Take the uniform off. Please.

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I recently made a discovery about myself, I am a bigot of sorts. I have no appreciation at all for a man in uniform. Put a good-looking guy in a sailor suit and my interest goes to zero.

I admire these men for their devotion and their duty. Thank God we have men in uniform, without them we would be up a creek named S-H-I-T with nary a paddle, but I know now why I have never been tempted to knock boots with one.

Being the self-analytical type, I was compelled to figure out the reason why, when so many women swoon at the sight of a beefy cop or a macho marine, I'm simply left cold.

Disclaimer: I'm about to make some broad and rather negative generalizations about men in uniform. Please understand that these are my perceptions and I fully recognize these two things: that my perceptions may be innacurate and that they are not true of ALL men who wear uniforms.

But still, I do believe my prejudices are true in most cases. Tell me if you think I'm wrong.

Well the first part of the bias comes from within me, having nothing to do with the men at all. I'm drawn to rebels. Biker types. Long-haired guitar players. Poets. Dreamers. Being a rebel myself, I'm rather turned off by authority figures in general.

Beyond that, I think there are a few characteristics that men in uniform share which I find yucky in all cases. The tracing of these traits got rather complicated as I thought about it, so bear with me as I explain.

The first thing that occurred to me is that, aside from airline pilots, men who wear uniforms are generally not in the most lucrative careers. Policemen, military men, firemen, etc. are not the highest-paid members of our community (though they be highly respected, of course). Of course success is more attractive than the lack thereof, but I'm not shallow enough to base my interest solely on a man's earning power. After all, my taste runs toward musicians and artists--another remarkably low-earning segment of the male population.

So if it's not the money then why does it seem important to me that men in uniform are not financially well-rewarded? Well, it's because men in uniform-bearing careers clearly receive their fulfillment from something else. Men in uniform are invariably proud of what they do, regardless of the pay.

And it strikes me that they typically receive their satisfaction from things I find unpleasant in a man. Authority, I already mentioned that one. They also enjoy the fraternal loyalty inherent in wearing a uniform. When one group of guys all dress the same, they are a unit, a team. A brotherhood. I think those guys really dig that. To the extreme. It almost becomes an us/them mentality where the bonded brotherhood represent the good guys and the rest of us are somehow inferior. We, the non-brothers, are to be protected and served, sure, but we can not truly understand these men because we are not one of them.

This leads to what's known down South as the good 'ol boys network, where men in uniform will do anything for another man in the same uniform, which leads to corruption. This kind of blind loyalty turns me off in a big way.

Next, it occurred to me that men in uniform are basically responsible for dealing with the infinite trouble and strife that the rest of us produce in the world. Fires, crime, wars--our men in uniform are out there to clean all that up for us. Aside from the occasional bright ray of sunshine in such a man's career--such as reuniting a lost child with it's mother, winning an award for bravery, or saving an elderly person from a burning building--the biggest part of these men's jobs is oppressively negative! When I see a man in a uniform, I can almost smell the depressing black cloud of bad karma clinging to him like a stench.

Day after day the policeman comes home from work covered with the odor of ruining people's day with speeding tickets, busting people for smoking pot, investigating violent crimes and testifying in court (shudder)--and still feels he has the best job in the world. To me that just seems demented. Don't even get me started on the military guy who spends his day getting yelled at, crawling around in mud and killing people.

Here's to the women who love them; I cannot. It is a flaw in my character, I'm sure, but my bigotry has at least led me to a better understanding of myself.


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Tess's Room

A lovely tempest, not easily understood, but worth the effort. Sort of like dark bitter chocolate surrounding the sweetest cherry...

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