The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Guidance Counselors
So yesterday on the CounselorTalk listserv I'm a member of, a high school counselor sends out a request (a plea, actually). She has a senior girl who wants to go to the prom. She is a plus size girl, wears a size 24, can't afford a dress and can't find one at the stores. I make some long distance phone calls to the nearby city she is in. I call Lane Bryant, a clothing store for plus size women. They don't sell prom dresses. I call JC Penny. They have plenty of prom dresses---in junior sizes. The largest they have is a 16. So I call two numbers for the specialty store David's Bridals. Both numbers are disconnected. It kills me to think this girl can't get a dress. Oh, and did I mention that the request came on Thursday and the prom is on Saturday? Yeah, well, I thought about that girl all night long.
Then I go to get my haircut. Midway through the cut and on a whim, I ask my hairdresser if she knows where I could find a dress. Unbelievably, her daughter has one hanging in her closet, just the right size. I can't believe it.
I do a little research. The girl's school is two hours from me. Okay, that's do-able. I talk with my friend, Ann who also happens to be my boss. She's game for a road trip after school. Unfortunately, the other counselor is leaving town after work and cannot meet us. We can only get to the girl if we leave during the day. Ann says, "Hey, we've got planning to do for Monday's in-service. We can work in the car." We hustle. I call the school to get directions. Yay, the girl is at school today. We get in the car and head out.
We are cutting it close on time, but we may just make it. We realize we haven't come to one of the exits after a period of time. We should be near the school by now. We see a sign that confuses us. Seventy-four miles to our destination. How can that be? I call the school. Ugh. When I looked up the school online last night, I SWEAR it said the school was in Marion. I swear. I cannot find those websites now for proof, of course. Last night when I googled, I could not find a website for the school, just some independent sites with generic information. Okay, I thought. It's a private Catholic school. Maybe they don't have their own website. So I call the school for better directions. The school is not in Marion, it's in Marion COUNTY!!! !@#$%^&*(
We will never make it. In talking to the counselor, we find out that the girl found one dress at a charity shop. She has to hem it, but it will work. Plans foiled, but we tried.
Well, Ann and I got a lot of planning done in the three hours we were in the car. We are all ready for that in-service on Monday. I got some other work done to boot. Oh, well. We also treated ourselves to a little milkshake at a Steak n' Shake in Wabash. Woo-hoo! They are half-price today. Just a little gift sent our way.
I hope that girl has a good time at the prom. I hope she feels absolutely beautiful. I hope she knows there are strangers who cared.
Off on another adventure tomorrow. Going with another teacher to hopefully get in the Guiness Book of World Records by participating in the largest group hug at the St. Joseph County fairgrounds. Got to bring some canned goods for the foodbank, too.
Gotta love adventure!
Sincerely yours, A Directionally Challenged School Counselor
I write for me.
What's up with those shoes, you may ask? After driving 30 minutes to work one fine day, I looked down as I got out of the car and saw this. Good thing I work with middle school students! I used it as a teachable moment to show them how one could survive something stupid and laugh at oneself in the process. Invariably, whenever I wear the "giraffe" shoes, a student will comment that, "Hey, you're wearing the same shoes today!"