Monday, April 18, 2016

Oops. And...Ouch.

USCG Senior Chief Petty
Officer collar device
"Attention on deck!"  Everyone pops up out of their seats, straight backed with fists clenched, all chins up and stiff as the Captain strides up to the stage.

Well, except for me.  Sure, I stand with the rest, but no where near close to the body language of the throng of blue I'm surrounded by in the chilly auditorium.

It's the pinning on ceremony for the hubby's advancement to Senior Chief, and I'm probably more nervous than he is.

For those who might not know, a pinning on ceremony is when the person advancing in rank is formally acknowledged by the command in front of their peers.

Usually someone close to the person advancing (normally the spouse, children or a close colleague) pins the appropriate device on their collar after a short description of what they're being acknowledged for accomplishing.

Leave it to me to add a little flair to the proceedings.

Now, it wasn't my first rodeo with pinning on.  But you wouldn't know that by the way it played out this time!

We practiced the night before.  Because as some of you may not know, those uniform collars are stiff.  There's actually a bit of plastic inside the collar to keep them straight and rigid.

So, if you don't get the pin aligned with the hole, it's a little tough to get it through.  As I was soon about to be reminded.

The hubby was the first to be announced, so we trotted up to the stage to appear "front and center," as requested by the Captain.  As we're walking up on stage, I couldn't help but whisper to him, "Are you sure I'm supposed to be up here with you?"  It just felt weird for a second.

Not to worry.  I was supposed to be there.

After the formal reading of the advancement certificate, it was time to get those bad boys pinned on properly.  I did one collar, and one of his colleagues did the other.

Ohhhhh, the struggle!

And I couldn't get the damn pin through the holes.  The little bastard would not fit where it was supposed to go.

As luck would have it, this advancement ceremony was also the kickoff to an air station all-hands training.  So, a couple hundred people in the audience. Oh, happy day!

I had the pleasure of hopefully not too obviously wrestling with that stubborn little muther of an anchor pin while a large part Air Station Kodiak personnel looked on.  Wheeeee!

Now I realize this was all of 30 seconds in reality.  But, it felt like I was struggling front and center for at least a full minute or two.

I managed not to curse as I wiggled and then downright shoved it through, when the little shit finally cooperated.  And in my single-minded focus on getting the blasted pin onto the collar, I promptly pricked my finger on the razor freaking sharp pointed end.

You know what happened next, right?  Cue the blood!  I didn't even realize what I had done until we got back to our seats.

As I happily sunk back into my seat, glad to be done with being on stage, I gazed over to my left and my horror - that not only did I bleed all over my hand, but I shared the love and left more than a few crimson drops on the collar and back of the hubby's fancy dress uniform.  It stood out nicely against the light blue.

Oh, and I unknowingly wiped my face with said bloody finger for a lovely smeared effect across my forehead.  Awesome, right?  Again - so glad we were back in our seats already and I wasn't freaking Carrie on stage with my bloody face and dripping hand!  Lovely pictures they would have made for posterity, right?

What am I new here, or what??  Nothing quite adds to an advancement ceremony like bodily fluids.

So of course, after I cleaned myself up, I had to whisper to the hubby, "See?  I bleed for you."  Oh, the sacrifice.  Ha.

Congrats, my love.  I mean Senior Chief.  I'll do my best not to bleed on you at the next one. 

Ta-ta for now.

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