I remember the first day I saw ______ Dexter. The ankle-length skirt and multi-color crochet sweater on her plump body screamed the word homely. Was I really going to be taking a sewing class from this class-less, unfashionable, middle-aged woman? This was no way to start out my career, for this woman and fashion design were exact opposites. My jaw clenched and my upper body cringed while thinking about my forlorn future. This was going to be a disaster of a semester.
I looked at the long list of supplies needed to be eligible for this class. Not only did I have a disgrace of a teacher, but I had to buy $100+ worth of things that the school didn’t pay for. I, rather, my parents, are forking out thousands of dollars for this corrupted university and they still manage to swindle our wealth. After my small temper tantrum with small fists shooting toward the ground and a tense jaw biting together muffling a scream, I trekked on to the fabric store to gather my provisions. “Don’t tell me the total,” I said as I closed my eyes and blindly handed my debit card to the sweet old lady ringing me up.
It vitiates every organ inside of my body to have to see Dexter twice a week for an hour and a half each time. I find myself staring at her contorted smile, each tooth awry. There are two spaces where her fangs should be, and when she laughs at one of her pitiful jokes, you can see plaque encrusted nubs she calls teeth. I look at her fluffy, shoulder-length hair; it’s gray to the tops of her ears and brown to the split-end bottoms. She never escaped the early nineties, for her curled bangs are teased to the point of looking like pom-poms on her forehead. The skin under her chin flaps as she gives misguiding instruction to the class, yet gives no time to the students to sew a thing. Each day, I slouch in my seat and unabashedly turn into that unmotivated, pretentious student that every teacher loathes.
One of our projects was to make a pair of pajama pants. I bought red sweatshirt fabric and was so excited to start this new feat. As I laid out my pattern, Dexter sneaks up behind me and says, “Excuse me. Are you really planning on using that fabric?” I replied as innocently as I could, “Why yes, I am. I just love the color.” She stared me down as though I was her 16-year-old daughter who was just caught with marijuana tucked between my mattress and bed frame. I was taken aback when I heard her raise her voice,
I SPECIFICALLY SAID NO KNITS!
I couldn’t control my plummeting jaw as I stared at her in disbelief. My thoughts raced with retorts. This was no way to speak to a student. I could get her fired for this! I tried to think of various ways in which I could get her in trouble, but with no conclusion coming to me, I sheepishly asked, “Well what do you expect me to do? I already bought the fabric…It’s not like I can just take it back.” She haughtily replied, “You’ll have to buy different fabric and it must be a woven. By the way, you’ll receive a zero today for preparation.”
If there were any such time to pray for composure, this was it. I looked over at my sewing friend, Kelci, and she gave an empathetic shrug. Two deep breaths later, I fidgeted with my belongings, straightening out anything askew. Just then, Miss Homemaking Education Expert of the class, Rebecca, appeared beside me.
You know, the teacher’s right. Knits are hard to work with, and there is no way you’re advanced enough to handle it.
I had always wondered what the Incredible Hulk felt like when he transformed. My curiosity was explicated at that very moment, and I muffled an indecent retaliation. I could see a flash into the future as I gawked at this overweight, audacious teacher’s pet. Say hello to the new Dexter.
Divas don’t deal with these kinds of people.