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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Come Fly With Me

I always wanted to be a stewardess.

With my father being in the army, I flew a lot as a kid.  We flew all over the world.  Without having a mother in tow, I always looked up to the stewardesses.  From head to toe, they mezmerized me with their beauty.  Gorgeous high heels supported long legs peaking from underneath tight pencil skirts with matching fitted jackets and tightly swept back hair tucked up inside their stewardess hats.  Those hats. Oh my. I fluttered then.  I flutter now.

I wanted to be like  them when I grew up.

I was a cute kid.  All the stewardesses  doted on me and I adored it, especially when I flew by myself. I usually flew alone to meet my family in another country to join them after a another move.  Those were the best times with my women of the air.  My pinned-on name tag revealed my name, age, and destination. During the flight I always got pinned again with "wings" from that particular airline. Swallowed in my belted seat, I'd watch the prettiest stewardess effortlessly glide down the aisle, bend over me and "pin" me.  On occasion, a stewardess would get so close I could see and smell her perfumed breasts bursting from her starched snow white shirt hidden behind her tightly darted jacket. Heaven.  Special. I had several airline pins. Pan-Am was my favorite "wings" pin.

They brought food, too.  I loved the food on airplanes.  Back then, it was good.  I loved eating from the compartmental trays (we didn't fly first class) as the clouds slipped past the windows. Although I could devour chicken and rice washed down with iced Fanta, I anticipated dessert with fervor. Dessert was equalled only by the pre take-off Wrigley's Gum they handed me to keep my ears from popping.

My childhood stewardesses were magnificant. 

When my father retired from the army and settled in Kentucky, my flying days ended.  No more stewardesses. Oh well. They had changed anyway, with their frumpy sweaters and matching pants.

When I turned 11 years old and could make my own grown up decisions, I took matters into my own hands.

I joined the Boy Scouts of America. 


Because of the hats!  They were just like the stewardess hats I worshiped; pointed, sharp, and spiffy.  Granted, they were green with a Boy Scout emblem replacing an airline insignia, but they were trimmed beautifully with red and gold corded piping. Rich. I finally and officially became a Boy Scout Stewardess.

Boy, was I a happy Boy Scout.  The uniform.  The hat.  The red sash.  I couldn't wait to wear it all to meetings.  Even I could bear the boredom of knot-tying while wearing my uniform and hat.  They encouraged me to pull the hat farther back onto my head. Lame.  It needed to tilt just forward enough to project confidence.  I was a stewardess, after all.

A month into my new career, the Boy Scout Association made official uniform changes.  They didn't change the knee-length shorts, pants, shirts, ties, or sashes.  They changed the hat. The frickin' hat!  We were all issued red berets (trimmed in black).  Not that I had anything against the berets.  They were very cute. It just wasn't what I had signed up for. There I was, stuck in the Boy Scouts learning Boy Scout stuff covered head to toe in my drab-green incorrectly accessorized uniform. The inhumanity.

We had a campout a few weeks after the hat episode. My team was assigned baked beans to be cooked over an open campfire.  How original.  Even though I had grown weary of my "career", I didn't want to let my team down, so I feigned enthusiasm as the campout approached.

Dressed to the nines, we gathered around a huge fire to cook our supper.  Bright red berets bobbed up and down through the smoke while laughter spilled through the quiet woods.  I outwardly laughed with them. Sadly and inwardly,  I knew my Boy Scout Stewardess career was coming to an end.  Our turn came to cook our beans.  We opened our cans of beans, poured them into an official Boy Scout tin pot, and placed the pot over the raging fire to boil.  It took all of two minutes. Pin me with a badge for that feat.

When it was time to eat, we had to serve our portion of the meal to the troop. For my last Boy Scout Stewardess hoorah, I tilted my red beret forward and down  (a la Judy Garland) and glided through the muck in my ankle high brushed-suede Hush Puppies serving my fellow Scouts boiled beans.

"Coffee, tea, or beans?"

The next morning I tossed my red beret into the trash. 

My career was over.

Afterward, although no longer a Boy Scout Stewardess, I wore my real hat around the house for years.

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