Monday, May 11, 2009

Some anxieties take a while to go away

When I wore a uniform, I was constantly worried that I was "out of uniform" (missing a piece or wearing the wrong uniform of the day). I never felt confident in my blues, because without pockets, the women's shirts were nearly impossible to put my name tag on without feeling like it was too high or too low (the lack of pockets was supposed to make it easier with the different chest types women have). I never wore my ribbons or skill badge on my blues shirt, because it was just too likely that I would have them on all wonky. I did try, so I shouldn't say never. But at least once or twice I was corrected by some *helpful* sergeant. I once tried marking where the items would go with a laundry marker, but didn't take into account that, well, some parts of the woman's anatomy can over the course of the month, change size and thus require repositioning of said items.

Ruined a good shirt that way.

In my camoflauge uniform (BDUs), it wasn't so bad, but I was always concerned that my boots weren't shined well enough (even though the regs did not specify that the boots be shined, everyone expected it- I always thought that if you're wearing battle gear, you shouldn't have anything eye catching, even if you're just sitting behind a desk). I worried that my uniform wasn't ironed well enough, that my pants were properly tucked at the bottom. You didn't have tags and things to put on and off with the BDUs, and for most people the skill badge was optional on the BDUs. I remember clearly being made to feel stupid for not having mine put on. And I remember clearly the embarassment when I forgot to update the rank on my heavy winter coat and had no choice but to check ID cards at the gate wearing a jacket with my old rank. Only the people who knew me noticed, but still...long live the anxiety.

So is it any surprise last night that I had a nightmare dream where E and I were attending some lecture, and halfway through someone came to us and said, "You know you're supposed to be in uniform, right?" We tried to explain that we're in the Individual Ready Reserve and have never needed to be in uniform for the bi-annual meeting. Still, in the dream we managed to pull together our uniforms.

Then I noticed it. I had not gotten a new name tag.
My uniforms all had my maiden name on them.
I considered what to do. I didn't have time to order new ones. So I decided I would fake it. Who would know? Ok, people would know...

Then about this time I realized I couldn't find my hat (gasp! You cannot possibly be outside without your "cover" on), and then suddenly I was wearing a red shirt under my BDU top (it's supposed to be black or brown).

I was running around base trying to figure out how to put myself to rights when some amount of logic crept in, and I force quit the dream (ie- woke up).

I haven't had the kind of dreams where you've got a test for a class you've never taken, not in ages. But these uniform dreams... they pop up at least once every few months.

Do you have something like this? A recurring anxiety on classwork? Work based dreams where you're late to meetings?

1 comment:

  1. You know mine. :) trying to escape my ex...I have that one fairly often, then I awake and this huge relief washes over me. Thank GOD it was just a dream!


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