I work on base most of the time. So that means that every morning after I wave my tiny people goodbye as their little bitty heads peep up over the bottom edge of the windows on that huge yellow bus, I hop in the car and drive myself to the base. And every morning I whip out my CAC and wait in line and then take my turn being checked by the various security types who man the gate. Some days it’s policemen, other days it’s sailors. I might be a bit biased, but I prefer the military gate guards to the civilians. They’re nicer most of the time, and sometimes they salute me, which just feels like a win any day of the week (though I know the salute has little to do with me and is more a show of respect for the rank of the dude I happen to be married to. Regardless, I like to think of it as a nice “you go, girl!” kind of affirmation that I did well in my choice of spouse.” Whatever. Not the point.
The point. And I do have one, irrelevant though it may be… Is that most mornings I get something along the lines of, “thank you ma’am. Have a good day.” I pretty much became “ma’am” the day I married the Major. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that age-advancing term of respect has smacked me in the face any time I’ve been near a military facility since that day more than a decade ago. I went from “miss” to “ma’am.” And it’s completely stupid, but it sucks. Especially if I’m due for a color or if I’ve recently noticed that the forehead crease is looking more pronounced.
But today, not only did I get the totally-not-intended-for-me-but-damned-cool-anyway salute, I also got a “miss”! WIN! I haven’t been called miss in ages. I nearly pulled over to hug the cute little sailor guy in his cute navy blue camis. But the guy in line behind me probably wouldn’t have been too pleased. And it might have been misinterpreted and started some kind of security incident. So instead, I just drove on through, feeling much younger than I did when I woke up.