December 08, 2008


I don't like many modern love stories, but I do like the old ones. I watched Sabrina tonight and took pause at this conversation between the Larabee brothers:

But you've got all the money in the world!

What's money got to do with it? If making money were all there was to business, it'd hardly be worthwhile going to the office. Money is a by-product.

Then what's the main objective? Power?

Bah, that's become a dirty word.

Well then, what's the urge? You're going into plastics now; what will that prove?

Prove? Nothing much. A new product has been found, something of use to the world, so a new industry moves into an undeveloped area, factories go up, machines are brought in, harbors are dug, and you're in business. It's purely coincidental, of course, that people who never saw a dime before suddenly have a dollar, and barefooted kids wear shoes and have their teeth fixed and their faces washed.

That's so Reardon-esque that it made me swoon.

And I wonder...does the 1995 remake have the same speech? I may have to watch someday to find out.

Why do I doubt it though...

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December 06, 2008


[Cross-posted at SpouseBUZZ]

AWTM has the distinction at SpouseBUZZ, like it or not, of being our resident go-to person on reintegration. And I personally always felt fine letting her have that title, because I didn't really grok her experience. I always assumed that her discomfort with reintegration came from the fact that she had babies while her husband was gone, so they went from being just a couple to being a family. Or I thought it was because her husband came back changed. Or that they were having a hard time getting back in sync as a family when he got home. Since I had not experienced any of those things, I never fully understood AWTM's trepidation about reintegration.

But I wrote before that deployments are like snowflakes. I was talking about my soldier in that case, but I am starting to see that deployments can feel very different from the homefront too.

My husband's first deployment was harder on him than this one has been: tougher mission, less amenities, more danger, longer deployment time. He was out in the thick of things and had some difficult experiences. During that deployment, my life was relatively straightforward. Nothing big happened to me that year, so our focus was on my husband and how he would react coming home.

This time around has been the reverse. My husband's job is easier -- safer, shorter, and relatively cushy -- but my life has been tumultuous. I have gone through some pretty heavy emotional growth in the past eight months. And all of a sudden, we're single digit midgets...and I am starting to think that this reintegration will play out differently.

AWTM called me the other day and asked me how I was doing. I didn't even fully realize that I was so apprehensive until she began to drag it out of me. And then she told me something that I know will be part of my vocabulary for the rest of my life. She told me about an interview with Mike Myers in which he talks about how hard it was to lose his father:

I've always felt I was given these emotional casino chips which had no value until I went home and told my dad about things. My father was like my spiritual cash window. I would tell him about stuff, just to hear his reaction.

AWTM said that she and I and people like us need a "spiritual cash window." We need someone to vent to, to rehash every detail of our day with, to take note of every ebb and flow of our emotional cycle. We need someone to cash our chips in to. And for both of us, that person is our husband. So when our husbands are gone, we stockpile our emotional casino chips.

I seem to have a lot of emotional chips from this deployment.

I have started to realize this past week that I am afraid of overwhelming my husband when he gets home. I am afraid that when he walks in that door, I am going to unload on him like a firehose. I'm afraid I won't be able to pace myself...because I have over seven months of chips in my hands that I am going to dump on him at once.

And I've realized that I am also sad that he hasn't been here for me to cash my chips in to on a daily basis. He hasn't seen me grow moment by moment. He is going to get the insane recap version at the end, where I have to explain every detail of everything that has happened to me lately.

And how do you do that? How do you explain what you were feeling six months ago and still make it relevant? How do you tell someone that, while you are no longer feeling stressed about X, Y, or Z, you used to feel stressed about it and therefore would still like to cash it in?

Poor husband.

My husband does not have emotional casino chips. The last time he was gone, the majority of the fighting and danger he faced happened at the beginning of his deployment. By the time he got home eight months later, that was old news to him. That was over and done with. He didn't need to cash it in. And I remember feeling a tad hurt that he didn't need to do this, like what did he need me for if I wasn't his spiritual cash window? I didn't understand how he could've had these enormous life experiences -- to include watching a man die -- and not need to cash it in.

I just never knew how to put that feeling into words.

I have always known I am this kind of person, but it took AWTM acknowledging it and giving it a name for me to realize how important it is to me and how hesitant I feel about our reintegration this time around.

Because, boy, do I have chips that need cashing.

And all of a sudden, I understood what AWTM has been talking about for years. It clicked for me, and I realized that it wasn't just having her husband underfoot in the house, or that he had a daughter he had never met, or that he might be jumpy or less patient. It was that she held these chips too and didn't know how to cash them in.

I didn't realize that she was this type of person too, and I think we both felt some relief talking about it on the phone and realizing that we're not the only one who holds these emotional chips.

Heck, Mike Myers does too. Maybe he should read SpouseBUZZ...

Posted by: Sarah at 02:25 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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December 04, 2008


What Girls Want: A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire

This almost makes me want to read Twilight. Almost.
It also makes me realize why I can't: I am no longer thirteen.

I have been thinking about being thirteen a lot lately.

I have been thinking about sitting on the sofa with a boy watching Pink Floyd's The Wall and thinking that after the movie was over, I would tell him I love him. And I did. And he smiled.

Three years later, he was dead. And I replay that night in my head, the delicious memory of feeling so grown-up and alive.

And that love, that love I felt for those illustrious three, it is nothing like the love I have for my husband. It was impetuous and consuming. It spawned poetry and diary entries. That was love with my heart. I am glad I experienced it; I am also glad I don't experience it any longer. It is an exhausting love.

But I have been thinking about it a lot lately and feeling nostalgic. That article gave me some insight into why.

And now I understand the Twilight craze.

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December 01, 2008


Nothing to do but cut and run, huh? What else? What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don't defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.
We're not pioneers anymore, Dad.
What are we, Jack?
What do you mean?
I mean, if we're not pioneers, what have we become? What do you call people who, when they're faced with a condition of fear, do nothing about it, they just run and hide?

I watched Death Wish tonight. This scene reminded me of something I read yesterday about Mumbai:

But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."

If being civilized means that we let barbarians destroy everything we hold sacred, then count me out.

The last time I wrote about vigilantism, Amritas left this comment:

Is there a correlation between vigilante fantasy entertainment and an increasingly criminal-coddling society? (The rise of the Death Wish movies after the 60s might indicate that the answer is yes.) I don't think there was anything 'cool' about frontier justice 'back in the day'; it was a harsh fact of life. But nowadays such justice has turned into escapism and the reality is that people want to deny responsibility.

How much easier things would be if a Batman would come along and take care of the War on Terror for us. If someone else could take care of the barbarians at the gates. If someone else could go and fight the dragons.

If we could sit and watch from the sidelines while someone else polices the world.

But thank heavens there are some people in this world who are not sidelines people. From the imdb page on Death Wish:

After finishing The Stone Killer (1973), Charles Bronson and Michael Winner wanted to make another film together, and were discussing further projects. "What do we do next?" asked Bronson. "The best script I've got is 'Death Wish'. It's about a man whose wife and daughter are mugged and he goes out and shoots muggers," said Winner. "I'd like to do that," Bronson said. "The film?" asked Winner. Bronson replied, "No . . . shoot muggers."

Posted by: Sarah at 03:30 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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