All my drafts require deep thought and more than five minutes.
All I had this morning was five minutes.
So, I asked a writer friend of mine for a journal prompt. She quickly replied “3rd grade”.
So here goes…
The third grade was the year I earned my first trip to the principal’s office.
No, I was not the one in trouble.
I should probably explain that in the 3rd grade, we didn’t have individual desks. They were big tables, for two, pushed together so four kids sat facing each other. Looking back, they were set up in a wonky kind of fashion. I know this is a writing prompt, but I had to write it out really quick. X’s are other kids, D and P and Me are the kids being discussed today.
Well, stickers were the thing back then. If you aren’t old enough to remember how very, very important stickers and stickers books were, then you’ll just have to trust me. Stickers, and how many you had in your very important, very cool sticker book, was a thing. It was one thing to have plain stickers, but to have scratch-n-sniffs, or holographic…. now, that was cool. But few things out ranked a super cool Puffy Sticker. Oh yea, puffy stickers were traded like crack in my elementary school.
Now, this kid Paul (P on the diagram), had recently become the owner of a SHEET of puffy stickers. He was willing to share, or trade. Sounds awesome, right?
When you pair it with his knowledge that I had a crush on David (D, the boy sitting next to me), it becomes less awesome. See, Paul wasn’t willing to trade with me for a sticker. He wanted me to do something. Something vile. Something no third grader should ever be asked to do.
He told me that if I wanted a sticker, I had to…..touch….David’s…..elbow.
I wanted to die! I mean, I couldn’t just touch his elbow!!
The teacher saw me getting upset, and tearing up. She asked me what was wrong, but I didn’t want to tell her. I mean, I didn’t want to get Paul in trouble. I didn’t want David to know what Paul had asked me to do. I didn’t want David to think I didn’t want to touch his elbow. I didn’t want David to think I did want to touch his elbow.
She invited me into the hallway, where I spilled my guts. We all ended up in the principal’s office and we all ended up with a nice long lecture on how we shouldn’t try to coerce other people into touching other people’s anythings, ever.
Not even elbows.
I never did get that puffy sticker.
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