please elaborate on how you got a substitute teacher to quit within one day. I'm genuinely curious.
all right everyone sit down, shut up and listen closely because I’m about to tell y'all the tale of Ms. Mormino.
Seventh grade is a time most people don’t look back on fondly. I know I sure don’t–I tend to regard that era as nothing more than an unpleasant, acne-filled haze of fall out boy and poor attempts at pseudo-zooey deschanel fashions. But enough about me. Let’s talk about my math teacher.
Ms. Isom. Poor old Ms. Isom. Well in her 60’s, always plagued with some illness or injury, she was hardly ever even at school. Since many of her absences were the result of short-notice incidents–“falling down the stairs” was popularly cited– it wasn’t all that uncommon to not have a substitute on hand. Being a smartass honors class, we’d gotten away with several successful evasions of administration, walking cavalierly into class to pass the next 48 minutes doing just about nothing. Hell, for good measure, we’d sometimes even toss in a friendly “hey, Ms. Isom!” if any administrators were anywhere within earshot. So incredibly anti-establishment, you could basically call it another Project Mayhem, except instead of Brad Pitt and Ed Norton concocting homemade bombs, it was a bunch of tweenyboppers with iPhone 3’s and Justin Bieber 2009 haircuts.
We got pretty accustomed to our own little self-governing system that rolled around every second period, so we naturally weren’t exactly thrilled when administration caught on to our little Anarchy Act and strictly enforced the presence of a substitute every day.
Most of our subs weren’t terrible–most were friendly, gave us participation grades, and didn’t object to the independent attitude of our class (which, mind you, only had about ten students in it)
That is, until Ms. Mormino came along.
Four feet, ten inches of raw, undiluted evil, Ms. Mormino walked into class with a scowl on her face and a chip on her shoulder. When the girl behind me sneezed, Ms. Mormino’s immediate response was “NO INAPPROPRIATE NOISES!"
Although we all suppressed our laughter, we all knew from that moment on that, try as she might with her despotism and her draconian anti-sneeze policy, Ms. Mormino didn’t stand a chance.
The arguable beginning of the end for Ms. Mormino’s all-too-brief reign of terror was the moment I asked for a calculator; mine was broken. Mormino asserted that I could only borrow a calculator if I loaned her something of mine; at that moment, the girl next to me chimed in, saying she, too, needed a calculator. "I have a folder I can give you,” I offered. “I have a highlighter,” added the other girl.
At that moment, a puberty-creaking voice from the back of the room piped up.
We all know certain people have certain gifts. Michelangelo saw angels in every block of marble and devoted his life to setting them free; Einstein had a mind which saw the potential of the entire universe; F. Scott Fitzgerald wove intricate tales of decadence and depravity. Max, however, had a different kind of gift: he could make anything–anything at all–into a “that’s what she said” joke. More on that later, though.
Max pried off a Nike sneaker and held it proudly in the air, like a coveted trophy.
“I have a shoe."
Tottering in one-shoe-one-sock, Max dumped the sneaker on Ms. Mormino’s desk, retrieved a calculator, then tottered back to his own desk, a sort of smirk playing on his face. And, as to be expected–the rest of us quickly followed suit.
A small pile of shoes on her desk, Ms. Mormino grit her teeth and glared at us as we all sat back down, quietly victorious, a calculator in each of our hands. It wasn’t long, however, until we all began to silently plot our next act of minor mayhem.
"Can I go to the bathroom?” asked Tyler, who, despite being in seventh grade, was approaching his sixteenth birthday. In a combination of verism and admiration of Tyler’s devil-may-care boldness, we unequivocally accepted him as our leader. For reasons unknown, Ms. Mormino denied his request. Tyler, much like his Fight Club namesake, heeded no rules but his own and left anyway–Ms. Mormino, furious, locked the door behind him and smugly insisted that “administration will take care of him."
Tyler, however, was not one to be caught, and stayed close by, appearing in the window of the door whenever Ms. Mormino wasn’t looking. Waving, smiling, laughing, making faces and obscene gestures, Tyler had us all in stitches, but cleverly avoided Ms. Mormino’s sight–when she asked us what was so funny, we all refused to give Tyler away.
