The simple truth is that very little of any interest has occurred
on any of my trips to bother writing a blog. I guess if I want my blog to
survive and continue, I’m gonna have to start making stuff up.
“Holy shit! I was on the way to the Atlanta airport, and in
the middle of the flight, a bright beam of light filled the interior of the
airplane! Next thing I knew, I was on another planet ran by gorgeous
Amazonian women . . . “
Yeah, sorry – ‘fraid I’ve got nothing that interesting to
say, so I’ll just ramble on a bit if that’s all right?
I don’t know why, but it seems like my wife’s feelings might
have changed a little recently. She has always cut me a lot of slack, but it’s
also always been pretty clear that she doesn’t like my cross dressing. Really,
who can blame her? You grow up as a little girl with a clear vision of how you
expect your life to play out. No doubt you will ultimately be married to an
adoring husband who is reasonably wealthy, built like Chuck Norris, and watches
the football games with a room full of his rough and tumble guy friends. Chuck
Norris was taken and so you marry a soldier – a fairly masculine man, with a
hairy chest, and a decent though not exactly impressive set of muscles. You’re
on your way to having something like the life that you dreamed about as a
little girl and then one day you find out that you have been suckered into a “bait
and switch” scenario, and you have actually married a guy that likes to dress
like a woman. Every single time that he
leaves the house as a woman, you worry that your friends and neighbors may see,
and the whole gig is up. No, I don’t blame my poor wife for not being thrilled
about it – I wouldn’t be happy about it if I were her either. Still, she has
always allowed me the freedom to be me from time to time, and she doesn’t give
me hell for traveling as I do. Many, perhaps the majority of women, probably
would have left me, but my wife has only asked that I be careful and not be too
obvious about it.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling depressed, old, and ugly and
I shared with my wife that I wasn’t sure if I should “fly pretty” or not
because I wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort. She kind of surprised me when she looked at
me and gently told me that she thought I should
fly pretty on that trip because it had been a while and because she thought
that everyone should feel beautiful from time to time. I have no idea if she
knows how deeply this touched me or not, but it really had an effect on me. Where I am willing to risk my families happiness
to spend time “as Kim”, she is
willing to risk her own welfare so that I
can be happy. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that my wife is a much better person than I
am . . .
As luck would have it, I was on an airplane on Veterans Day
a few weeks ago, and was fortunate enough to get an upgrade to first class. I
had chosen not to fly pretty for a variety of reasons and I suspect that this was
probably for the best on this trip. As I boarded the airplane, there was the
distinct air of tension with the flight attendants and it soon became obvious
what the problem was. The young man sitting in the seat next to mine was seriously
intoxicated. Everything he said was at a very high volume, and this had clearly
begun to irritate those that were seated around him, and this of course greatly
concerned the flight attendants who were all looking at him and conferring amongst
The young man had the look and feel of someone in the
military, and so much to the regret of those seated around us, I struck up a
conversation with him. It turned out that I was right – he was in the navy and
this was his first trip home in years.
The airline had shown their respects to him by giving him a seat in
first class, and he had taken advantage of that to start celebrating early. At
this point in our rather loud conversation, a flight attendant walked up to me
and gave me the “I am SO sorry look” and then asked me what I would like to
drink. I looked at her for a moment, thinking that this trip would go a lot
easier if I had a drink or two my damn self, but then I decided to take a
different route instead.
When I first joined the Army at 17 years old, I was very
much like this young man. If I drank, I
always drank way too much, and of
course this resulted in my making a complete ass out of myself on several
occasions. Through the years, I had many people go out of their way to help me
when I was being stupid, and so I sort of figured I owed it to the Universe to
see if I could help keep this kid out of trouble.
“You know what? How about I set the example and get a cup of coffee?” I told
her with a grin.
“I’ll be right back with it!” she told me, patting me on the
shoulder as she was turning to walk away, pointedly not asking the drunk young man next to me if he wanted anything
“MA’AM? MISS?”, yelled my seatmate as she was just turning
away. “Can I get another . . . “ he paused, apparently looking for the name of
the alcohol that he was drinking. I guess the name didn’t come to him, because
ultimately he just held the little bottle up for her to see. “Another one of
I continued to talk to him, and this is how I learned that
he was going to be met by his brother and his mother when we landed in Detroit.
I nicely suggested that he might wanna consider slowing down a bit with the
alcohol, because “you know you don’t want to be too far gone when you see your
Right about then, I can hear a different flight attendant on
the phone to the gate agent.
“Yeah, he is REAL drunk – I think I need some backup down here. . . “ A moment later there are two additional
airline employees standing at the door, and all of them are watching my seat
mate as people continue boarding. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to
figure out that they were considering taking him off of the airplane, and so I
figured that it was time to be a bit blunt with him.
