02 September, 2008

Ridiculous Ranting and Raving that Only Women Will Appreciate

Today at the USO, the director--a middle-aged man of recent thirty years' service as a Marine--complimented me to the point of embarrassment regarding my character, spirit, professional skills, military knowledge, and understanding of the warrior... and then asked me in all seriousness why I hadn't yet "found a discerning Marine officer to marry."

I sputtered, of course.

His response was to rephrase things. "Or rather, I suspect he hasn't found you yet."

Cue additional sputtering. I could not but agree as I stood there with naked fingers, wondering how in the world I'd gotten into such an outrageous conversation.

He followed up with an arch expression and gently continued, "The question is, are you putting yourself in places where he can find you?"

From some previously-unknown cache of poise I drew out a surprisingly natural, self-deprecating laugh and the flippant confession that I wouldn't have a clue where those places are.*

He said, more to himself than me, "But he must be smart... You're so intelligent, and I can tell that's important to you."

I agreed and told him with a wink and a smile that few men I encounter engage me on an intellectual level, so my standards are obviously too high--"At least that's what I like to tell myself,"--and made my escape.

Heh. Another happily-married, mature military man thinks I'm wonderful.

Apparently all the unmarried ones __________? :P

P.S. Went shopping for convention clothes last weekend (working in childcare or at home for the last 18 months has destroyed my professional wardrobe) and learned something: This Fall's designers despise women. Really, that 's the only rational explanation for styles designed to make the average woman look either pregnant or like a sack of potatoes wearing things I used to dress my dolls in. And if the styles don't get you, the colors this Fall will make you look for the nearest window ledge for escape from the darkness-induced depression. For the last year I've noticed a steep increase in volumptuous (and beyond) women wearing styles that make them look ridiculous and ugly. Until this weekend I just thought they had no fashion sense. Nope. Apparently that's all they could find on the racks.

*The USO is generally the habitat of very young enlisted men (with a sprinkling of E-5/6 and O-2, and the occasional grumpy field/senior officer on layover like the old LTC who snarled at me today when I sweetly asked, "How can I help you?"). I'll never forget the hilarity of being mistaken for a much younger woman when I first volunteered there and being told I might find a husband among the Marines and sailors who are actually 10-15 years younger than me. Yup, that's me: cradle-robber. A few more years of this and I could be their Ms. Robinson. :P