A girl asked to go to the bathroom, stating she "really really really” needed to go. Ms. Mormino, again, denied her request. Ms. Mormino, however, seemed to be uninformed about the side door–leading right outside, always locked from the outside but always open from the inside.
“Well, I’ll go myself,” the girl responded, and took off, hurdling three desks and darting out the door. Right behind her, two other students took off, pursuing freedom. The door slammed behind all three students, and they were gone.
Six of us were left. Among us, importantly, was Chris.
Chris was thirteen, but looked half his age; scrawny, wiry, he probably measured in at about four-foot-three, but no taller. “Late Bloomer” are words that come to mind.
Despite his diminutive size, Chris possessed the gall of someone like Tyler.
“I have to use the bathroom,” said Chris, standing.
"Do you think I’m going to allow you to go to the bathroom?“ snapped Ms. Mormino.
"It’s an emergency!” Chris pleaded.
“Sit down,” Ms. Mormino growled.
Meanwhile, the entire class borders on hysteria. We have tears in our eyes, almost suffocating from choking back laughter.
“It’s an emergency,” repeated Chris, but it sounded more like a warning.
Silence. Silence, Silence and more silence, until we all began to notice a dark stain on Chris’s khakis. The stain grew. And grew. And grew.
Fists at his sides, stoicism in his face, and a cold, proud, triumphant glint in his eye, Chris locked eye contact with Ms. Mormino.
And pissed right in his pants.
The entire class erupted into a laugh only comparable to the detonation of a bomb.
We laughed so hard for the next five, ten, fifteen minutes straight that Ms. Mormino gave up. Surrendering, putting her head on her desk, she waited until the hysteria finally subsided.
Finally looking up, defeated, pathetic, Ms. Mormino glared at us all and wailed:
"This is too much, this is too hard, too hard, Jesus Christ, this is too much for me!“
A lone voice sounded from the back of the room. Guess whose it was.
"That’s what she said.”
Ms. Mormino officially retired from teaching that afternoon.
Lipstick Lesbian: An extremely glamorous, very feminine, lesbian. Not a doc marten or flannel in sight, just dresses and heels and everything in between. Perfume, flowers, pink, and women. Often portrayed as submissive in a lesbian relationship, but that isn’t always the case. Lipstick lesbians can kick some ass. Have you seen the sharpness of those heels? They are all the glitz and glam of a lesbian. Portia De Rossi and Sarah Paulson are just a few examples.
Femme: A feminine lesbian, simply put. Not as glamorous as a lipstick lesbian, but still extremely feminine. Makeup, jeans, maybe the occasional pair of chucks in baby pink. Also often viewed as the submissive one in a lesbian relationship, but that’s not always the case. Leisha Hailey is a great example of a femme lesbian.
Stem: An African American femme. The same exact definition of a femme, but this definition is reserved just for woc, which is much deserved. Wanda Sykes or Robin Roberts are wonderful examples of stem lesbians.
Sporty Dyke: Still a femme, but so athletic that it would make you think otherwise. Running shoes and sweats are very familiar with sporty dykes, and they probably always have their hair up in an under armour headband at all times. Have you ever seen their hair down? Probably not. She won’t put on a dress until her sports banquet, and her whole team will gasp in shock. Sporty dykes have the best body of any lesbian though… You need muscle to play softball as good as they do. Jillian Michaels is a great example of a sporty dyke.
Blue Jeans Femme: Have you ever seen The Kids Aren’t Alright? Then you know what I’m talking about. Blue jean femmes love their Mossimo dark wash jeans just as much as they love their vegan leather Birkenstocks and their farmers market veggies. Reads a lot of self-enlightenment books and probably has a colorful afghan. Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco probably run through their blood stream. They love thrift shopping and green juice after meditation, and god dammit they love their girlfriend.
Chapstick Lesbian: A relatively feminine lesbian, but still has a fair share of masculine or tomboyish characteristics. Chucks, doc martens, band tees and flannels are no new thing to chapstick lesbians. But dammit do they love their mascara and their pretty pink curtains. They can kill a spider with only a little scream, and can probably put an IKEA dresser together with the help of her girlfriend. Sarah Gilbert is a great example of a chapstick.
