Thursday, 24 July 2008

Serving my Time

As a child I wasn't very girly. I didn't play with dolls or play girly games. My best friend was a boy, he was the lad all the girls in our class adored but he was my best friend and I his.
I loved nothing better than climbing trees or playing with cars (by that I mean toy cars). By the time I was at senior school I was hanging out with girls rather than boys, but I still wasn't really a girly girl. I did like boys but was very shy around them.

I met my first love when I was 16, I had just turned 17 when I lost my virginity to him. I thought he was everything I could want in a man. But then his friends began asking when we were going to get engaged. I told him what his friends had been saying and it scared him off. I was devastated. Because of him I had a party for my 18th (I hadn't originally planned to have a party) we had kept in contact an he was the only person I really wanted there. But I hadn't expected him to get off with one of my friends. I was heart broken, but strangely it brought me and my friend Nicki closer together. Both of them would invite me out either with them both or on their own. Bless her Nicki realised how I felt about FL and began to drop out of dates leaving me with FL.

Then there was the time he asked me to join him for a walk in Ashdown Forest. We walked, we talked then we rested on the ground, but I wouldn't look at him, I was so afraid of looking at him. I remember lying on my back watching a plane making its trail across a blue sky. He was asking me why wouldn't look at him, he was trying to tell me that he still had feelings for me. But to my mind he was seeing Nicki so that was that. Days later they had split up for me. But I had met my future Fiance. I liked my new b/f but he wasn't FL. Every few weeks FL would call round to my home for a chat. I longed for FL to claim me as his, to ask me to be his g/f again, he didn't.

Soon FF had asked me to become engaged, I wasn't sure but I said yes. Next time FL called round I told him I was getting engaged. I wanted him to be jealous but instead he just stayed away. We stayed in contact, but not often. I stayed with FF for a couple of years but we split up when I was 20.

I wanted to do something where I would meet other people, but I didn't want to do the usual thing and join an evening class. Many of my friends from the pubs I went to were also his friends. So I decided to do something a little different.

I joined The Territorial Army. I wanted to do something that most of my friends would not do. I had a hankering to have a go at an assault course. I was happy to get wet and muddy after all I had groem up as a tom boy. The local group was for men only but the one in the next town was unisex. It was a signals regiment. There I learnt how to handle, dismantle, clean and reassemble a self loading rifle in just a few minutes. I learnt about codes and signal masts. we learnt our Drill on the Paradeground. What was more we didn't pay to do this we were payed by the government to turn up every week and for our times away from home on Excercise.

I completed my basic training and went away to Salisbury Plain. We had classes where we sat in rows just like school. I was dragged along the road for my run, we had to comlete a mile in X number of minutes as part of the physical training. I never was any good at running, but with boots that were too big, (size 4 was the smallest size the army had)I was a size 2 1/2, it didn't take long before my feet were blistered. I did the assault course, that was both scary and exhilarating. I suffered through the gas mask training. (not something I recommend) but I got through it. I went home bruised, battered and satisfied that I had done my best and in doing so had passed the course, just!

I stayed with my Unit for 6 months before I finally came to the conclusion that it just was not for me. It wasn't the discipline that I didn't like. It wasn't the uniform, it wasn't the fitness side of it or even the hours spent learning to touch type. The reason I left was that it finally sunk into my thick scull that the only way women could progress in the Service was by becoming what was called an 'Officer's ground sheet'. I was not prepared t go down that route. Neither was I prepared to turn a blind eye to waht was going on around me. I was very idealistic in those days. I wonder how I would have reacted to the same situation 20 yrs later.


Mei Del said...

i wasn't your average girly girl either - in fact i thought i was a boy when i was little, lol imagine my disappointment! and i liked the shy ones too - the trouble with shy boys is you never go anywhere with them if you were equally shy-ish which i was.

DJ Kirkby said...

Your were in the TA? What a fabulous unknown fact. You are very cool!

aka k said...

I joined the Army Cadets for a very brief spell in my early teens. God knows why, although it could have been on the rebound!! I did get to go on the firing range with 303 rifles, which was great.

I also remember those FL experiences. Will have to blog it someday.

Lady in red said...

Mei I have always been shy, but at the same time I would always be the one who took up any challenge.

Lady in red said...

dj I guess there can't be too many femine women who include being in the TA, running a football club and writing erotica as things they have done.

Lady in red said...

aka k if you joined the cadets on the rebound in your early teens then your first love must have been very young

aka k said...

Maybe I should have said mid teens.

I was shy too, but also extremely curious in the love/sex department so did start a bit young. Def have to blog it soon :)

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