So speaking of the Military Ball, Tasha was told by her Colonel to attend one tonight. She really really doesn’t want to go and it’s not because she thinks it’s boring, too expensive, a waste of a Friday night or that she doesn’t like socializing with her colleagues… It’s because of the ridiculous and sexist dress code. The last Ball was in December and weeks before, Tasha had been calling me and stressing about what she was going to wear – and not in the cute “I-don’t-know-what-to-wear-I-want-to-look-cute-blah-blah-blah” way. In the official announcement, it said that everyone should wear their dress uniforms and that women were required to wear skirts. As you may already know, women’s dress uniforms come with both pants and the knee-length skirt (both are unattractive in my opinion– the pants are 80’s tapered and make everyone’s hips look wider than they are and the skirts are quite matronly…). Both are equally acceptable to wear as part of the Army Service Uniform, but for some reason her unit was requiring the women to wear the skirts. Tasha, in her words, is “not a skirt and ball gown type of girl” (that designation more aptly describes me). She also has an even better reason to wear pants other than the fact that she doesn’t like to wear skirts: she has tattoos on her legs and feels that it is unprofessional to have them showing at a dressy event. Long story short, she attended the Ball in pants, received a lot of flak for it, and ended up getting chewed out by her XO for causing a disruption. By wearing pants. Seriously.
So after last time she decided to just not attend the Military Balls anymore, ever. This time when she found out the dress code for the July Ball, she called me, incredulous, and said women were required to wear ball gowns for this one. Ball GOWNS?! Apparently many of the females Soldiers complained about not being able to wear ball gowns like the civilian wives and so they changed the rules so that all women had to wear ball gowns for uniformity. I love my girlfriend and think she looks beautiful in whatever she wears… but the idea of her going to the mall to find a gown to wear to the Military Ball is just too much. So needless to say, she certainly had no intention of attending tonight. Then she made the mistake of walking into the Lt. Col.’s office and saying good morning. He pretty much told her he really wanted her to be there and was totally clueless as to why this Lieutenant, who goes to PT every morning when she doesn’t have to, attends every single unit event, and who all the Soldiers look up to, did not feel comfortable attending the Military Ball. So Tasha expressed her reservations about attending and told the Lt. Col. that she thought it was ridiculous that such a big deal was made about her wearing pants last time and she didn’t want to go through it again. He told her that he wanted her there and didn’t care what she wore – it was important for her Soldiers to see her there. She agreed to go (not that she had much of a choice in the matter) with the caveat, and yes she said this to him, that “the second anyone says anything to me about it, I’m telling them that the Lt. Col. said it was okay for me to wear pants.”
So she’ll go tonight and I’m sure I’ll hear tomorrow about people whispering about why she’s the only woman there wearing pants, people coming up and giving her sh*t about it, and I’ll probably also hear about all the other people in attendance who couldn’t have cared less about what she was wearing and were just happy to see her there.
I, for one, wish I could attend…in a ball gown, in a paper sack, at all. And I also think the reaction would be similar; If Tasha showed up to the Military Ball wearing her dress blues with a cute blonde girl in a ball gown on her arm, there would be people whispering, people coming straight up to her and giving her sh*t, and because they know her and love her, I feel that many wouldn’t care at all about the gender of the person she showed up with. They would appreciate her being there and appreciate her sharing her evening and her family with them.
I also really miss shopping for and wearing ball gowns so DADT needs to go now.