I don't go to many parties much,and Mark really doesn't but we are quite excited about Jada's Salvation party on January 30.
No really.........before the Bible and uh, Noah and his ark.......
As I was outside on Thursday afternoon, burning holes in my camo pants, soon to be skirt......of course anyone who walked by was darn curious about what I was doing.
Picute this: a lady (me) sitting in the driveway in front of my shop burning her laid-out pants, lighting wooden matches and holding the flame to folds of fabric.
I simply explained I was working on my costume...I was doing an art project...
Ron said: "hot pants!" Which honestly, I hadn't thought of! Others said "Burning Man Pants"..."Burning pants not bras"......I have some funny neighbors !
While I'm sure folks don't see this sort of activity everyday, I like to think that I'm doing my part to Keep It Weird.
Mark was watching me, and asking why I didn't use his propane torch. I explained that I wanted to use a flame-making device that I was familiar with, since I didn't know how quickly the fabric might flame up. Standing off to the side was a young man, tossing a football between his left hand and his right. He was nervous, as he watched me make holes, & pat out the small fires.
He finally asked me what I was doing. I explained. He told me that seeing camo pants being burned was very upsetting to him, since he was recently discharged from the military and he had buddies that died in the muck, in the war.
I was surprised that my art project, my afternoon fun, had caused such a strong reaction. I told the man that I understood his feelings..that seeing camo being burned would have an emotional effect on him.
We chatted some more about camo, burning, why was I using camo.
I said that I'm making a costume for an Apocalypse-theme party here on Broadway on Saturday night.
My thinking, I told him, was that after the war or devastation that might happen to plunge us into a post-apocalyptic world....that there would be lots of camo and military clothes around, and if I was to make clothes, which is what I do with my real life, I might use what is most plentiful and just keep on creating. And since I'm going to a party, I was going to make a party dress. Post-Apocalyptic Finery from bits of whatever is left ..........
I think he thought I was nuts and disprespectful to the military.
He told me so. (that last part, anyway)
I've heard this line of thinking many many times before. I am, after all, a flower child that grew up in the SF Bay Area, and was a war protester. I also spent my childhood growing up next to the Veterans Home in Yountville. I know veterans. I know the cost of war.
I told him I wasn't disrespecting the military. I don't know if he believed me. I do know he was quite emotional about watching me.
It struck me that ......here was a young man who had received military training. He is capable of many brave acts. And, I saw that he was somewhat afraid, apprehensive at least, to talk to a tiny middle-age woman who was sitting on the concrete burning her camo pants.
Mark asked him what he does in the office next to us. He replied "We help people refinance their mortgage rates down."
Well,neighbor, that's a good thing, I told him. Helping people stay in their homes.
Here's what I didn't tell him, because he had used up all his bravery and now just wanted to get back to his office, with the amazing view of the Tideflats and Tacoma industriousness, and the Cascades........
I know from decades of living with America's military presence all around me that I know exactly how to love the veteran, the soldier, the men and women who think they are protecting me from the Bad People. I love the military people, but I hate war.
I think the best way to show respect to those who pay the ultimate price, who sign up to give the ultimate if asked to do so.... is to work for a world that has a smaller chance of creating wars.
To oppose war is to honor the military. I would love for the world to train soldiers, for Generals, and Admirals and Presidents and Captains of Industry, on whose behalf we fight war, to look at young, oh so very very young men right straight in the eye, and tell them that our most fondest wish is to equip them with what they need in battle and to work harder to make sure they never really have to use it.
I also learned that cotton camo pants require about 6 seconds of direct flame before catching fire, and one or 2 pats will extinguish a 3 inch high flame. This information made me feel better for the soldiers who had to wear these pants in the year they were made, 2001.