Sunday, March 19, 2006

Day 13: PARTAY....

I was dressed to the nines. Yep. I wore a pair of hip hugger, bell bottomed jeans with a black sweater and a black leather sweater/jacket. I wore some styling high heels and some pretty jewelry. I did my hair, topped with killer make-up and Kenneth Cole "Black" perfume.

SFC Whitten had sudden plans with her husband come up. So she would not be able to attend. SGT Dennis was surprised by her honey! He called the night before to say he was coming to town and they would spend a quiet intimate evening alone. I was beginning to feel lonely. SGT Dennis was ready to leave to meet her honey and I must say...she was stunning. She had her hair done the day before. Her make-up was flawless. She wore a gorgeous black jacket over a leopard skin print shirt with fashionable jeans. She is already tall, and standing in high heels is easily over 6 feet! She grinned as everyone whistled as she strolled down the center of the barracks.

Two girls from class rode with me, SGT Nichols (the tom-boy) and SGT Levi; a mouthy argumentative funny New Yorker. SGT Levi is petite. She weighs 105 at the most. She is TINY and wears a size 4 (they make them that small??). She is little in stature but that is where is ends. SHe is fiesty and has earned the nickname "I dispute that". She constantly challenged the instructors in class (in a good natured way) making them show in the regs where they got their information. And usually....SGT Levi was RIGHT! LOL. She knew her stuff. She rode shotgun while SGT Nichols watched my back. I had TWO "Battle Buddies" tonight!

Battle Buddy: another soldier who is by your side and guarding your back.
Also a friend who helps you out when needed. We are supposed to have someone with us at all times, but especially at night. I don't want to say it isn't safe to walk around at night on an Army post...but we need to be smart. So I had not one BAttle Buddy, but two. We were going to look out for each other. :-)

We got to the Outback and met several other soldiers at the bar. Our tables were not ready yet, so I ordered a Margarita on the rocks. Yum. I polished it off pretty quickly and SFC Hall bought me another. Hmmm. Several of the soldiers said "SGT FIELDS?? Wow. You sure look different." I responded that we ALL looked different in civvies. In fact there was one young soldier sporting an AC/DC ballcap (backwards) and dressed in all black "Goth" style clothing. YIKES.

I was talking to SFC Hall quite a bit. He is a nice guy, married with two children. He is in the NAtional Guard and is AGR (fulltime). I picked his brain about going AGR. Several of our instructors were there; even the nice looking SFC Hansen. He grabbed a beer and was talking to several people. In walks a very young (19) SPC Bouchamp and she gives him a hug and says "I am so glad you got to come!!" Hmmmmm. A shark like grin spreads across his face. Oh no. Oh well. He is married and she is oh so young. sigh.

We are seated and I am sitting next to SFC Hall on my left and PV2 Colson on my right. Colson is the ex-Navy guy. He is hispanic and hilarious. As we order our appetizers and drinks, he orders another beer and asks SGT Hawes (down a few seats on my left) if he can buy her a drink. We all know that the lovely Hawes has taken the fancy of Colson. But he is married with a very young baby at home. Hawes has NO intention of responding to any of Colson's advances. However...however tonight she has tied on a few and feels compelled to tease him. Unmercifully. Each time the waiter comes Colson orders himself another beer and another drink for Hawes. I stopped at the second margarita. I am easily the oldest (or near oldest) one in the group and have decided that I am going to be the ULTIMATE Battle Buddy for the group. LOL.

We order our meals and more drinks arrive. Is it me or is it getting hot in here? Bouchamp is flirting outrageously across the table at Hansen who is eating it up. Several guys are still commenting on me. Hawes is now shamelessly taunting Colson telling him "You couldn't handle it honey..." At this point Colson says to bring it on. Someone moves the table so Hawes can get out to the ailse and closer to Colson.

Remember we are at an Outback Steak House and not a bar. Hawes leans against a table poking out her rear as Colson jumps up and then *I* jump up, grab his arm and whisper emphatically "This is a restaurant and there are children in here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". Everyone is hooting and hollering and jeering. Colson throws up his hands (thankfully) and says "I can't...not here." His response is met with good hearted jabs at his courage. Whew. And we haven't even gotten our suppers yet.

