Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.
Ironically, I went somewhere today that is right out of my childhood memories, but I didn’t remember until my husband pointed it out.
Our kids don’t go to normal school, they attend cyber school. This means they attend live classes online, in my living room. This is great fun, because it means we get to chime in on all their lessons. It also means that they have to go somewhere else to take there standardized tests, known here as the PSSA’s.
This year, they’re taking them at the local Days Inn. It just so happened to be the same place I’d had my ROTC ball in high school.
Of course, I didn’t remember. Of course he did. And of course, since we’d both attended the ball, just at different times, we had to go see it.
There was a business fair today, but I could still see how it had looked that night. I wore a gold gown, petite white gloves, and more make up than I had ever had before that day. And I went with my best friend, instead of a guy.
There were chandeliers, and a terrible catered dinner. But the best moment of the night? I got a medal.
it was the first time I remember getting awarded for doing something. We’d had a big national inspection a week before, and it was discovered that not all of our Class A uniforms had a required patch on their arm. I came in early armed with thread and needles, ready to baste stitch as many of these jackets as humanly possible. A few other cadets joined in, and we got it done. I mean, some of them were sort of crooked, but damn it, they were there!
I got to walk up and get my medal, which I then got to wear on my class A uniforms every time we wore them. Now, it wasn’t as cool as the cadet who had preformed cpr on a lady and kept her breathing until the ambulance got there. No, that was way, way cooler. But I got a medal for doing something I was good at, and volunteering. It also set a precedent for the rest of my life. I was a girl, in ROTC, and I sewed. I was and am, exactly who I am, and my gender has not a thing to do with it.
All of that from walking into a ball room I hadn’t been in for over a decade.