Beibian: The stage most baby dykes go through… The 2009 Justin Bieber hair phase. *gasp* Yes, they actually have Justin Bieber type hair. Yes, they probably just came out and are trying to find themselves in the world of lesbian. Beibians are freshly “came out” lesbians with skinny jeans and target plaid button-ups and the rainbow hottopic bracelet and “pride” pins all over their black jansport. Probably wears vans. Probably spends 30 minutes to an hour straightening their freshly cut coming out hair-do and will probably take a flash mirror selfie to post on tumblr. Justin Bieber is a great example of a Beibian.
Futch: Not a femme, not a butch. Content with being both and neither. Maybe you have a pixie cut, maybe you have long hair. Maybe you wear pretty flowy blouses, maybe you wear button ups. Maybe you wear makeup one day and not the next. You’ll wear a pretty dress to your cousin’s wedding and a pantsuit to your sister’s birthday. You are so confident with feeling one way one day, and another the next, and you love to play with masculinity and femininity, and you do it well. But you’re indecisive, so your girlfriend always picks the restaurant. A great example of futch is Ellen Page.
Soft Butch: Mostly masculine, but they have something soft about them. Flannels and button ups are the typical attire, hats are always a must. Even though they love to be chivalrous and kill spiders and act tough, they secretly love buying candles and going clothes shopping with their girlfriend. They can cry to a romcom and cheer to a basketball game. They are everything great about being a butch, but they’re just soft about it. Get yourself a soft butch, she’ll fix your toilet and gossip about OITNB. She’ll be the big spoon, most of the time. A wonderful example of soft butch is our president, Ellen DeGeneres.
Stud: The same as soft butch, but this definition is reserved for black women! An example of a stud is Samira Wiley. *Enter a Poussey joke please. My heart still hurts too bad to do so.*
Butch: The cream of the lesbian crop. Butch. When you see a butch, the first thing you think is, “lesbian.” Which is accurate. Because, well, she’s a lesbian. Butches are characteristically confident and sure about their identity, so much so that they are willing to go outside gender norms and wear not what’s typical, but what feels good. Most every butch has short hair, it’s kinda the butch thing. (Unless you’re a LHB, or a long haired butch, who are equally butchy and attractive.) A butch is a masculine woman simply put. 100% men’s clothes down to the knickers. She’s chivalrous, and can take apart an IKEA desk and can put it back together in a blink of an eye, and can probably kill a spider without so much as a bat of an eyelash. Watches a lot of sports but will watch Project Runway if her girlfriend forces her, (she secretly likes it.) She’s just cool. Everyone wants to have the swagger of the butch. A couple perfect examples of a butch would be K.D. Lang, Rachel Maddow, and Sarah Bettens. They are hotter than any dude could ever be.
Stone Butch: Take the definition of butch and times it by 100. They are the butches of the butch. Intense and intimidating, with womanly swagger, all in one. By law, every stone butch has to own a leather jacket. It’s just the law. She probably has carpenter jeans and really intense steel toed combat boots. Every stone butch has at least 14 tattoos. At least. She probably has a group of super scary butch friends, and will pick you up on your first date on her motorcycle. She may be a stone butch, but her heart is as warm as it comes. She loves taking her gf out for joyrides and pushing chairs out for her. So don’t ever be intimidated by the stone butch, they are the friendliest of all. It is typical for stone butches to be particularly “dominant” in any relationship, and they maybe classified especially by not not liking to be intimately touched in any situation. Overall, the stone butch is the even better butch! An example of stone butch would be Lea DeLaria.
*If you think of anymore, feel free to add on or ask us to add onto it!*
Predictions: We predict that Catherine Zeta-Jones, on the rebound, cougars it up with some hot young thing. Then they…fall in love, possibly, maybe?? If we had our way, she’d probably get back together with her ex. Sorry, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Plot: Oh my god, Catherine Zeta-Jones, definitely DO NOT get back together with your ex. So, at the beginning of this film, Catherine Zeta-Jones is your typical housewife. Super involved with her kids, lives in a beautiful million-dollar house in Connecticut, and does really well with her fantasy basketball league? Cool, cool. Everybody’s gotta be doing something. Including Catherine Zeta-Jones’s husband, who’s doing Catherine Zeta-Jones’s friend.
