Saturday, my friends and I went to the casino because it was the first weekend in a long time we miraculously all had off and my birthday is on the fifteenth. I got dolled up because– Hello, this is my last year before I’m in my mid-twenties! I also had gotten done completing some last-minute, dragged on, week-long training with my unit. This included my PT test which I scored a whopping 95.5 on. This is a huge accomplishment in the Air Force although no one actually cares. As a result of striving for a high score, my body has transformed into this toned, fit wonder right under my nose. I haven’t had abs since basic training so I was on cloud nine after noticing that I had accomplished shaving my weight off and gaining muscles completely on my own. I wore a black mesh top with a black strapless bra and high-waisted summer mom jeans I got from the Old Navy racks earlier that day. I need more shoes because my hot pink flats, although my favorite, are becoming over-worn. My hair was trimmed, my face was beat. Snapchat was going crazy with how apparently amazing I looked.

When we got to the casino, I had some celebratory crab fries that I instantly regretted. My taste buds were taking in the taste of fries like it was cardboard no matter how much I loved the crab topping. I ate just so the Tequila I was planning on drinking had something to soak (the only reason I eat these days– survival). I also ordered a fish bowl (haven’t had one in ages) which I gave to another girl. She insisted the drink was pretty strong but all the liquid around the alcohol was just making me bloated. I really didn’t want to freeze my hands all night to maybe get a buzz and definitely feel sick. I regretted not pregaming enough.

Before things took off, I noticed someone I work with in my unit. I had second thoughts about saying hi because I don’t jump into the arms of being social but I took myself out of my overthought comfort zone and went over. When I went over, a woman immediately started talking into his ear leaving me to stand idly by while they finished. In the grand of scheme of things, I thought, This isn’t a big deal. People wait. That’s what they do sometimes. When they got done, I asked him if he was in said unit and he told me he was. The woman flipped her hair and I could tell the tone of her and her friends was “appalled.” I couldn’t just walk away then. I told him I was in the same unit to which he responded, “Oh, okay.” I then asked if the woman he was with was his wife. He said she was. Now, if I were with my husband and someone came all that way to say hi, I’d introduce my husband right away. Maybe I’m just too conscious of being rude. Maybe I create these scenarios in my head in which the person coming over to say hi is a murderer and I need the people around me to retain their impression of him/her for the trial. Well, he just kinda stood there like I was this fawning girl trying to make a move and his wife, who chose not to acknowledge the transition I was attempting to make to introduce myself to her as a fellow mechanic, appeared to think the same. I felt totally weird inside.

Why, because I have the tenacity and drive and self-discipline to work on my body, do I have to be some fawning girl? Why can’t I be proud of my body and wear something as rewarding as a sexy outfit after all of my hard work? If I looked different, would these women still give me flashes of “Who the hell is that talking to your man?” I wasn’t touching him; I wasn’t leaning in. My feet were pointed toward the door! When I was single, I understood how difficult being friendly was because a single girl coming over to say hi is misleading; a smile here or there (although dressed in layered sweaters as I do) can be misleading. I was a huge debbie downer because I didn’t want others to get the wrong idea. I thought I could be confident now because I have a husband and a one year old that I think about for the rest of the time I’m not at the casino. I wondered, At what point can I be friendly without appearing like I want someting? This is what makes being social terrible. This is why some people become outlandish don’t-care-what-you-think types of people. I felt like I was being shamed and the real reason behind it is probably jealously. And it could all be avoided with a little understanding (which starts with a genuine want to understand). I will gradually go back to being a debbie downer. Maybe not actually liking saying hi to others in public is a blessing in disguise.

Anyway, I’ll be twenty-four tomorrow. I’m definitely a different person than who I was at twenty-one. I’m not sure what my husband has planned but some friends signed me up for a wine-drinking painting class in a town an hour away. The fact that I’m not driving is the real birthday present!

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Me trying to get this screenshot right. Snapchien: @srhje