I was talking to Henry about this girl I used to play tennis with back in high school and how she went on to be the second runner-up on one season of Survivor, and this turned into us talking about our high school days because in case you didn’t know, Henry and I went to the same high school, only like FOURTEEN YEARS apart, lol.
So we got on the topic of which teacher was what coach and he mentioned Mr. Meehleib being the golf coach or something, and Meehleib is not a very common name so I screamed, “MR. MEEHLEIB?! DID HE ALSO TEACH MATH?!” and Henry was like, “I don’t know, I guess. He had glasses and really—”
“—CURLY HAIR!” I yelled excitedly. So I guess Mr. Meeleib was a high school teacher back in Henry’s days, but when I knew him, he was my third grade math teacher and also the only male teacher at Gill Hall Elementary back then, aside from the principal and the gym teacher, dumbass Mr. Schantz who insisted on making us climb ropes and I was always one of the only kids who couldn’t do it, even before I got fat!
Another reason why Mr. Meehleib is significant to my life is because I got my first ever E in his class! (Do you remember when the grading scale used to actually go from A-E? No? WELL THEN MAYBE I’M JUST REALLY FUCKING OLD.) I don’t know what happened to me that year, because I was actually very smart leading up to this (tested for the gifted program and everything!) but then we reached the chapter in the math book on COUNTING CHANGE and my friends, I don’t know what it was about the way my brain is wired, but I just couldn’t do it. Mr. Meehleib even had a toy register and we had to line up and take turns pretending like we were cashiers and counting change, and every time it was my turn, I would be on the verge of tears because I just wasn’t getting it. I would freeze up and he would get pretty pissed at me, if I remember correctly, so then I REALLY couldn’t do it.
Mr. Meehleib, being the only male teacher, paddled Rick F. and Mike S. one time so I was like WILL I GET PADDLED FOR SHORTING HIM A NICKEL?!
(They got paddled because they were disruptive d-bags not because they couldn’t accommodate an imaginary customer trying to break a $5, BUT STILL.)
My friend Lauren struggled with it too and now that I think about it, Lauren also couldn’t climb the ropes in gym so WAS LAUREN DRAGGING ME DOWN OR WAS I DRAGGING LAUREN DOWN?!
Anyway, welcome to my first big fat E! I will never forget it! I cried about it for days and no one in my family even cared because they were like, “It’s one E. You’ll bounce back” but all I could think about was how I clearly had NO FUTURE because how would I ever get a job in a grocery store?!
I was telling Henry all of this last night, like totally pouring my heart out, and I realized that shit, this must have been a BIG DEAL to me back then because I have been clearly been holding it in all these years so now I’m telling you too, Blog, in an effort to be more transparent about my secret dumbness.
“You know that story about the time my dad walked in on me in the garage teaching a Praying Mantis how to count change when I was in 4th grade?” I asked Henry.
“Um, no?!” he responded, as if I haven’t brought this up at least 3 dozen times during the course of our loving relationship.
“Well anyway, that’s why I was teaching the Praying Mantis how to count change, because I was practicing” and Henry was just like, “ohmygod.”
Wow, I feel so much better now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Blog!
FUN FACT: I only had one job where I needed to use a cash register and it was at Everything’s $1 at Century III Mall when I was in high school. On my first day, I went on my break and never came back. And no, it wasn’t because I couldn’t handle counting change, it was because I hate people.