Midnight Cutting Boards

September 30, 2008 at 4:10 am 3 comments

I hate to write again so soon. I wanted my post about sweet Jenni to hang out at the top for a while.

But something happened this weekend that is still fresh in my mind, and it would just be wrong not to tell you about it. So sorry, Jenni. You can still comment (ahem), even though the post is not at the top.

My phone rang at midnight Saturday night. Scared me to death. I was still up, but nobody likes to hear their ringtone unexpectedly. (Except Michael’s “Samford and Son” ringtone, that cracks me up no matter what time of day)

I ran through the house looking for the phone. It was on the charger, so I grabbed it too late. Missed call. I didn’t know the number, so I assumed it was wrong. I changed the ringer to Vibrate, and headed back to bed. I heard it buzz a few minutes later. Weird.

When I checked the message, this is what I heard. “This is So and So, (names have been changed to protect the guilty) and I am a friend of So and So who had the Pampered Chef party last week, and I would like to order some Pampered Chef. Please call me when you have time.”

Oh. My. Word. It was the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

Who thinks about kitchen doodads in the middle of the night? I laughed about it and called the woman crazy and went to bed.

So we woke up and got dressed for church. At 8:30, we were driving down Hwy. 51, all dressed and ready to go. I called her back. I know 8:30 is early, but hey, it’s not midnight, right?

This is what went down…
Her: (groggily) “mmmHello?”
Me: (cheerfully) “This is Anne Albritton! I got a message from you late last night about a Pampered Chef order and I’m calling you back! Can I get something for you?!”
Her: “Pampered Chef? What? Oh, oh, yeah. I think I remember. That was a wrong number, maybe?”
Me: (making a circle in the air around my ear, signaling to Michael that I think she’s nuts) “Well, I sell Pampered Chef, and I did a party this past week and you said you knew the host and I would love to take your order if you’re ready!” (at this point, I’m laying it on thick, simply out of meanness. My one mean bone in my body was working overtime)
Her: “I’m on the West Coast (what the heck???!!!) and I’ll have to get back to you. Can you call me later today?”
Me: (completely amazed at this point) “Sure! I’ll call you this afternoon!”

So I went to church, told everyone my crazy lady story, had a great morning.

I called her around 4:00 (CST). She answers very nice and polite. She first gives me her credit card number. I tell her that the order will be shipped to the host unless she needed something different and she told me that was fine, she lives in Ridgeland and is just on vacation. Oh, okay. Then she places her order. I started making my typical small talk about who I knew at the party and how much fun it was. She told me that she knew the lady I knew (not the host) because they taught together in South Jackson.

I told her my mother taught at the same school. She knew her.

Then it hit me.

This was my Fourth Grade Math Teacher.

Her name was different, she’s been divorced and remarried in the 22 years since I was in 4th grade.

I asked her, “Are you Mrs. So and So?”

She said yes.

Now, I don’t know why she didn’t know it was me when she said she knew my mom. She said she thought the Pampered Chef girl she’d be talking to was named Annelle. Nooooo. But easy mistake. I get that a lot (not really).

This teacher (and gosh I hope she doesn’t read this somehow) was one of the meanest people I’ve ever known. She told me I was stupid and couldn’t do math. She made fun of me in front of the class. She was everything a teacher should never be. For the rest of my educational career, I thought I was incompetent mathematically. Her words had a deep, negative impact.

And now here we are, talking about cutting boards, Lake Tahoe, and my kids.

Talk about full circle. She was rather pleasant. The feeling in my stomach upon recognition wasn’t, but I’m finding some closure, I suppose.

As far as waking her up at 6:30 a.m. her time? I didn’t mind at all.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Ode to Jenni Tears of a Clown

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicki  |  September 30, 2008 at 1:42 pm


    My 8th grade math teacher did the same thing to me. Even failed me. The only class I ever made less than a B in. Completely wrecked my self esteem. Called me in front of the class on several occasions and pointed out things she didn’t like about me!

  • 2. Jennifer R.  |  October 1, 2008 at 1:50 am

    That is the craziest story! I tell you what–as a math teacher, I am horrified. I hope that my students think of me as fair and caring. All I want is for them to be successful, and my job is to make every student feel success in math, no matter how big or small. Shame on her! She definitely deserved to be woken up.

  • 3. alison ainsworth  |  October 2, 2008 at 2:26 am

    o.k. i am laughing, but it is sad what she did to you and how you remember to this day. i had a 3nd grade teacher her name was mrs. banks, don’t ever mention her name around my mom or she will get so mad and blow up. like you will mention it, but this lady was so mean. she called me stupid because i couldn’t read as fast as the others, or do math as fast as the others. always called on me to see if i knew the answers. i was so afraid of her, she once sat me in the middle of the circle and made fun of me. thanks goodness the sweetest teacher at this school tested me and i needed up having learning problems and had to go to special classes all the way through high school. it was no fun at all. i still have to catch myself sometimes and slow down and think about what i want to say or write and don’t even mention math, because i hate it. so, i have been there before and it doesn’t feel too go.


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