28 November, 2006

USO Vignette

...but not the regular fare.

Today was SOI day (newly-minted Marines coming through on their way to secondary training). A SSgt and Sgt, along with a bevy of assisting PFCs and LCpls from the base are assigned to the USO to direct the flood of literally hundreds of clueless new Marines.

I was there when the group from the base arrived first thing this morning and I was still there over five hours later. Mid-morning, a young (21?) assisting PFC made some crack about me still being there to help him. I laughed about it and agreed that I was.

That led to the following conversation later when I was about to leave (I thought it funny at the time, but now I wonder if I was a bit too crushing)...

21-year-old PFC (in almost whiny voice): You're leaving me now?

FbL (who supposedly looks like she's about 23): It's the end of my shift. And I was here 'til 8:00 last night!

PFC (with mock(?) puppydog eyes): You're leaving me now?

FbL: Yup.

PFC (continuing expression): What?! You're not gonna stay? You're leaving me?

FbL (with a friendly smile and a chuckle and a silly flourish, but starting to get a weird feeling): I'm at least 10 years older than you. I'm most definitely leaving you.

PFC (looking momentarily startled, but covering it well): "10 years?"

FbL (smiling gently): Yes, 10 years.

PFC: But that's okay with me. I...

FbL: Have a good afternoon!

Weird. Just plain weird. I mean, I know I look young for my age, but not that young! And I'm certainly not the type someone would fall for at first sight (and don't argue with me on that!).

Perhaps I should credit his youth--in other words, it was a clumsy attempt to be silly with no intent to actually attract and it fell flat because he thought he was speaking to a peer when he actually wasn't. In which case, I think I responded properly.

Or the more hideous explanation is that to a 21-year-old I look so old and unattractive that he thought there wouldn't be a chance I'd actually think he was serious. In which case...

Ugh. Better not think that way, haha! Still, very strange. I have to say that had someone my age or a little older talked to me like he did, I'd have blushed like crazy!