We eat and that slows everyone down. LOL. We sit and chat and have a good time. We decide to go to a local sports bar. We arrive and find out that Bouchamp (remember 19 years old?) cannot enter since she is underage. One of the instructors recalls another club and we hoof it back to our cars. We lose several in our group as they decide to stay at this sports bar. This is where it went wrong. *I* should have stayed there. But I didn't. I really wanted to dance and this was a sports bar. So I follow several people to this other club. Can we say dog house? In fact I said outloud as we drove up "Oh my gosh, this is "the dog house". Everyone in my car laughed but I had to explain.

I used to live in a tiny little back water town. It was a dry county and so the only place to legally get a drink was at the Golf Club. Since I was poor and not a member of the Golf Club, the only other option were illegal clubs. On Sunday nights there was only ONE place in the county to get a drink with your friends. It was waaaay out in the country in an old barn and called "The Dog House". They had concrete floors, had a pool table and played some soul music on a record player. This was in my much younger (stupider) partying years and I am ashamed to say that I even knew of the exsistence of such a place much less say that not only had I been there once, but TWICE!

So when we drove up to the dirt parking lot and I saw the white washed building, with no windows and a neon beer sign out front I panicked. Needlessly. Bouchamp could not get in. As we stood outside she got upset, stormed to her car and took off with her friend.....leaving behind one of the people riding with her. He was shocked and upset, but I assured him he was riding with me. I was very sober, and getting pretty ticked. This was turning out to be ...well....juvenile. Enter Hansen who announces that we are all heading to yet another bar. This bar doesn't card past a Military ID!! hmmmmm.

I decide to go. Yet another mistake. We lose two more people who decide to call it a night. Me, my two battle buddies and the left behind soldier follow the convoy to a club close to the base. Comments about Hansen and Bouchamp ensue. We are pretty shocked because not only is he married but is easily 25 years her senior. Levi says "What happens TDY, stays TDY." I've been around the block a time or two. I was a lusty sailor once upon a time. And in all that time I rarely saw married people cheating freely. Maybe I am naive and ignorant, but most people who are married are not cheaters. Hansen is getting ready to go to Iraq, and Bouchamp is going to Afghanistan. Maybe they are reacting to the situation. I don't know. I hope they stay safe. I really worry about her. It's like my mama always said "If you go looking for trouble, you're gonna find it.." And Bouchamp is looking for trouble.

If I thought the other club was a dive.... I got out of my car and announced loudly to Hansen that if Bouchamp didn't show up we were not going to chase her down somewhere else. Everyone's eyes got big and Hansen sputtered and said "Oh no, of course not..."

So I ordered a watered down margarita and spent the next hour watching Hansen and Bouchamp flirt with each other and the rest of the crew play pool. All the music was rap or country (can't dance to either) most of the patrons were terribly young GI's. I felt like a fish out of water and was missing my honey fiercely. I did have fun cutting up with the girls but I would have much rather been somewhere nice with my husband. I stayed because I could see my Battle Buddies were having a good time.

Midnight came and went and Hansen left without Bouchamp. Whew. I still kept my eye on her though. She was drunk at this point on a bottle she had smuggled into the club. I made sure she wasn't driving and that she and the other soldier got to the newly assigned barracks without incident. I drove to my barracks, tumbled into bed at 1am but not before setting my alarm for 0430.

We had a walk through inspection at 0600. I was dehydrated and in a bad mood. How did I get elected to be a baby sitter? We literally ran to chow at 0630. I wolfed down my traditional bacon/eggs/grits with hot coffee. I commented to the girls that I would miss this routine. They laughed and said "Sgt Fields, your gonna get home and your husband is gonna say "what's for breakfast!". They kid me about being a housewife.

I check out at 0705, wave goodbye to everyone and head home. I cried on the way home. It has been an emotionally physically draining experience.....


Blogger Pixie said...

Aw Lori. I'm so sorry (and sad) your extension orders didn't come through.

I know you'll be happy to be home... but kinda bittersweet, huh?



Sunday, March 19, 2006 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Wow. Thank you again for sharing your stories with us. I still say you are awesome. :)

And hey, the air force has the same thing as a battle buddy, only they have to tote around a "wingman" everywhere they go ;)

Enjoy being home. And be proud of yourself!

Monday, March 20, 2006 9:25:00 AM  

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