Do you ever get sidetracked trying to do something by the memory of something else? Something that was really embarrassing?
I do, all the time.
Right now I’m looking through my academic records in an attempt to gussy up my resume. Thinking back to my stint at UAH brought me to remember the history professor Chris and I both had in different semesters, Dr. Gerberding. (I can still hear Chris crying out “GERBERDING!” in my head. He loved that professor.) Something rather embarrassing happened to me in class one day.
Dr. Gerberding was talking about the relationship between men and women and how it came to be the way it is. I have this ability to see a couple steps ahead in a logical progression, and actually find it tiring to have to go through all the steps, so when he paused, I interjected, “Does this have something to do with property?”
“I love it when they figure it out!” Dr. Gerberding exulted, making me feel fantastic for all of two seconds before continuing, “Go on.”
I had no idea what the next step was, or what his conclusion would be. So I said, lamely, something like “Men started looking at women as property…?”
The disappointment practically roiled off the professor. “No, no,” he said, and went on to explain that as humans started to own property, it became important to men to know that their property was being passed to their own offspring upon death. That was why men could be promiscuous and women couldn’t–if women were promiscuous, the men would have no idea who their children were.
After he said that, it seemed so obvious that I felt like a moron ;>
What made it more annoying to me, I hate to admit, was the fact that Chris was one of Dr. Gerberding’s favorite students. Even though Chris was my best friend at the time, and I ended up dating him, I had certain stupid, unflattering opinions about him, so being beaten by him was not something I could stomach easily.
I ended up dropping Dr. Gerberding’s class. Chris told me that he remarked to the professor that I’d dropped it and so not to expect me, and that Dr. Gerberding had responded to this news with–wait for it–“Who?”
Maybe I was supposed to find this anonymity comforting, but instead I felt like a nobody.