My dance card is getting full. Tomorrow night I have a date with the woman I was telling you about earlier, Wednesday night is dinner with Scales, Thursday night I’m meeting up with a guy that works at State just to shoot the shit (not a date), and Friday is pizza night in Alex with a Lt. Col in the Air Force who makes sure patients get seen. She just got back from deployment, so to this web site I will be calling her “Hawkeye” (Health care… overseas… Come on.) I told her that and said, “please tell me you are old enough to get that reference.” She said, “I’m not much of a M*A*S*H* fan, but yes, I did get it.” I wasn’t much of a fan while it was on, except that my dad watched it every week, and it was one of the only shows where I could be fast asleep and woken up to him laughing so hard he could barely breathe… one of my earliest memories, actually, because I would have been five.
Medical care in the military is a cause I’ll fight for, having worked in the VA Hospital as a contractor upgrading all their computers in Portland… which brings me to the comic and tragic story of being both mortified/sexually harassed and with the benefit of time, can stop being such a tight-ass about it. So, my crew is working on transferring data from old computers to new ones, so we have to go into every office in the building. Every. Office.
I am the only woman on the crew (as per my usual in those days), and the boys unlock a urologist’s office that just has dildos everywhere. I mean, floor to ceiling. Every girth and length you can possibly imagine. So, every guy on my team takes a dildo out of this poor bastard’s office and starts chasing me down the hallway with them. It was a situation in which I felt accepted and rejected all at the same time, if that makes any sense at all, because I don’t think they would have done it if they didn’t think I’d take a joke. It was a cortisol and sin kind of moment, and then I realized that if the doctor in question walked into his office the next morning and discovered that none of his, ummm, stuff was in the right place, it would be my moment to tell the story of why.
The doctor never came forward (as it were), so alas I just let it slide. If I’d been a girl about it, I would have lost respect and they would have avoided me like the plague. My entire career, I’ve just tried to be “just one of the guys.” And it works right up until I realize that I’m not.
And I’m betting that every female soldier, gay or straight, can relate to that one.
But lesbians particularly walk a fine line, because we are alternately the ones men are willing to get vulnerable with because they don’t have to wear the mask of boyfriend/husband and the gender role that comes with it… and the ones who can hang, but only up and to a point, because men do not come equipped with the radar that says lesbians are still women. However, that does not seem to be the case one-on-one, just when a group of guys are posturing around me… I suppose to impress upon me that they have something I’ll never have. Joke’s on them. Doubt me?