These pictures are a collection of six years active duty. However, most are from my time on the USS Momsen DDG92. Pictured are only a few of the best women and men I have had the honor to serve with and call my floating family. Look carefully and see if you can find me, my RBF, and the sweet side of homecomings. It’s like a Where is Waldo because I am so tiny.
Hello, my sweet and savage friends! Thank you again for stopping in for your dose of savagery or sweetness. But let’s be honest, you get more savagery than sweetness from me.
This post is a bit more about me. If you read the intro you saw I was in the Navy. So I wanted to give a bit more information and explain how I became so savage and tried to add a little sweetness in.
I used to be sweet(kinda):
So I grew up in Bakersfield, CA. If you don’t know where that is its okay. It is two hours North of LA. Agriculture is big and so is livestock. But, it was a great place to grow up. My dad is still a Bakersfield City Fire Captain, my mom used to work in HR. I have deep roots there. Many of my friends still live there with their families. It has a small town feel, but I just outgrew it. Love it, appreciate the memories, but this savage mom’s head is too big to go back.
The beginning of savage sailor:
I did not know what to do with my life after high school, so one day I joined the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy for WWII and Korea, always said it was the best decision he ever made and he was right. The job I chose was not a typical female job. Damage Control, a shipboard firefighter basically. Totally makes sense to me, hello what does my dad do for a living?! I practically grew up in the fire station, watching movies in the recliner, racing to who could put their turnouts on faster, ride alongs, ladder climb, firefighting Olympics. They should have seen this coming. Like fire stations on land, they are dominated by men. So I had to become a little savage to survive and earn my place. To boot, I am hardly 5’5″, 120lbs soaking wet. My size is not intimidating at all.
Not always the sweet side:
I will admit being savage is rough. I was the unpleasant majority of the time. I have an awful RBF and it did its job to tell the guys to F off or I will cut you. Which I have said from time to time. I had to prove my worth, set boundaries, but in the end, it all worked out or me and I loved my job.
Not proud savage sailor:
What I am not proud of is the often times I had to be a bit more savage than I wanted to be. To other female sailors especially. Look, I am a feminist, but I also work my ass off to earn my place with the guys. It is not easy to be seen as more than the girl in the shop. So, when another female comes along, and she is not performing to the top level and decides to live up to the stereotype, the guys look to me to fix it. So, I became the evil female that had to check them before they wrecked it for all the other females. Patriarchy is a bitch, and we will disassemble it!!! (But that is another post.)
This is not just a military issue. Many women have to perform higher than men. We have to keep each other in check and we have to make sure the weak link is toughened up. It’s not fair, I know, so do us all a favor and don’t be that girl, please. My RBF is giving me wrinkles and I want nothing more to have women dominate male trades. It is easy to say life each other up not hold one another down, but it is easier said than done.
Savage and sweet sailor part 2:
So, while having a permeant RBF became my trademark, I also learned a lot from other females and males I worked with. Like giving the RBF a break and smile because we cannot take our job too serious and at the end of the day we have each other back. Even if our Chief just gave us a stern talking to on the refer deck (refrigerator area) because our attitude sucked. Yes, this happened to me. Even a savage girl like me needs to get set straight from time to time. Chief Paine, you’re always going to be my favorite.
So, while I pretend to always be savage the old saying is true. You catch more flies with honey. I learned to tone down the savage side a bit and be a little more kind in my approach. But, I am thankful for the Navy and helping me develop my no bullshit savage side. It has made life more enjoyable and really shaped me into the sweet and savage mom I am today.
Hope you enjoyed this completely pointless dose of savagery or sweetness. Come back for another dose if I haven’t lost you already. Until then, live life savagely but alway sprinkle in some sweetness.