22 May, 2008

Afternoon at the USO

Marines headed for separation, a passel of Midshipmen managing to look both uncertain and confident at the same time, and an extremely nervous newly-minted sailor who couldn't bring himself to speak above a whisper. Top it off with a 40-something naval aviator sporting Top Gun sunglasses and cheesy moustache along with his 18-year-old-frat-boy's personality (I am not exaggerating), and an Adonis-like SEAL* with mega-attitude. It was... interesting.

I just love being treated like an idiot when I question the report that the carrier is in port, and I'm assured that yes she is, despite that fact that I just saw the empty berthing as I drove in. Then I ask for further clarification just to be sure I understand so I don't send the lost sailor to the wrong place, and my friendly local SEAL (who has bristled at every little reasonable request I've made of him--such as asking him to sign in when he walked in the door) says quietly but with derision to his fellow sailors after I turn my back, "No. It's in Iraq."

Fun. I whirl around and say with comic exasperation and hands spread, "What is your problem with me?! What in the world did I do to you to deserve this attitude?? I mean, really!!" The gaggle of sailors just gape, but I have five people lined up and at the desk and I'm the only one on the shift. I turn back to the desk, shaking my head and exclaiming--not entirely without amusement--as I walk, "A SEAL with an attitude: Oh, joy!" Nervous New Sailor looks at me with what seems to be a mixture of fear and awe, despite the warm smile and friendly greeting I soon offer him.


Actually, it was honestly a very, very enjoyable day--I had a great time, better than I have in awhile. It's pretty rare I run into a military man who treats me like I'm an idiot, but... ugh! Anybody got tips for the next time I encounter a similar over-testosteronized jerk?

*The handful of Special Operators I know or have interacted with have always been humble, gentle and respectful to me. This guy was definitely an outlier. Sad. He had a chestful of ribbons, Trident polished to a glow, square chin and wavy, golden hair to go with his beautiful build... and a personality as ugly as the rest of him was gorgeous.

UPDATE: Heh. Mr. Attitude wanted to talk before he left. Made a joke, loitered a bit, scooped some candy from the dish on the desk while mentioning it was bad for him... Sparkled at me the whole time before warmly wishing me a "great evening" as he departed. I wasn't impressed. Geez!