitory school, which was just enough time to establish a cool persona you could carry into high school, or a small enough time to stay inconspicuous, in case you had a ‘stache and weren’t allowed to shave your legs.
It was also the beginnings of the school system’s greatest purpose:
-Place children into moulds that will turn them into cookie-cutter grown-ups (how else would society function?). But let’s not forget it was 1993, a turbulent time when cries for equality were heard far and wide.
In our little universe of Junior High, equality was packaged in a couple of mandatory courses:
-Home Economics, and Wood Shop
And the twist?
Boys and girls had to take(and pass)each course.
My introduction into Wood Shop was rocky to say the least. I didn’t know a bandsaw from a sander, and I would’ve much preferred to be stereotyped as a homemaker, versus earning my “equality badge” (apologies to eminists, but again, I am not good with saws). But who was I to rock the boat, or deprive manly girls who enjoyed chopping pine at impressively precise angles?
With no inspiration for a Wood Shop project (and only three weeks left in the course), I sat dejected, whilst flipping through the binder of “alumni projects.” It was filled with glossy pics of projects past, from mini chairs (what is the point of a chair you can’t even sit in?), to jewelry boxes, to ornate-looking picture frames…these kids sure knew their way around wood.
I sighed at the thought of my inevitable failure, but just then, a looming shadow cast its forty-something form.
Our teacher (or Mr. Woodsman, as I shall call him) cleared his throat, prompting me to turn and look his way. He seemed even taller from this view, and the salt and pepper hair protruding from his nostrils was unsightly (not to mention the matching tufts of “ear canal hair”). Yet he smiled, and filled me with an instant assurance.
We browsed through the alumni book together, and suddenly my eye caught a frog-shaped mirror.
“Is that what you’d like to make?” he asked.
I laughed it off and cast my eyes downward all at once. That project’s for a manly woodswoman, I thought. For a husky girl with a larger than normal Adam’s apple. Not me.
But Mr. Woodsman wouldn’t have it. Before I knew it he was looking for scraps of wood that would serve as the frog mirror’s legs, and something much wider for the base. Though Mr. Woodsman didn’t have the best reputation (as tales of a perv-filled past had trickled down from older siblings), I was suddenly on track to avoid a failing grade. I would also be avoiding a beating from my Indian parents, who would lay down the smack if I ever failed a class. Yeah, this shit was big.
The next few weeks were a sawdust-scented blur. I remember sanding down the final pieces of my project (under Mr. Woodsman’s watchful eye), but how I actually arrived at the final pieces, I can’t be sure.
Well actually, I can be sure:
-I pretended to be fascinated by woodwork, so Mr. Woodsman would do my whole project
Pretty cool, huh?
I do remember that I volunteered to finish both coats of varnish, ‘cause the smell of fresh varnish can’t be beat (whatever, it’s not like I ever did REAL drugs).
You’re probably still mildly grossed out; I mean, did I actually have a crush on Mr. Woodsman? Was the twelve-year-old me trying to “hit that”?
Well no, you rubes, you sick, sick rubes.
Nevertheless, this man of wood was so nice to me…were there others of his kind? I mean ones who were NOT thirty years older than me? Just imagine if I hadn’t been such a callous opportunist. What if Mr. Woodsman and I had stayed in touch? To talk about additional projects? Perhaps I would’ve discovered that he came from a long line of woodsmen. Maybe he had a nephew my age, who was classically trained in the fine art of “woodery.” And imagine if I’d been introduced to this woodworking nephew. Maybe we’d be married today, me in the kitchen cooking dinner for the brood, he in his workshop, finishing up a rocking horse, as a birthday gift to our youngest.
But dammit no husband, no rocking horse, and a lot of salty tears…
Gee Romi. All this talk of wood. And woodsmen. Who you callin’ a rube anyway?
It makes me wonder if you still have that frog-shaped mirror. Would you show it to us? We still have the little step stool and hardwood cutting board that our daughter made when she had to take the shop class, around the same time as you and Mr. Woodsman. Good to know that you Canadian girls were also being exposed to the equality type stuff.
By the way, the term “woodsman” I think fits the guy who chops down trees and stuff, rather than the guy who builds rocking horses. I would call that guy a woodworker. Yes I wood. 🙂
I know, I know, but I just like saying “woodsman” 😉
And I had that frog mirror for yearrrrsss, but in the last move two years ago, it didn’t make the trip 😦
If you’d lighten up on your expectations a bit (to fat, lazy, needs a job type guys) I’m pretty sure your search would already be over. With that in mind, please remember I’m already taken. Sorry. 😉
hahahaha….good tip! 😉
We had that sort of class, too: “Home Economics/Industrial Arts.” It wasn’t required, but I took it in 8th grade anyway.
I think my Baked Alaska turned out better than my woodworked trophy case. (But pouring aluminum into sand molds was the coolest part of all. THAT’S a smell you never forget.)
what the heck is a baked Alaska?! A cake shaped like the state?!?!? !
The easy way to make it is to coat a brick of ice cream with meringue and throw it in the oven just long enough to cook the meringue – the meringue coating protects the IC from melting before it’s done.
Love the story. Perhaps I can relate to it–well if the authority figure was changed to the beautiful Home Ec. teacher at my school who had just gotten married to a husband who was just a geek to all of us boys (yes, we were jealous).
I totally get what you’re saying, like whenever the hot male teachers had wives, they were always ugly old bags…LOL 😉
That’s funny–I was the reverse. The girls my age bored me, I had a crush on at least half of my twice-my-age wordswoman teachers!
oooh….the wordswomen eh? HOT… 😀
Romi – “For a husky girl with a larger than normal Adam’s apple.” This should be in my Eharmony profile. HILAY!!
hahaha…you can totally use that tagline; good luck finding a match so you can be in one of the eHarmony commercial “success stories”! 😀
My woodshop teacher TOTALLY fucked up my little wooden semi-trailer truck with the drill press. Then he docked marks for it. Asshole.
Um, I have no comment about your actual blog post. I apologize. I have to get back into the commenting game, and stop making it all about me.
AS IF you have to talk about my post!! I am far more entertained by your own reflections 😉
I didn’t have to take home-ec or woodshop. No wonder North Carolina’s the #48 ranked state in public education. I’ll have to send my not-yet-born children to Canada to teach them the fundamentals, I guess.
hahaha…trust me, we’re not all we’re cracked up to be 😉
I think all wood shop teachers are somehow related to each other. They are each a little oddly-haired and creepy from what I learned after reading this post and based on my own experience. So I guess I’m kind of relieved that you didn’t stay in touch with him after all. The frog mirror thing sounded interesting though.
haha, I guess it all worked out for the best, and YES, I have never heard of a normal woodshop teacher!!
Beyond the obvious, “You touched Wood” comment, I find it interesting how many of us bloggers are harkening back to our youth of late. Maybe it’s the spring air. Maybe it’s the fact that the default age on the elliptical is now TWO years less than my true age. Or maybe it’s just desperation. Who knows! Good post.
hahaha…default-younger-age on the eliptical sucks!! Nostalgia however, can be nice 🙂 (and disturbing, if you consider my case 😉 …)
[…] NEVER DATED-#7: NOT-SO-WORM BOY June 13, 2010 [Another entry from my work-in-progress book (see here for previous), on 100 dudes I missed out on dating. […]