“You mind a little advice from a former NCO?” I asked him.
“I’m an NCO too!” he said, once again at full volume.
Apparently someone had reached their breaking point, and I heard a very loud “shushing”
from someone in the area.
“Well, you have clearly had a bit to drink and you are being
awful loud. Unless I miss my guess, they are thinking about taking you off of
the plane, and believe me, no one wants to see that happen to a service member on
Veterans Day of all days. “
“Nah?! I’ll just wait until we take off – then they can’t throw me off!” Once again, this
was nice and loud so there was no question the airline folks heard him.
“Well, that’s where you are wrong, because they will in fact land the plane if
they feel that they have to. You really might want to keep it down a bit, you
know? Then you wont have to worry about it.”
“Well that is just the way I get when I drink. I get loud.” He
replied apologetically. I guess I was finally getting through to him though
because his reply was at a normal volume and he did sound a bit apologetic.
“No worries man, just keep it down and everything will be
fine.” I told him with a smile. We continued to talk throughout the boarding
process, now at a much lower volume. I was greatly relieved when after about
ten minutes or so, the flight attendants all seemed to relax, and the two men
that had come down from the gate area left. I guess that I was a little
premature in relaxing though, because as the aircraft started to taxi to the
runway, he decided to go sideways again.
“Where is that drink I asked for?” he loudly asked no one in particular. Then
he took off his seatbelt and started to stand up, apparently intending to make his
way to the flight attendants to get his drink. If you don’t fly much, you might
not know this, but it is a big deal
when someone stands up while the airplane is moving, so things were about to
get really ugly, really fast.
“Petty officer, you need to sit your ass down, and you need
to do it NOW!” I told him, surprised to hear that I still had that “NCO” tone
of voice after all of these years of being a civilian. Much as I expected, he
reacted exactly as most enlisted people are trained to – he did exactly what he
was told without stopping to think about it.
“But I want a drink” he just about whined.
“Well you need to suck it up and drive on my friend, because I can guarantee
that she is not going to bring you more alcohol.” I replied with a laugh. We
continued to talk for much of the flight, because at some point he confessed
that if he fell asleep, he would end up vomiting. I figured that most of those
around me would prefer a somewhat loud conversation over puke any day, and so
we talked. When he later got up to use the bathroom, about four people turned
to me and to thank me for keeping him calmed and quieted down. When he got out
of the bathroom, I took a turn at it, and as I made my way back to my seat, the
flight attendant briefly grabbed both of my arms and looked into my eyes
“You poor poor man . . . “
I just laughed and told her the truth.
“I was that young,
and God help me, I was that dumb.
This is just Karma coming back around to me bite me in the butt.”
I’ve made several trips while “flying pretty” and very
little of interest happened on any of them. I took a trip to a major customer
of ours in Peoria IL, and if you are from the area, I’ll bet that you can guess
who that customer is. My customer is actually pretty good at working on our
instrument himself, he is just lacking in confidence and wanted someone there
to help make sure that he was doing
things right. Between the two of us, we managed to repair 11 instruments in
only two and a half days. To put that
into perspective, I usually tell customers that it is not reasonable to expect
that I can do more than two instruments per day. Yeah – we were busting our
I had to laugh when the man behind me in line at the airport
counter commented on the size of my luggage.
“That looks like more than a weeks packing to me.” He said
with a grin while pointing at my huge bag.
“Yeah, some people travel lightly. I’m not one of them.” I replied
with a laugh.
“This bag is for a week in Japan.” He said, holding up a
small bag, no larger than my backpack.
“Amateur!” I scolded
him with a laugh.
For my next service call, I made the drive from Austin to a
customer in Tulsa OK. I decided to wear a medium length wig that I had bought a
couple of years ago. I have bought at least half a dozen wigs looking for a
good replacement for the long Raquel Welch wig that I wore out, but I have yet
to find one that impresses me as much. I found myself wondering if maybe it is
me and not the wig. By this I mean that maybe it doesn’t look bad, just
different, and I just need to get used to it, and so I gave it a whirl.
through the eight hour drive, I eventually decided that I needed to use the
rest room, but God help me I didn’t have the confidence or courage.
at a Loves truck stop and just couldn’t convince myself to go in. I kept
picturing some rough red neck getting offended and getting in my face. I
started the car and continued on. . .
When I made it to the Texas/Oklahoma border, I stopped at the huge rest
area there to use the restroom, but there were quite a few women making their
way back and forth, and for some reason, I just couldn’t find my courage.
again, I started the car and continued on. Yepper, due to me lack of
confidence, I made about half of that eight hour drive distinctly
Ah the joys of this crazy and messed up life I lead . . .