Monday, May 12, 2008

Spank Me, Please?

It's nice to gain a new perspective, once in a while, on one's career choice.

After all, as I've shared, introducing oneself as Vice Principal out there does not exactly Get The Party Started. Knowing there's a Disciplinarian in the crowd can make people act sheepish or pretend to hide their beers (or, oddly, start confessing stuff).

Glad I'm not a cop.

Last night I went to meet my friend Susan, a celebrity in her own right now as one of the featured crew members on Carrier, the PBS documentary. We were going to meet downtown, and then she was running late from visiting her daughter...and so we agreed to rendezvous at her hotel, the site of the conference that brought her town.

That conference being for Navy and Marine Air Traffic Controllers. Of all ages and expertise, from all over the country. Enjoying free beer and food and casino games in a safe Holiday Inn atmosphere. And I was maybe the only civilian in the mix.

Despite being the daughter of a dad with a Navy Career, I'll confess that I know too little about the Navy lifestyle and its various careers. I learned a ton from Carrier, but I had lots of questions for Susan and her friends, including, How did you know you wanted to be an Air Traffic Controller? and What's your rank? I am pretty fascinated by the new pockets of the world in which I find myself, and I also don't mind being in the company of folks I don't know (I'm pretty chatty!).

Did I mention I also learned to play Craps?

At some point I noticed that Susan was mostly introducing me as her "friend," or as "not an Air Traffic Controller," but also on occasion as her daughter's "Vice Principal." I gently reminded her that not everyone wants to be reminded of Poor Choices Made While Adolescent, of which I am symbolic.

Her eyes got wide. "Oh," she shook her head, "Not here. These guys love women in authority. They'll ask if you have a paddle. And also if you can wear a uniform while you swat them."

We had a good laugh about that.

But then later, when she walked me out, we were stopped at the door by three guys/friends of hers who had, perhaps, spent a wee bit of time by the keg. With a glint in her eye, she introduced me as her daughter's V.P.

"I'll take detention!" one of them shouted with glee. And the rest of them launched into various sophomoric versions of Ooooooooooooh make me behave. Please, Vice Principal.

I'm busy tomorrow night, or I'd go back.

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