Anthology by Marilyn Thayer

Baby Blue

It was my first teaching job.  I was 23.  I taught high school French and drama.  I was dramatic and unpredictable.  I was not a party-er, but teachers in Thompson, Manitoba, were all imported from somewhere else, and there was a large group of us young ones, who had the freedom to go to the Headframe every night of the week if we wanted.  Perhaps some nights I stayed out later than I should have.

I had a great wardrobe.  Not much else for a single girl fresh out of university to spend that salary on.  One of my dresses was a baby blue tee-shirt dress.  Not expensive. Nothing too fancy. Drop waist, pleated skirt, breast pocket, simple round neckline.  It was easy to pull over my head after a night out if I was rushing to arrive before the first bell.  Pair it with matching earrings and blue suede boots, and I was ready to perform at the front of the classroom.

One particular day, after having swatted the snooze button one too many times, I was at the front of the class drawing stick men on the blackboard to illustrate a point. 

“Uh Mademoiselle?” one of the grade 12 kids politely proffered.

“Oui?” I responded turning my face over my shoulder to look at him as I continued writing on the board.

“Ya, is that dress supposed to have a pocket on the back of it?”

“Yes, it is”.  I never missed a beat.

I went to the washroom during the next class change, unsleeved my arms twirled baby blue around, and went on teaching for the rest of day like it never happened.