When Educating Yorkshire was on, back in the autumn, the potential hotness of the teachers in it never really crossed my mind, which was surprising, because a) Caitlin Moran had quite a lot to say about it and b) way back when I was the queen of the teacher-crush.
In my early teenage years, I went through crushes on teachers like most girls go through snogging boys in their own year group. There was the cute Geordie tech teacher who ended up being the reason I took Graphics GCSE despite not being able to draw, the history teacher with a penchant for Disney films and yet another tech teacher with amazing forearms. It was all pretty harmless though, until I got to my GCSE year and fell head over heels for the French teacher.
The French teacher was not hot in the way most teachers are hot (ill-fitting suits, intelligence, geekiness, a willingness to lavish attention on you not for how you look but for how you think); he was hot in the sense of truly, truly beautiful. With every crop of new starters, the rumours got more far-fetched – to start with it was claimed that he’d modelled for Next before he became a teacher, and in later years progressed to something about modelling Calvin Klein Y-fronts.
The latter was not totally improbable. He cycled to school every morning and he looked, well, as good as someone can look in lycra, largely because he was hung. Oh yes. He was hung, and I was sixteen, discovering masturbation and erotica, and god, I wanted him. Even to this day I can conjure up the smell of his aftershave just by thinking about it and remember how horny I’d get in 5th period A-Level French, which he taught sitting on his desk in shorts, because he taught boys PE the period before.
Despite some major breakthroughs on my part: I introduced him to my parents, who started inviting him to dinner, I managed to get myself invited along on upper sixth French cinema trips, nothing ever came of it. Oh, ok, I went from being a pretty average linguist to an offer to study languages at one of the best universities in the country, but was the reality of fancying a teacher any better than fancying a boy your own age? No. For me, at least, it was worse.
French was a bad choice of subject for me. I already had massive confidence issues, especially when it came to my body, and I just wanted to fit in. Ironically, my emotional instability at the time was such that everything I did prevented me from fitting in. He wanted to video classes so we could see the errors we were making with the language and learn to correct them, but the video camera sent me into total meltdown. My grades were on track, and I was interested and inspired by the subject still, but I’d storm out of lessons, throw stuff, burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Looking back, it was probably the first occurrence of the depression that’s plagued me ever since, but at the time I couldn’t understand how I could want someone so badly when liking them had such a devastating effect on my self-confidence. It was as if something about liking a grown up, who, let’s face it, was never going to reciprocate, sent me into total regression.
So, partly, I wanted to write about him here because I find it interesting that something which I’d now expect to boost my confidence actually had the complete opposite effect, but also because it’s not something I’ve succeeded in consigning completely to the past. A friend of mine has a dinner party game which consists of conversation starter cards (god, we’re middle-aged already, aren’t we?). We were playing it last NYE and I pulled the ‘Which relationship in your past would you like to revisit?’ card. Technically, it was cheating to say that, despite my hellish behaviour, I’d relive the years from 16-18 in a heartbeat, because it was never a relationship, just a *massive* crush. But do I wish I could relive those years again? Hell yeah. Because I’m still curious about what it would have been like to fuck him – I’d really like to see if what was under the lycra lived up to its promises.