Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Most Important Teacher's Gift You'll Never Give

A 47th mug, an engraved picture frame, even a homemade maybe-an-ashtray/maybe-a-sombrero clay tchotchke thingy.  Almost any teacher gift is better than this.
I’ve seen several versions of this wine bottle floating around on social media.  The problem is that I am seeing them as real life gifts, personalized with photos of children I know and love, as opposed to memes poking fun at what I find to be one of the most inappropriate teacher gifts since the naked selfie.

Don’t get me wrong.  My kid can be an asshole, just like yours.  And my kid drives me nuts to the point of complete insanity, so I cannot imagine what she can do for someone who doesn’t share her DNA or call her family.  But the very last thing I want to think of my daughter being is responsible for driving her teacher to drink anything but a triple shot espresso.

And it’s not even labeling my child as the catalyst for drinking that bothers me.  If she can drive me toward a cocktail, God bless her underpaid teacher.

I’ve never been a goody-two-shoes.  I was known for a pretty mean keg stand in college and have tried almost every drug imaginable.  I smoked more marijuana in my mid-twenties than I ever did in college, which is saying a lot.  Hell, I’ve even shared here about the time celebrating Jerry Garcia’s life with a strange trip of my own landed me in my small hometown grocery store believing I was being engulfed by honeydew melons.


I don’t enjoy sharing more information than my mother would ever want to hear but am willing to do so not only because I am way too old for her to ground me but also because a reminder is clearly needed that you never can guess what someone’s true experience has been with drugs or alcohol.

You never know who is struggling to cut back on their drinking.  Or had their license suspended because of a DUI that could have killed you both (heaven forbid your child) and is now Uber-ing to work because of it.  You never know who lost their parent to addiction and is terrified of inheriting that deadly gene.  Or, passing it on to their own innocent children.

I guess you never really know until you know- and that painful reminder is no longer necessary.

Me?  I’d rather play it safe and give the clay thingy.