Sadder but wiser

Back to the beautiful and bewitching Miss White, eighth grade teacher beyond compare, light of my life, fire of my puberty. I knew, from the first moment I saw her, even before she introduced us to the mysteries of Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle and Other Modern Verse, that she was the one for me. I would sit in class each day, gazing raptly at my beloved, all the while doing fervid mental calculations in my head, mostly along the lines of “Let’s see, when I’m old enough to marry, she will still only be…”

Until the day it all changed. Seeing that I was an inquisitive young man, on that fateful day Miss White lent me a book, telling me that it had some exciting ideas, and that I really aught to read it. The book was called Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Devoted slave as I was to my enchanted teacher, I shyly took the proferred book from her lovely hands and dutifully read it, cover to cover. And that’s when I ran into a snag.

Some of you might recognize this book as the core introductory text of Scientology. Being only twelve, I knew nothing of such matters, but I did know that what I was reading just didn’t add up. It seems, according to the estimable Mr. Hubbard, that the only way to achieve true happiness is to allow experts to remove all your little neurotic tics, or “engrams”, at which point you become an enlightened person – or as he termed it, a “Clear”.

Well, I quickly realized that everything I most cherish about my little brain comes from the very flaws and neurotic tics that this nice book was proposing to surgically remove from it. I mean – to establish some context here – I grew up with Woody Allen and the Marx Brothers!

And that was when the bubble burst, my great love for Miss White dissolving into a sorry puddle, and I became a sadder but wiser adolescent. And yet, who knows? If only I had embraced my inner Scientologist, I might have ended up marrying Nicole Kidman. :-)

One Response to “Sadder but wiser”

  1. J. says:

    Or perhaps Lisa Marie Presley… 😉

    However, as Groucho said, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    There weren’t many male teachers at my school, and no likely candidates for a crush among those who were there. But one of my classmates, Miguel, had lovely brown eyes you could drown in, with eyelashes most women would kill for. Of course, all the girls were in love with Miguel, and the girls chased the boys down on the playground like predators who had cut a prey animal off from the herd. I have to say, I much prefer the love rituals of adulthood– less violent and less naive.

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