Sunday, October 7, 2007

USS San Jacinto Dining Out

I love the traditions in the Navy. Before deployment, the officers of Sean's ship had a dining out. This is a black tie dinner with the officers and wives. I was expecting a stuffy boring night with pinkies out and everyone on their best behavior but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had.
First, I got to get all fancied up. I even did my own hair up do and it wasn't half bad. Sean and I showed up at the Waterside Shereton Hotel at our scheduled time (Ensigns are to arrive first), then we mingled with his shipmates. There are only about 30 officers aboard the San Jac so it wasn't too large of a crowd.

I was given a list of all of the rules to be observed during the evening. They ranged from the obvious courtesy to the ridiculous. For example, the rules state there is to be no cursing or profanity, a pretty standard rule, but there was also to be no using of first names or rank, no speaking in foreign languages, and no addressing the group without permission. Any violation was addressed publicly and consequences were due.

The one in charge of finding offenders was dubbed "Mr. Vice." He sat at his own table, with his wife and would sporadically (and loudly) address the room and name offenses and offenders.
This probably sounds awful but it was all in good fun. The rules were "supposed" to be taken lightly and punishments ranged from singing a song in front of everyone to taking a sip of The Grog (a gross mix of all alcoholic beverages you can think of, even moonshine!) Fortunately for Sean and I and any designated drivers, there was a non-alcoholic version which tasted like pineapple punch.
There was a lot of laughing and "shocking" behavior, especially as the night wore on and the junior officers got more hammered. The Ensigns had to put on the entertainment: a song, a skit, and an "epic poem" recital with accompanying tambourine and kazoo. There were formal and informal toasts, rolls and tomatoes being tossed at Mr. Vice, and my favorite, the Captain shooting an overcooked piece of meat (with a starter pistol) and demanding medium rare prime rib for all. We all laughed throughout the evening and I was sad when it was over, but thankfully there will be other Dining Outs and social events with the crew of the USS San Jacinto.

Also, Sean is so good looking in his choker whites! Mmmmmm . . . .


Sara said...

Did Sean get deployed? My "baby" sister is getting deployed either in January or February...gulp?!?!

Heidi said...

Sean gets deployed in November . . . *sigh*