In 1999 I joined the U.S. Army Reserves using the split-option because I was a school teacher. Split-opt is usually reserved for high school students because it allows them to join the army as a junior, attend basic combat training the summer between their junior/senior year then continue to drill during their senior year (earning a nice paycheck) and then going to Advanced Individual Training after their senior year. The perk of split opt is that the recruit is put on a contract which mandates they must be returned home by a specific date (in time for school to start). That's really important because otherwise you may be recycled or delayed and then you could be stuck at training for anywhere from a few extra weeks to one year - totally would have cost me my teaching job if I wasn't back in time.
I tell you that all because A.) I think the entering the army process is kind of interesting and B.) because it has to do with my watch. For 10 months prior to my departing for Basic Training I drilled with my unit and was for all intense purposes in the army. Army uniform standards (at least at that time) required watches to be all black. When doing PT (physical training) I needed a stop watch because the army is ALL about a 2 mile run in a certain time. They are also all about 2 minutes of push ups and 2 minutes of sit ups. Given the need for having a watch to tell time (and military time), perform as a stop watch and a countdown timer, and if it could have the date on it all the better . . . AND it had to be all black. So . . . I purchased this watch . . .
. . .and wore it for the 4 years I was in the army. LOVED IT!!!! It stood up to all kinds of army training (sand crawling, grenade throwing, range training, repelling, etc).
Skip ahead 10 years . . .
When I returned to running last year and began to do the run/walk intervals, I pulled out my ol' army watch - FAIL. The band was old and cracked so . . . I used my awesome google skills to find the same watch on Amazon - WIN! I immediately ordered it. Whenever I'm in running shoes, it's on my wrist. Never thought twice about it. I knew it wasn't stylish but thought it kind of said i was a somewhat committed runner (it's no Garmin, but it's not a fossil gold watch either).
Rewind to this past Saturday . . .
"C" and I ran (see page 204) then we headed to the running store (see page 205). I wanted to remain in my work out clothes so that I could really test out the shoes on the treadmill. I didn't think anything of my attire - in fact, thought I was doing good. In between pairs of shoes, the 25 year old salespersons said WITH ALL THE SINCERITY IN THE WORLD, "That's a GREAT RETRO watch you're rocking there!" UMMMMMMMMMM - I ask you - what is the appropriate reaction here? Is it a compliment? Is it a slam in disguise? Is it really calling me old? Is it really saying I'm "outta touch"? Hmmmmmmmmm! I said "Oh, thanks! I was in the army 10 years ago and thought it worked well then so I got another one." His response . . . . "Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I have something like that shoved in a drawer from when I was in elementary school." AGAIN, I ASK . . . WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE HERE!
OMG - I think I was just called antique!!!!