I don’t know what crack I was smoking when I decided that I wanted to go to Officer Candidate School. Everyone was telling me that if I was going to be in the service I might as well do it as an officer because it’s just all around better for you. I played into this, and now look at me!
This programme is an intense 16-month ordeal. I go one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer for the next two summers. I thought it wouldn’t be that bad. Okay, what’s one weekend of some hard core training. I figure I could tough it out. So, for the next 16 months, every time I come home from drill, I am going to have a wild story to tell you.
So let’s talk about the first weekend. This weekend, I thought it was going to be relatively easy. The sergeant said I was going to sign some papers and take a PT test. Nothing too strenuous. How about I get there and it’s like hitting the ground running. All right, no problem. All I need to do is get my mind right, get in the right mode. I can handle mental stuff. Most of it doesn’t bother me. As long as they don’t make fun of my religion or my family, I’m good. There’s nothing anybody can really say to me that makes me lose my cool, in that situation.
We were required to run everywhere, which I wasn’t prepared to do. There’s all this lame ass rules. It’s just like basic training, except for like, faster, and on crack. At meal times, we aren’t allowed to talk. Stare straight ahead or at your food. Square your meals, which means pick up some food, bring it up in a straight line, then make a 90 degree angle in another straight line to your mouth, and bring the fork back down in the same pattern, only reverse. It takes like 3 days to eat, but the food is nasty anyway, so I don’t eat much.
By the time lunch time came around, I was starved, and since I’ve been up to this post before, I knew what the food was like. They have this rule that whatever you get you have to eat, but no one told me that I could pick what went on my plate. That day the lunch was spinach, Swedish meatballs and noodles. Okay. I don’t eat meat that’s not Kosher and I don’t eat spinach that has been boiled down to mash with some sewage water poured over top it.
They had the trays already made so I had to take one. I’m sitting at this table desperately trying to shove this spinach down. The TAC officers (drill sergeant like officers who try to psych you out of your commission by making it so ‘hard’ for you that you want to quit) are standing around me. “Ooh, you don’t like spinach.” “Oh, it’s like fear factor.” “She’s going to explode.”
I’ve been told I have very vivid facial expressions and apparently I was looking at my food like it was alive. Fine. I shovel the spinach down. My stomach is ROILING. I gave someone my meat, because I refuse to eat meat that ain’t right. Especially, sometimes in the army beef has a funny way of being pork, and I DON’T EAT PORK!
So after eating this wilted sewage waste, we’re running around and my stomach is just about to overflow. They already sent one girl to the hospital because she puked on herself in the glassroom.
We come to dinner and they caped us. Cape means that they physically punished us for doing something dumb. Most of the time it’s push ups or jumping jacks or something exercise-like. Normally, I don’t bother with it. It’s no big deal but my stomach was totally out of control and I felt like I was going to vomit. When I get frustrated or angry, I start crying. Not because I’m sad or any other such nonsense.
If they see you crying they are ready to attack, and that’s what they did. “Oh, you haven’t even been here two minutes and you are already crying! You’re weak!” I wanted to be like, “Bitch, I’m going to throw up on your shoes if you don’t get out my face.” So while she is screaming at me, the dining facility officer is reading out the menu. For everything you are allowed to eat you say, “Get in my belly!” Everything you can’t eat (cakes, tea, coffee…etc), you have to say, “I pity the fool!”
He is reading and she is screaming, and then he says the one food I absolutely abhor.
And cooked in the worst sort of way… mashed.
I know this is the strangest thing ever, but I absolutely LOATHE potatoes. I think they are the grossest food God ever created. They smell like ground run-off. They are dirty. They look like dried up turds. I cannot stand even the smell of potatoes. I don’t like them mashed, baked, cut, fried, au gratin, any way. I do not like them, Sam I am. I don’t even really like French fries too much. They have to be fried hard with a lot of grease so I don’t get that potato flavour.
At any rate…. She is screaming at me and the DFO says, “mashed potatoes!” and my stomach was finished. Then he said, “peas!” Okay, peas have t his queer smell to me that just gets to me and I have this heavy imagination and when I heard peas and I thought about mashed potatoes that smell like peas and I really just threw up right then and there.
They made me go into the dining hall anyway. I was crying because my stomach was hurting so bad. I got some chicken, because I always like chicken and a piece of bread. I didn’t think that would be too bad. I tried to eat, shovel it all down and then they make you chug all this water. The minute I went outside, I was down for the count.
How about, I threw up for about 8 hours straight. I wound up in the hospital.
I was so dehydrated that I went through 4 bags of saline.
The other girl who had went ahead of me was still throwing up by the time I got there. I dont’ know what the fuck was in that spinach, but it was not meant to be.
Anyway, so that’s how my first weekend at Officer Candidate School went. The TACs don’t think I’ll come back next month, but I am determined that I will just because everyone thinks I’m going to quit so easily. I ain’t like that. I’m not sure if I want to go through with it, but I will definitely, DEFINITELY be back next month.
If I have to sneak food in my cheeks like a damn squirrel. I will!