Sunday, July 29, 2012

Boot Camp- Listening

One of my earliest memories of my marine was the first time I went for a weekend visit.  He called me out to stay with him overnight at camp pendleton.  He was staying a  place called "Sharkys" and he gave me instructions as to how to get there.   At that time, I wasnt as good a listener as I have learned to be now.  I know that I frustrated him by cutting him off while he was giving me instructions over the phone as to how to arrive.  He stopped me, when I cut him off and he told me to be quite and to listen. I had never been "ordered around" like that and his voice commanded may attention.  He is normally soft spoken and has a mild tone, though when he needs me to listen, his voice fills with authority ( rour!).  I tried to listen and I thought I got the instructions right.  I was wrong.  I ended upon base, but near the shore.  I had to call him out to come get me and lead me to where he was.  I was about to get my first lesson in the care and feeding of a marine.. boot camp.  Lesson 1,Listen and Read the Signs.
In the marines, he is an instructor.. and a very good one.  He told me to follow him as he drove ahead of me. I had him on speaker phone and, oh yes, I had to turn off my radio and keep my mouth shut. ( This was somewhat of a challenge for me). He drove me from where I was to where I should have started to follow his instructions.  Yes, from the beginning.  When you enter Camp P through the main gait you make a left, over the bridge, follow the road as it winds to to the right, then make a left.  There, there is a fork in the road ( where I got lost, I took a right) and that is where you make a left.  There is a fire hourse there.   
I have not been to camp P in 2 years and yet, I remember the instructions.  Why? you ask?  Well, it's because he ran me through a drill repetitively from that point in the road ( the fork) to Sharky's at least 3-4 times.
The next day, he came to pick me up during his lunch break.  I have to admit, I was eagerly awaiting him back in the room.  ( I had never felt like doing that for ANYBODY before... I would not spend all morning beautifying myself for NO MAN! who does that?.. LOL... I did... for this marine). I waited for him to come home for lunch and yes, I ran down to the local coffee shop and pick him up a yogurt and a sandwich so that when he comes home for lunch (to the room) he can fill his tummy ... and have time for a few other things. Then, I waited.. with my high heels on. 
He called me and just said " Where are you? come out.. I dont have alot of time".  I kicked my heals and ran to the front to join him.  He then toured me around the area and described everything to me.  He told me to read the signs because they would describe where I was and what the buildings were.  He drove me to a housing unit and told me that if he were to live on base, they would give him one of those houses.   I asked him why he was showing me this and he responded " If you are ever here, when I am not here, I dont want you to get lost, I want you to know your way around here".   Such a thoughtful guy... and boy did I read into that sentence!!!!    
I  fascinated myself with how girlish I felt around him, how safe.  I was shocked that I actually felt like I should just get pretty for him and be on his arm.  I surprised myself by how eager I was to see him and simple be with him. When he got up for work and meticulously donned his cloths, I clung to him. I surprised myself as i have never, ever done that before for anyone. It was a great feeling!  I was on air.

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