A story was recently recounted to me. One I had forgotten. So, come along ladies, gentlemen and my gender fluid friends while I regale you with a story of denial and embarrasment. There are many characters. But really, there are only a couple you need to be concerned about. So, come on. Take a seat. Here we go. *opens dusty old book*
I, the main character in this drama, had just returned from the military. Really! Just try to imagine the same me, except much younger and with short hair. See! Not to difficult. There are conflicting accounts about whether I was in my uniform for the evening. I doubt it. But, it’s okay. Just go with it. It kind of adds to the story. My family and I went out to dinner at a nice steak place in the growing little bedroom community of Temecula, CA. Perhaps you’ve passed it on your way to San Diego on the 15 freeway.
Anyway. Yes, on with the story. For some reason, I was at the head of the table. The way it was recounted to me, I was kind of the guest of honor. So, I might have been in my uniform. I just don’t remember wearing it after I finished my enlistment. Oh, yes. Right. The story.
I was at the head of the table. My entire immediate family was present. My mom, step dad, grandparents, my sister, step brothers and step sister all were there. It seemed to be going well until someone at the table mentioned to the waitress that I had just returned from the military. See why I don’t believe I was wearing my uniform. Otherwise, it would be pretty obvious. Oh well.
As I recall, the rest of the dinner went very smooth. It was nice catching up with family. But, at the end, the waitress handed me the check. I had just left my job and was sending out resumes. So, I wasn’t exactly prepared to pay for the dinner. My grandfather or step dad was already motioning for me to hand it to them. So, I did. That’s when it was revealed to me that the waitress had written her phone number on the check. Apparently, that’s why she gave it to me.
There was some good natured razzing about it coming from the men at the table. I was used to that. I may have blushed. But, the cause of the blushing was probably misinterpreted. When we got up to leave, I remember my sister asking me if I was going to take the number. I had already turned to go. So, I had to turn around and take a few steps back to the table. “What? Oh yeah. Let me grab that.” Now, let me tell you something about the person who reminded me of this tale. At the time of the incident, he was 12 years old. Upon seeing me almost leave without the number, he tells me his first thought was “Whoa. He’s getting so much tail, he can afford to let one go.”
At the time I left the navy, I was 23 years old. I was most definitely still a virgin. I had only kissed one girl (in high school). I was extremely shy. And, at the time, I considered myself assexual. I wasn’t interested in girls or boys. Sure, I thought I should have been born female. But, I thought I had conquered that by joining the military. Sure, a suicidal thought process and act is why I ended up leaving. But, I wasn’t looking back. I was looking forward to going back to school and finding a career. I was sure my interest in girls would just magically appear one day. I wasn’t embarrassed because a girl was flirting with me around my family. I was embarrassed because I was ashamed of the fact that I wasn’t interested in girls at all.