29 January 2008

Semper Fidelis

So, the Marine Corps.

I've gotten all kinds of weird reactions to the very mentioning of consideration for such a thing. My parents are steadfastly against it. I told my father, and then my mother. In explaining things to my mother, she seemed...not supportive, but not outright against it like my dad. Then, the next day, I awoke to find an e-mail in my inbox from her Re: Reality Check.

I responded with a brief e-mail that basically implied 'Hey, Fuck You', and she responded with an apology. I have yet to speak to her since then. The thing that gets me is--it's like--fine. You're entitled to your opinion, but if that's your opinion, then fucking stand up for it. It makes me crazy how spineless my mother is.


My pottery instructor left me a long, rambling message last week after I got my immunizations (I have a flight booked to Nicaragua for the month of March) about how the Marine Corps lies and it kills and OMG TERRIBLE IDEA DON'T DO IT. Oddly, the portly, maternal nurse who gave me my immunizations wholly encouraged the endeavor. Days before, I spoke to an old co-worker who is a former Marine. On Friday, I went in and talked to a recruiter and asked a million questions.

My roommate and best friend said I shouldn't join because then I might have to miss her wedding. Not 'Oh don't do it you could fucking die out there', but 'Oh don't do it then I'd have to find a new bridesmaid'. (She's going to be oddly perplexed when I move out and stop speaking to her!)

The one person who hasn't shown her cards really is my Adoption Therapist Extraordinaire: Dr. Jessica Rabbit. Her name isn't actually Jessica Rabbit, but her name IS Jessica and I think that people over 16 shouldn't be named Jessica. I realize that doesn't follow a pattern of logic, but it remains the truth regardless.

Anyhow, I said to her, "I'm very seriously considering joining the Marine Corps. But I've given it a lot of thought, and I think that one of my biggest reasons for wanting to do it is to find a sense of camaraderie and belonging," which I then followed with a long pause and then, "See all that work I just did for you?"

A sense of belonging is not the ONLY reason I'm considering the Marines. I'd be going primarily to go to flight school so I can fly around all day as has been one of my biggest dreams, oh, since I was about three years old.

But my parents, my parents don't know about my 'adoption issues'. It's a very difficult thing, no matter how numb you are, to walk into the living room during Masterpiece Theater and go 'Mom, Dad, I really hate that you adopted me and sometimes I feel like you are the most selfish assholes in all of the world for having done just that.' There is no instance in which I could bring myself to say anything remotely like that to them, and accordingly, I haven't been able to say 'I never felt like I had a place here in this famly or really anywhere in my entire life and this would be a way to [try to] get that, and the only way I'd ever be abandoned is if I was shot out of the sky beforehand'.

I've mentioned this to other people, however, and their response, or rather, non-response is interesting. If people responded, they'd have to acknowledge that yes, I have abandonment issues, yes I feel out of place, and yes, I feel this way because I am adopted. But doing so might crumble some little hopeful bead of altruism for them, and then they might have to admit that maybe, just maybe, adoption isn't all beer and Skittles after all. Instead, they give tight-lipped smiles, wring their hands, and try to draw in a happy ending.

When I come back from Nicaragua, I will take my flight physical, and if I pass, then hopefully I can just fly, fly away.


Suz said...

Hmm, Interesting. Bold. Daring. Very you. Sure, I get concerned about things like death and bombs and wars but hey, if this is what you want to do with your life, go for it. And believe it or not, I do remember you telling me you wanted to fly. (Wasn't your boyfriends mother or someone a pilot?).

What? Adoption isn't beer and skittles? Dude! WTF! I swear my agency put that in the propaganda brochure. So much for truth in advertising. Damn!

Wherever you go, whatever you do, I wish you healthy, happiness and a sense of belonging.

Be safe. Much love.

Suz said...

Oh and if you are still around, I will be out there for sure early march. And I will have a very cool 19 yo niece with me. She would love yo

peps7611 said...

Yea, the Marines, that’s the ticket... Nothing like a major paradigm shift to challenge your ideas of “control”. In addition to taking a recruiter’s “word” and reading their “literature”, why not make an informed choice and explore the adventure more deeply before committing? Read a book, an article, talk to someone who’s “been there” (preferably a woman). Get some pro/con from informed sources. A couple of authors to get you started: Mary V. Stremlow, Jean Ebbert, Linda Hewitt. I am from a Marine Corps family. Learn how to use them because they definitely will use you. A back up plan in case you don’t pass the physical might be a good idea. Semper Fi!

half&half said...

Thanks for your condescension. Now please tell me where it says that I haven't read anything about it. Tell me you know that I went into the recruiter's office and said, "You know I worry that I have more to offer to the Marines than the Marines has to offer me." Why assume I've committed? Why assume I haven't been in touch with people/women in the Corps. And why the fuck, dear, would you assume that I don't have a backup plan? I'm clearly more intelligent than that. Or did you even read the post?

peps7611 said...

I’m condescending because you wrote about what other people think instead of writing about the information you’ve read, people you’ve talked to, or about your thought process going into this. It appears that you made this decision just to see what others think of it. I can’t read your mind, only what you’ve written. And it lacks foundation for your comment. Good luck.