As one blogger noted, “You may not be able to embrace your loved ones while you are gone, but at least you can still taste the same coffee you drank the day you left.” To many in the military, this is nothing new.
Ask anybody who served or is currently serving in the military, and they will likely give you a story about an experience involving the practice of “seasoning” their cup.
I’m sure whoever it was, they could sense my hesitation. He was by far one of the saltiest sailors I have ever met. I looked at him, puzzled with fascination and disbelief. “If you intend to stay here at the museum, you can impress the Navy guys with your mug.” He went on to explain to me the significance of an unwashed or “seasoned” coffee mug, particularly in the Navy Chief community.
I turned around to see GMC Dana Martin, the museum’s active duty OIC. Although I drink my coffee black, my mind struggled to find reason in the practice. “I need to clean my cup.” I was merely doing what I was taught. “And keep it as tarry black as possible,” he added.
This was my first experience with “Navy coffee.” It was hot and strong. After that first morning of coffee, I went to the break room to wash my cup and let it dry for the next day’s angry fix. He leaned in again, this time more relaxed (and less confrontational).
As I washed out my cup, I felt the sting of glaring eyes from behind my back. He leaned in close and told me to “never wash it again,” staring back down at my cup and back to me. “I know you are just starting out here, but I want to let you in on a little secret.” He was almost whispering.
He’s wearing glasses and a groovy striped tie and a paper heart pinned to his jacket and holding a glass of champagne and his eyes are full of love and pride.
He’s jealous of you for blowing the doors off the illusion that he’s some sort of tastemaker.
He’s jealous of you for not accepting what he thought were the rules of your industry. The world holds all the “reality checks” and rejection and doubt and failure any of us will ever need.
He told me, he would say things like that, because he works in a an industry where its normal for people to say those things… But there is that other part of me, that still wants to continue. And that part, is extremely hurt, the love of my life wants to give me a “reality check.” Dear Independent Model, If you want to talk “reality checks” I checked with Reality and it said “Hey, you’re already a model! In a student film I made long ago there is a scene where two women pick apart the appearance of a third (the scene starts around ).
However, he’s had a TON of other photo-shoots and has never told anyone else these things? I know, he doesn’t believe I will walk in New York Fashion Week. Its inspired me to create things, to try new adventures and meet new people. The actresses who play the stylists both worked as models a lot and their dialogue was improvised 100% out of things people have said to them in real life.
He’s reminded me that I’m 5’7″, on a daily basis, saying he’s just giving me a “Realistic perspective.” But I never asked him. They were expected to stand there and not react because “professionalism.” It’s shitty and hurtful and objectifying, and just because it happens in real life doesn’t mean you have to internalize and live it like it’s the truest thing about you.