There is no doubt in my mind that my becoming a teacher directly correlates with the onset of my purchasing-alcohol-in-public anxiety. For reals. I have a severe (irrational?) fear of buying beer at the grocery store. I avoid it at all cost.
In college, professors give you all sorts of life advice. The advice that has had the longest lasting impression on me was given by one of my education professors. “Buy your beer in the next town over,” he said. You know, lest you run into your students’ parents and they think of you as a good-for-nothing degenerate, a bad role model and someone who is incapable of educating their child. Let’s ignore the case of Mich Ultra in their cart though, because that’s different. They’re not teachers. And so I did. I took extreme measures to ensure that I never purchased a six-pack of the refreshingly thirst-quenching beverage that I was legally permitted to buy in any store that I felt my students’ parents would frequent. Evidently, all of my students must have teachers for parents because we are all shopping in the next town over.
I’m currently on vacation twelve hours and four states away from where I teach. And yet, despite this fact, as I was
going on a beer run this morning going to buy coffee and razors this morning, I couldn’t help but sweat a little. I scanned the aisles for familiar faces, and when the checkout clerk asked, “can I see your ID?” I had a brief moment of panic in which I wanted to shout out, “I’m a teacher, dammit! How dare you think this beer is mine!” Alas, I held it together, purchased my six packs, and now I’m enjoying my Lake Placid Frostbite Ale* lakeside.
Stay tuned next week when I tell you about that time I did shots with some former students of mine. There’s nothing more frightening than hearing someone shout out your teacher name while you’re half in the bag and rocking out to some hippie jam band on a Saturday night in your bar**. Well, except when hearing your teacher name is quickly followed by, “shots!”
p.s. I hate to have anyone call me out for being “on vacation” after my last post in which I explained that teachers aren’t really taking a break during summer “vacation”. Don’t forget, I’m taking a couple of online courses this summer, so in between my microbrews, I’m also leaving useless, incomprehensible responses to my classmates’ discussion board posts. I’m good like that.
*I know they changed the name years ago, but it will always be a Frostbite to me.
**And then I found a new bar.