Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Traumatization of a Third Grader

Certain moments remain frozen in time. For reasons I will never understand, frozen moments clamp down on the hands of a clock and force me to remember the most embarrassing and humiliating moments of my life. This is one of those moments.

Once a month, every month while I was growing up, students in our Catholic classrooms would walk single file down the hallway to go to church. When church was over, we would return to our classrooms.

For some reason, on this frozen-in-time day, Dale Reiser and I made it to our third grade classroom long before any of the other students arrived. Perhaps we were running. I don't remember that part, but I do remember seeing his beautiful curly head of blonde hair and thinking that he was so cute, I just had to run up and tickle him.

Why adults from every corner of the school didn't leap forward to stop me, I don't know. Absolutely no thoughts whatsoever ran through my head saying things like, "Don't you think this idea is stupid?" or "Stop yourself before you embarrass yourself!" Absolutely no thoughts whatsoever ran through my mind, period.

And so, in what must have looked like a deranged psychopath to Dale Reiser as I raced toward his desk (the look on his face was one of sheer terror), Dale Reiser's eyes nearly exploded out of his head as I ran up to him and tickled him.

Instantly I was horrified. What had I done? Of course, I didn't think those words until he looked up at me with appalling fear written all over his face and asked, "Why'd you DO that?"

My eyes sprung open. Why DID I do that? Could I dare tell him that it was because I thought he was so cute that I HAD to tickle him? Could I admit that I didn't have the ability to stop myself from tickling him or that I hadn't yet developed impulse control?

No, I just meekly said, "I don't know," slumped my shoulders forward, and returned to my seat.

It was the first time I ever felt blood rush to my face. And I never again looked at him.

And that completes Day #20 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, T.

Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:

Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge

Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge

Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge

When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge

Ellen – Day #5 from the A-Z Challenge

Family and Friends – Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge

The Grownup Table – Day #7 from the A-Z Challenge

Happiness & Joy – Day #8 from the A-Z Challenge

Idiots in the Attic – Day #9 from the A-Z Challenge

Jokes Accidentally – Day #10 from the A-Z Challenge

The Kid That Wasn't Named Ker – Day #11 from the A-Z Challenge

Living Out of Suitcases – Day #12 from the A-Z Challenge

Misunderstandings – I KNOW You Didn't Say What I THINK You Said

Networked Blogs on Facebook

The Old and The Elderly – At What Age Do You FEEL Old?

Peacocks Are Not Penguins

Quiz That Changed My Thinking

Reading Les Miserable

Sense and Nonsense


  1. Ouch! I can feel your chagrin from here.

  2. sometimes when you see something or someone so cute, you have to do something. hope you and dale both recover. :)
    Great meeting you through the A-Z!


  3. I love it! And, I can so relate to it. I grew up in a small town. The school only had four grades, one classroom per grade, not even 20 kids in each class. I already knew many of the kids in my first grade class from Sunday School and the fire house where my parents would help for public suppers. But, there was this new boy in class who was almost a year younger than the rest of us, who had gone to Catholic School the year before, so he was admitted even though he was younger. Blond hair, blue eyes and a very exotic name...Larry Wyzykowski was unlike any boy I'd ever seen before - and I was determined to capture him....with my best friend's help. I can't remember exactly how we accomplished it, but we managed to get him on the bench in the playground between us and both of us at the same time planted kisses on his cheeks. *sigh* He avoided us from that day throughout graduation.

  4. Cute story! Right now, Dale Reiser is remembering that really cute girl who tickled him back in 3rd grade. ;O)

    My “T” Post
    My “S” Post

  5. Yup. Poor Dale has spent his life wishing he could recover the great charm he had back in 3rd grade!

    I really like the way you told this story: a straightforward, honest description of the human condition in action.

  6. Funny how we can perceive things as a child as being very traumatic when really they weren't as bad as we felt them to be. I have many moments that still make me cringe and I'm probably the only one who remembers them or even paid much attention to them at the time.

    Hope you join us in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post on Monday May 2nd.

  7. such a sweet and funny moment. I can just picture you pouting. Cute store. lol

    Joining you from the a-z blogging challenge.

  8. I thought there was going to be a surprise ending in which you announced that you grew up and married Dale!