New Yorkers! It’s Fleet Week!
If you don’t know what Fleet Week is, that means you didn’t watch Sex and the City, which says one of three things about you:
- You are an infant
- You are an extremely morally sound individual who I want to be more like
- You hide from the world
Season 5, Episode 1 of SATC incorporates a lot of metaphors about anchors and a lot of dirty jokes about seamen. I will not be using such literary manipulation in my blog today, but that’s because I like my infant and morally sound readers. I also like those of you who hide from the world, but I highly suggest joining the party of life.
Anyway, Fleet Week is more than just a great foundation for an episode of a T.V. show placed in New York City. It’s a real thing, when Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps ships all pull into major cities across the nation, then let their servicemen parade around town in uniform to woo women who are tired of lame Tinder dates with annoying city guys. NYC Fleet Week is the biggest of all Fleet Weeks, and let me tell you from experience– nothing is more attractive to the women of New York than a man in uniform who doesn’t work on Wall Street and hasn’t been turned into cocky, elusive workaholic by the most liberal city in the world, which also manages to be the most misogynistic city in the world. Love you, New York.
By the way, seducing women is not the real reason servicemen (and servicewomen— sorry, I’m a terrible feminist…mostly because I’m not a feminist…but still) get to enjoy a week of exploring major cities in their old-timey uniforms. Fleet Week is supposed to promote patriotism and give our amazing men and women who serve away from home the opportunity to have some fun while they’re gone.
Although, my Navy dad met my [awesome] stepmom when he was giving partners from PWC a tour of his ship during Fleet Week, so maybe I was wrong when I said the real point isn’t for sailors to seduce women…
Still, most Fleet Week host cities give servicemen (I’m going to blanket men and women under this term because honestly, it’s too much to type both) free public transportation, free tickets to events, and discounted food and drinks. I might have made up that last part, because I’m not entirely sure what restaurants do, but if you’re a restaurant owner– don’t be a jerk. Give these kids a free beer and a 30% discount. They’ve been eating God knows what on their ships for the last few months. They probably don’t even know what a fresh vegetable tastes like anymore.
I’ll be in NYC for Fleet Week this week (starting today!!) because my husband’s ship is partaking in the festivities, and if I’m given an excuse to see him and visit my old stomping grounds at the same time, obviously I’m going to take it. The timing is excellent, because The Miss New York Pageant happens to be this weekend, as well. I’m sure Aaron has just been dying to attend another beauty pageant! Sorry, ahem, scholarship competition.
Even though I still venture into Pageant Land as a “former” once or twice a year, it’s never not jarring. There will be enough eyelash glue in that auditorium to hold together the entire Leaning Tower of Pisa. But seriously, I’m excited to see who will join the Miss New York line of sistahs because being Miss New York is a rad experience, plus there will be one more woman in the world who knows what it’s like to hold strangers’ babies and pray your spray tan doesn’t somehow stain its little head. From a psychological standpoint, I like knowing I’m not the only person who has had (or will have to) experience such things.
Fleet Week. Right.
We often say “Thank you for your service,” then go on our merry ways, not giving much thought to the people who spend months away from their loved ones in the name of our country. These folks in uniform deserve a lot more thought and recognition. They may not all have the best personalities, the most wonderful pasts, or the soundest of judgement, but no matter who they are or where they come from, they are the reason we get to enjoy the lives we do. From guarding the coast to defending our allies to facing our enemies, all that they do keeps the US of A as safe and powerful as possible.
I tell you what– my blog doesn’t keep our country safe and powerful, so let’s call a spade a spade here. Military servicemen deserve a lot more praise and attention than I do. Not that I get much praise and attention…but you know what I mean. Let’s give these guys and gals all the love, support, and thanks that they deserve when we have the opportunity this week at Fleet Week, or anytime we see them, wherever that might be.