Upon finding this out, Catherine Zeta-Jones moves her two children and herself to New York. She gets a job as a fact-checker at an ESPN-type company (turns out she just LOVES SPORTS, you guys; so much so that she’s got a whole binder of infographics just ready to go that she made in her spare time. She is not like other girls. Or job applicants). She also finds an apartment above a coffee shop where a young Justin Bartha works. He’s, like, super depressed because his French wife married him for a green card and then promptly left him for her fake brother. This is great news for Catherine Zeta-Jones, who’s looking for a baby-sitter, though. “Oh,” you say, reading this entry. “Does she sleep with the nanny?” Right on, reader! That is exactly what she does.
Some time passes and things seem to be going well for the couple. But, oh no, Catherine Zeta-Jones is pregnant! It’s okay though, because 25-year-old Justin Bartha is weirdly on board with this situation?? He’s just so excited to be a dad???? With his 40-year-old girlfriend?? JK — it’s not a real pregnancy, thank god. But this leads Catherine Zeta-Jones to break up with Justin Bartha because he is so young and he needs to live. You’re not wrong, lady. Thank you for taking a mature approach to this situation.
Five years and one very long montage later — Justin Bartha has returned from his world travels, where he was the only white person amidst a sea of POC children. He and Catherine Zeta-Jones run into each other at a restaurant. She’s celebrating her promotion to fake-ESPN anchor, and he’s showing off his new Bangladeshi son(????)! Anyway, they reconnect and hold hands and probably get back together.
Best Scene: Justin Bartha is forced to take Catherine Zeta-Jones to his friend’s terrible drama showcase. Afterwards, they stand outside and struggle to come up with something nice to say. So real. Nothing has ever been so real. We deeply identify with this struggle.
Worst Scene: Said friend’s terrible drama showcase. Oh god.
Best Line: “Are you talking about me? I only hang out with you and Dad!” – Justin Bartha, indignant at brunch with his parents and their rabbi, when his mom expresses that he’s “not a bad little boy” but “just misguided; falling in with the wrong crowd.”
Worst Line: Oh god. Well, at one point Justin Bartha is working at a women’s center and gets roped into being the self-defense dummy, basically, and Catherine Zeta-Jones attacks him with a passionate speech about her ex-husband. Later, when said ex-husband turns up, they REPEAT this passionate speech. It is terrible both times. Why would you repeat it. Our ears were melting just having to listen to it once.
Highlights of the Watching Experience: Sooooo. Catherine Zeta-Jones’s name in this movie is “Sandy,” and her ex-husband’s name is “Frank.” THEIR CHILDREN are “Sadie” and “Frank Jr.” REALLY, GUYS???? REALLY???????? Also, who’s ever looked at a baby and thought, “Mmmm, Frank. That is the name that suits my angelic infant’s face.” Honestly, it’s shocking anyone’s ever been named Frank at all.
How Many POC in the Film: Catherine Zeta-Jones’s black boss at fake ESPN, Justin Bartha’s black boss at the women’s center, some minority women in self-defense class that the instructor chooses inexplicably to be racist to, Catherine Zeta-Jones’s friends/coworkers at fake ESPN, maybe some other people… Quite a number, surprisingly. Oh, and, of course, all those people of color that Justin Bartha traveled through. Sooooo many people of color that he traveled through. But at least there were also people of color in America. :|
Alternate Scenes: We would change that one speech of hers and a number of other lines. Also, we would get rid of the scene where one of the kids vomits. Otherwise, this movie was honestly…fine?? Meh.
Was the Poster Better or Worse than the Film: …Hard to say. The poster seems less likely to be a movie we would enjoy, but it might be a more interesting movie. The poster is way, WAY sexier than this movie. It really suggests that Justin Bartha is, like, a young feckless neighbor that Catherine Zeta-Jones is using for sex. It does not suggest what actually happens in this film, which (to our great surprise) is that they have a meaningful emotional relationship, and then he goes away to develop as a person, and then they live happily ever after, probably.
Score: 4 out of 10 emotionally-attached-cougar smooches.
Ranking: 63, out of the 87 movies we’ve seen so far. Boring but inoffensive, except for that series of racist comments at the women’s center. Better than we expected. Sadly.