As I promised yesterday, here’s my Bob Ross story.
Until high school, I went to a parochial school where I was bullied and I hated it. But during the summer, I attended different kinds of camps and made friends from other schools, which made the whole year more bearable.
One summer, I was taking a class called Knights and Castles, learning about Medieval times, and my best friend in that class was Aja, pronounced Asia. During the afternoons in that hot summer, I would watch Bob Ross on the old TV I had in my room that only got PBS, and I would usually fall into a lazy nap during the broadcast. Aja watched it, too, so we would giggle about different things he said or did. One quote in particular: “There are no stupid mistakes. There are only happy accidents.”
One of the last projects in our class was to make a shield, and Aja and I were so excited to display our Bob Ross love. They were too small to completely write about ‘Stupid Mistake’ and ‘Happy Accident,’ we were going to write SM on one and HA on another.
Our teacher wasn’t having it. “In the adult world,” she said, “S&M means something very specific.” And she walked away. Aja and I were aghast and I was a little bit offended. “In the adult world?” I was the advanced age of 13. I knew bad words; thanks to my mother, I could already make a sailor blush, and I couldn’t think of one thing that would be wrong with S&M.
Embarrassingly, it wasn’t until well after undergrad before I realized to what S&M referred.
I’m glad she didn’t let us use it.