Chapter 9: Duty calls

The worst 24 hours of your life, especially when you were the Squadron Duty Clerk. Nothing like sitting in the Ready Room, watching either CNN or the Weather Channel, while everybody is out drinking the night away. The smell of strong coffee on an empty stomach, the eyes that felt like boulders on your face, and the boredom headache that you suffered through made this the ultimate punishment for being a Lance Corporal.
What made this event even worse is that I always got stuck with the biggest idiot of a Lieutenant. I would make up excuses not to hear about his girlfriend issues or even sometimes his mother issues. I must have had this look on my face that screamed "I care about your lame stories" when in fact I didn't. They assumed that since I was a woman, I cared. NEWSFLASH: We don't care about your drama! The only cool Lieutenants were the ones that were prior enlisted because they felt sorry for me and understood how much duty sucked. Gotta love those Mustangs!
The night went on forever. I had it bad back then. I didn't have an iPod to entertain me, no XBox or Wii, no cell phone or email. I had Solitaire or Minesweeper. Sometimes we were lucky enough to actually get onto Netscape (not every computer had Internet). I know, shut the front door, we had Netscape! Thank God for the Windows Integration!
One night I was feeling pretty desperate and decided to make a profile on some type of dating website. I figured what could possibly go wrong? So I put in all my basic information and made myself seem pretty appealing. After I reread everything, I added my profile and said "Perfect."
Within about thirty minutes, I started getting hits on my profile. My ego shot through the sky! I guess a girl in uniform appealed to some people...or maybe it was because I accidentally described myself a little too much and they thought I was an adult performer who wore military clothing. Oh, the things I saw. My poor eyes needed to go to confession for the things that I saw. It was like looking at Playgirl and then it made me wonder, "Who develops these pictures?" This was before digital cameras and cell phones with cameras. Oy vey!
Nixed that idea. That would be the last time that I ever signed up for an online dating service. For me, it was like being under the influence of boredom. Boredom was the silent killer. That and buffing the floor at 2 am in the morning. Buffed all the time that we all claimed to have a buffer license to handle the heavy machinery (NOTE: I am really talking about a buffer. Get your dirty mind out of my story).
Duty was a lonely night also. You craved for Duty Section check-ins. You waited for someone to ask, "Hey, do you need anything? I can bring it in next time I check in." Nope. Never happened. I suffered. I was the most hateful person for those 24 hours. Then what sucked more is when after staying up all night you had to work the following date at least halfday. So when you were cranky to anybody the following day due to lack of sleep, all you heard was, "You must be on the rag." Why is it anytime a woman is in a bad mood, men automatically assume they are on their period? Pigs. Ugh. Maybe its because you come up in to my space and demand things, ever think of that Einstein?
Going home after a night of duty couldn't come fast enough. I would sleep so well. It was that kind of sleep where you drool all over your pillow and you didn't even know you did. Best. Sleep. Ever. Until your roommate came home with the catch of the day. I was so excited when she got pregnant and had to move out of the barracks. Evil, I know, but come on, who would want to wake up to that? Okay, yes, I can think of a few people (Mike).
Date night after a day of duty sucked. My poor date thought he was boring me because I would yawn the whole night or fall asleep in the car or he would think that I hadn't eaten in years. I would devour my meal in no time. Let's just say...never got a second date after a day of duty. Dating after a day of duty should be banned. Took me years to realize that.
On the flip side. Men do that to women also, so it just isn't a chick thing. There was a guy who had a crush on me ever since the first time he saw me at disbursing (we had matching ears). I would say it took a year or so for him to muster up the courage to ask me out. One day we talked on the phone and had an interesting conversation about Algebra (I know, he stole my heart by talking about solving inequalities). After that "pleasant" conversation, he invited me over to his place to watch movies. I got all dressed up and tried to look hot for him (I also had a little "crush" on him, just didn't how to tell him). So I go to his house (which was in the same neighborhood as my ex who I have not discussed yet and my whole shop), and he shows me around the place (it was trailer, so there wasn't much to show). He showed me his art and then I think he may have made me something for dinner (Suave, huh?). So he shows me the movies that he rented. First was GI Jane and the other...Kama Sutra. No lying. Let's just say, I was a tad freaked out. I asked to watch GI Jane first (it seemed to be the lesser of the two evils).  I laid on one couch, he laid on the other. I kept looking at him to see if he even remembered that I was there because he barely spoke a word to me. Wow, am I that bad?
After GI Jane was done, he popped in Kama Sutra. I had no idea what to expect. Okay, I did. I figured it was a movie about erotic sex, and it was. Wondering if he was going to make a move on me, I looked over at the couch and he was asleep on the couch. Yeah, that one stung. Next time I saw him, I had no idea how to act around him because I honestly thought  I was a boring person who put him to sleep. Turns out, he was suffering from the 24-Hour Duty disorder. It should be made illegal to date while under the influence of the lack of sleep. It makes us lose our mojo.
The worst 24 hours of your life.


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