Monday, August 15, 2005

I could see how it could happen...

...but that doesn't mean I condone the behavior.

I saw a movie yesterday afternoon, Pretty Persuasion. It was great, a witty satire that was over-the-top offensive and disturbing, yet amusing at the same time. Go see it. Without giving too much away, there's one scene when two young-ish male teachers are talking about two 15-year-old female students, and how they think that the girls know about their sexual power over men, even at that age. What is unsaid is that the male teachers experience some sort of desire for the girls, even though they know its wrong and won't cross that line. Go see the movie, and then you'll understand this post.

Last night, I dreamt about my old high school English teacher. I had him freshman year, and developed quite a bond with him. He was never my teacher again after that, but was the advisor on the yearbook staff when I was on it senior year (dork, I know). The point of revealing this is that we became friends. Or, as friends as a teenager in HS can be with a teacher in his late 20s-early 30s. I think my parents were disturbed that he took such an interest in me, but at the time, I didn't see anything wrong with it. My friend A and I would sometimes hang out with him, as HS wore down and the summer before college began. And I would see him sometimes over the summers as I grew older. I knew some of his friends, it was all very normal, you see? Except for the fact that he was my teacher and I was his student and he met me when I was 14 and he was probably 28 or so. Thinking back on it now, it is strange.

Nothing inappropriate ever took place, though there was some mild and harmless flirting. I admit that I was attracted to him in a teenage-crush sort of way. He was quite handsome and was way smarter (obviously) than the boys my age. He was there as a support for me when my dad first got sick and really helped me begin to feel comfortable with what life threw at me. But where do you draw the line? Yes, it was probably wrong of him to include me and A in his life outside school. Yes, it was pretty shady that we knew his friends and had been to his house, regardless of the fact that it occurred after we graduated. He was in a position of authority and should have drawn a line. But in a way, being his age now, he probably didn't really think it through. At this age, you are old enough to know what's wrong, but also old enough to trust yourself. But where, then, is the boundary? If you think you can handle it, you automatically let walls drop that should remain intact. Or do you?

I know that a few years ago he had a child with his wife, whom I also met. Heck, they may even be on to number two. Every now and then I think about him, and the movie made me think even more. I don't think he did anything wrong, but maybe that's only because nothing happened. I guess what I'm saying is that I can see how it could happen. I can see that if you were him with a great sense of humour and sense of self, and I was me at that time with a big fat crush and no fewer than a million emotional difficulties, I could see how it could happen. I don't think its right, but in a way is it fully wrong?

Gosh, I love movies that make you think.

1 comment:

peaches said...

It definitely could've happened. I remember during college when you hung out with him, and it always seemed that he would've crossed that line, had you let him. I think that is why you wanted to stop seeing him and hanging out. I think deep down you knew it was inappropriate -- even then.