This is not exactly what you would call a “Dear Diary” moment. You know how all those bumper stickers always say “Just Be Nice”? You know how I always laugh at them? Well, keep reading.
So, as some of you might know, I have opted to give grad school a second go-round with USF’s Florida Studies program. These kind people have actually offered me money to attend and do a bit of research for some of the faculty authors. My classes are amazingly cool- as Shelly says, this program was essentially designed for me.
Tonight’s class was Florida Foodways, taught by one Andy Huse. Does that name sound at all familiar to any of our CHS alums? Yeah, me neither. He was apparently a year behind me (although, as we’re about to see, apparently not in maturity), and I really don’t remember him at all.
But after class tonight, he mentions to me that we attended CHS together. I am amazed that he remembers me, and ask if it has anything to do with the name- Salustri isn’t exactly Smith, after all- to which he replies no, it was my face.
So I have this wildly narcissistic, indulgent moment where I think to myself how pretty I must be to have stuck in his head for almost 20 years. He remembers my face. Wow. I must be better looking than I ever dreamed.
We walk downstairs, beause the Florida Studies program is housed entirely in the Snell House, a waterfront piece of architecture that would make Kenwood-philes swoon, and keep talking, a conversation that mostly consists of me telling a man who will grade my performance in weeks to come that how, although he remembers me vividly after a minimum of 17 years, I have no clue who he is. All the while I’m having this egocentric episode because this person of whom I have absolutely NO recollection whatsoever remembers me, remembers my face.
“I remember you,” says Professor Huse “because you dumped itching powder down the back of my shirt.”
Now, folks, I have no memory of this, although it certainly exists within the realm of things that sound enough like the 15 year old me. I can’t remember this, but I can’t remember not doing it, either.
You know, what do you say to that, really? Of course, I attempt to try.
“Are you sure it was me? Because, I, uh, really don’t remember that.” Although- and let’s be honest here, at reunions I am not remembered for my elevated maturity- I would swear it wasn’t me.
“Oh, I remember. You had fiberglass shavings, and you put them down my shirt.”
Now, I sense, is not the time to bring up my research project.
“Um, I… was I being kind of an asshole? I was kind of an asshole back then.” As to imply that I have, in almost two decades time, somehow improved.
“Yeah, you were being an asshole.”
Which is really what you want to hear from a man who will be grading you rather subjectvely over the next 16 weeks.
How, exactly, does one recover from that?