Back in January, I told you about my wonderful first grade teacher who looked like Lucille Ball, and the day she held my sweater for me during gym class and left it smelling like her beautiful perfume.

Well, that was a fateful day in and of itself.

The reason I gave Mrs. Sturwold my sweater to hold is that we were running around a lot that day, playing a shark attack game. Basically, the far ends of the gym had safe zones, but the rest of it was like a giant game of tag. There were a couple of sharks tagging people, and when you got tagged, you had to fall to the ground and wait to be saved. Then your friends had to sneak out of the safe zones, run to you, and drag you to safety without also being tagged. If they got tagged, they were shark bait, too.

Bruce the Shark

I got tagged about six feet from the safe zone.


So I lay there, giggling and hoping to be saved.

My crush, Patrick, stood in the safe zone, eyeing me up, planning my rescue.

Patrick had these giant blue eyes that made him absolutely adorable to me. Also, he was one of the only boys in my class who wasn’t a total dick to girls just because they were girls, and he had a really cool dog (a giant German shepherd) and an Australian nanny, so he was totally cool. And yes, I knew those things, because I played at his house sometimes, NBD.

My knight in shining armour!

(Or like, hero in a wetsuit or whatever.)

When the timing was right, Patrick ran toward me, squealing with the anticipation of being a total shark attack hero and the fear of being caught. When he reached me, he grabbed my hand and started pulling me to safety.

Just one issue.

He grabbed the sleeve of my shirt, too, and when my grip gave out, my sleeve did not.

Look, guys, what I’m trying to say is that by the time I reached the safe zone, try as I might to fight it and cover myself, my shirt was almost completely off. I had been exposed. And yeah, it was grade one, so it’s not like I had breasts – or even breast seedlings – but to the boys, it didn’t matter. They had seen my “boobies.”


They all laughed at me from the safe zone. I scrambled to my feet and tried to play it off like nothing had happened. I laughed along with them, then turned away, my cheeks most definitely flushed, and pretended to plan a rescue of my own. Of course, on the inside, I was completely devastated, and from that point on, I counted the minutes until gym class would be over so that I could wrap myself back up in my sweater and never make eye contact with Patrick – or any of the boys in my class – again.

That was the day I learned that yeah, I’m definitely not an exhibitionist.