I just finished “watching” the movie Bart Got a Room on one of the premium movie channels. It’s a cute story about a guy trying to get a date for the prom. I had seen it before; so I basically just listened to the dialogue as I checked my email.
When it got to the part where the father procures a “date” for his son, my mind began to wander back to Tyndall AFB, FL and The Base Commander’s Christmas Party w-a-y b-a-c-k w-h-e-n…
I was invited as a young Airman’s date — who clerked for the Base Commander — many years my junior and quite smitten over yours truly. I was flattered, and must admit that I was being extremely “catty” – some would say even “bitchy” — at the time. In my defense I must explain that this one female Colonel — who thought she was really hot stuff — had taken an instant dislike to me because I was a Civilian and didn’t have to take any of her “military crap.” This greatly annoyed her. Everytime I saw her, she’d make some sort of catty remark, and I would smile and reciprocate in kind, such as: “You’re taking my place on this trip because I can’t attend.”
“I could never take your place, but will most certainly try.” I know… BUT SHE STARTED IT! Anyway I knew this particular Colonel was going to attend the party because the Base Commander had already announced that all officers would either attend the evening festivities or take “leave” that particular day. I sweetly explained to the smitten Airman that people would talk when I arrived with him at the party, but he said he didn’t care; so I accepted his invitation. Besides, how could I refuse a free steak dinner?
I got myself “glamorized” in a black jumpsuit, and met my date for the evening. Just as I had predicted, all Military types – all decked out in their dress uniforms – stopped and stared as we entered. After the initial hush was over and the whispering started, I reminded my young knight that I had predicted this would happen. He sweetly smiled and after a few moments of military “unpleasantries” we danced.
Then as if on cue, the whispering really started! I turned around to see what all the commotion was about and was pleasantly surprised to see one of my young white Airman co-workers arrive with a lovely Creole lady on his arm. Since this was the early 1980’s and Panama City, FL you can imagine the pointing, staring and whispering that ensued. The four of us had a lovely time – shocking the Military Old School Elite, and my co-worker and I laughed about that Christmas Party well into the New Year.