So this weekend I totally became an admiral in the navy. But only on my lower half. Let me explain.
One of my best and dearest friends is married to a naval pilot who is not Tom Cruise. He’s way taller. And for the next few years we are lucky enough that they’re stationed nearby-ish. The “ish” is because we have to take a car to get there, and so basically if I can’t get to you by foot, you’re in the “ish” category.
|Sadly, nobody was playing topless volleyball during our visit.|
Luckily, they also weren't telling us about the tenants
of Scientology. So, let's just call it a draw.
Anyway, two of my other best and dearest friends, plus their two kids, plus CB, plus all of our stuff and coffee and breakfast sandwiches, piled into a sporty minivan and made our trip down to visit for the weekend. Also, you may think that “sporty minivan” is an oxymoron, but I have two things to say about that: (a) you are incorrect and (b) in the dark, they sometimes look just like a sporty SUV (don’t ask).
So I don’t know how much you guys know about navy bases, or really any military base in general, but for some inexplicable reason they don’t just let any old person on base. You can’t just be like “Hey, I’m here to visit and drive around and look at tanks and go to the on-base Pizza Hut.” They get all picky about rules and are like “Um, ma’am, step away from the gates and the men with guns and camo. Come back when you have a proper ID and someone who actually lives on base to vouch for you.” And so we totally showed up prepared and made Not Tom Cruise come to the gate to get us.
All was going fine. NTC was in the driver’s seat and the rest of us were sitting quietly, proper identification in hand, totally not raising any red flags that any of us was a weirdo. Until the very last seconds when I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
Gate Guard (not sure if that’s his official name or not) salutes Not Tom Cruise, NTC salutes back, and then, just as the car is kicking into drive, I have some sort of weirdo military Tourette’s Syndrome outbreak and salute the Gate Guard from the back seat.
Yeah. And the worst part? I totally threw poor Gate Guard off, who saw my Tourette’s salute and started to salute back until he realized that there’s no way the military would ever let me into their fine establishment and put his half-salute away while I started to fumble around in my brain for why that just happened.
Friend: “Did you just salute the gate guard?”
Me: “Yeah, I think I did.”
Friend: “Why on earth would you salute him?”
Me: “I don’t know, I panicked! He was saluting and I just panic-saluted back!”
Friend: “But he wasn’t saluting you!”
Me: “I know! But by the time it was happening it was too late to stop it!”
Whatever. In my head, that totally almost counts as being accepted into the military. But what really sealed the deal was when I found out what my rank could be someday.
Cut to: later that night, sitting around the fire pit, talking about the panic-salute and re-living every glorious moment.
Me: “So does that mean I’m part of the military now?”
NTC, not sarcastically at all: “Yeah, I definitely think that’s what that means.”
Me: “I could totally be in the military.”
Everyone else: ignoring that statement.
Me: “What would be my title?”
NTC, realizing I don’t like to drop things once I’ve picked them up, and laughing: “I think you’re a Rear Admiral Lower Half.”
Me: “That’s not a real thing.”
NTC: “Oh yes it is!”
And then he went on to describe how someone in the military actually has the title “Rear Admiral (lower half).” And if you haven’t already figured this one out, there’s also a “Rear Admiral (upper half).”
This. Is. Amazing.
|I've obviously been preparing for this moment|
all my life. But if you're a Rear Admiral (upper half), you don't get
the red sparkles on your hat. I can see how that'd get confusing.
And then the conversation spiraled into one that isn’t appropriate for children or blog readers. Also, we perhaps had some spiked drinks in our hands and no children around and so it was totally fine. Plus, I’m a Rear Admiral (lower half) and that’s just how we roll.