My Big Mouth just Doesn’t Know When to Stop.
3 word challenge: Hand, Needless & Route
by Jennifer Sue
My left hand has always been a traitor. Way back in elementary school, when the teacher asked the class a question, the traitorous appendage would shoot up into the air waving excitingly. The whole time I was hoping the teacher would not call on me because I had no idea what the correct answer was. Thankfully most of the time she didn’t call on me because of the expression of horror on my face. When she did call on me I’d reply inanely with some wacky answer from out of left field. I remember one incident in first grade that sealed my fate for the rest of my public school life as well as my home life. The biggest problem this time was that I actually knew the answer!
The question was “Who can tell me the answer to 7 + 4 - 3 ?” When the teacher called on me I answered ‘RECESS’. The teacher was clearly surprised by my off the wall answer while the class dissolved into hysterics. Needless to say I was quite embarrassed! The teacher was wise enough to know she couldn’t stop the laughter so let it peter out.
The school had a policy of never telling a student they were wrong so the teacher asked; “Russell, can you tell me what route you took to arrive at that answer?”
Now I was on the spot so my big mouth blurted out what my parents always told me. “My birthday is April First so I’m a fool.”
That set the class into hysterics and even made the teacher smile even as she shook her head.
My traitorous mouth felt compelled to speak. “My brain was running too fast and my tongue was covering my eye teeth and I couldn’t see what I was saying.”
The laughter that had been subsiding rose again. This time the teacher frowned.
“The correct answer is ‘8',” I hastily added as I tried to cover for my mouth. “But ‘8' reminded me that it’s almost lunch and I’m hungry. Then I thought that after we ‘ATE’, we’d go out for recess. My mouth just blurted out ‘recess’.”
The class continued laughing while the teacher lowered her chin shook her head.
Not satisfied that it had betrayed me enough my mouth hastily added. “My parents get really angry when I tell them that in my heart and soul I’m a girl. It’s really difficult to pretend to be a boy when I’m not, but that’s what I have to do.”
Well, the class fell silent as did the teacher. Everyone was staring at me. I knew my mouth blew it and had let the cat out of the bag so I did the only thing I could think of. I stood and dropped a curtsey which is difficult when you’re wearing jeans.
Like I said, that initially incorrect answer back in first grade set the tone for the rest of my public school life and my life at home. But it’s made me strong and independent. When I was 18 I moved away from home and began my successful transition. My biggest issue has always been learning to keep my mouth shut and making sure it’s firmly connected to my brain. I often needlessly over think and things get out of hand as I try to stay on the correct route to being the female I know I am.
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