August 31, 2008

GOOD TIMES

I haven't been blogging because I have a friend in town this weekend. I also am unrelatedly kitten-sitting, which has been an interesting experience. Charlie desperately wants to wrestle this 4 lb kitten. And he even more desperately wants to eat her wet food.

For a laugh, read Palin Facts. My favorite was the Tom Brady one; my husband's was the Terminator one.

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August 27, 2008

HOME

We're home, and we're tired.

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August 25, 2008

COMING UP

The time has come to head back home. Let's hope my windshield survives.
I can't believe I scheduled my three-day drive home for the nights of the DNC. Dumb.

Oh, but there's something fun to look forward to when I get back: my husband just got his new laptop in the mail, which has a *webcam*! I get to see his dimpled face for the first time in three months.

And then it's almost time for SpouseBUZZ Live: Hampton Roads!

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August 23, 2008

EXPLAINING MY LACK OF SUCCESS

I hate meeting new people or catching up with old acquaintances. It's the worst aspect of coming home for a visit.

I, she states emphatically, am not enterprising. My shame is that I would've made a terrible pioneer and probably would've never crossed the Atlantic for the New World. I don't like adventure, and I'm not the least bit entrepreneurial.

I am a born follower.

When our future children start school, I will get a job. Not a career, a job. I have no interest in a career whatsoever. I fancy myself a sort of Renaissance Lady who likes learning new things for the sake of learning, but I am not ambitious. I went to grad school merely to kill time while my husband finished school. I liked school and was good at it, but I can't imagine myself in any sort of career.

I say all of this to set the stage for the question I hate most: "So, what do you do?"

I don't do anything. I don't know how to answer that. I do a monkey's job two weekends a month. I don't make money. I have no job to speak of.

I was voted Most Likely To Be President by my graduating class. I have no idea why. I am certain I am a disappointment to them.

But I am fine with my life. My husband likes me the way I am, though I am sure he will enjoy the extra money once I get a job. I have no regrets at all about where I am in life. (Except if I'd known it would take more than two years to have a baby, I would've gotten some sort of job at this duty station.)

But any time I get the "What do you do?" question, I feel like I need to explain all of this. I feel like I need to prove I'm not a bum. Or I have to explain the two dead babies, so at least I have an excuse for not working.

Yesterday we ran into the mom of a kid I went to school with. "So, what do you do?" I fake laughed and said, "My husband is in the Army, so I follow him around for a living." She looked disappointed. "I just remember you were so successful in school."

Ouch.

I'm just typing this to get it off my chest. I hate that question. I hate not having an answer to it. I hate the look people give me when I don't have an answer for them.

Sometimes I answer "I'm a trophy wife" if I think I can get away with it.

I hate how the question makes me feel inadequate when really I am happy with my life. I shouldn't let it bother me, but it does.

I just need to hurry up and have a kid so I have an excuse for staying at home.

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August 22, 2008

BACK ON THE HORSE

Yesterday I had lunch with my best friend from high school. I hadn't seen her in almost nine years; the last time I saw her I wasn't even dating my husband yet. We reconnected via email around the time I started trying to have a baby. She has been a good friend to have in my life over the past two years; she had to undergo monstrous amounts of testing and IVF to have her two children, but the sting of infertility is still fresh with her. She didn't dust her hands off and get over it after her children came along, and she keenly understands my gripes and frustrations. And she lost her first baby, so there's that angle we share too.

In short, she makes me feel normal.

With my husband gone and babymaking out of the question, I haven't given much thought to the babies we lost or the one we'd like to have soon. It's been a non-issue for me as my HCG level steadily declined and there was no chance of getting pregnant again in the meantime. I haven't talked about the issue with anyone in a long time, but my visits with Guard Wife and my friend from high school, two women who've been in my shoes, brought the issue to the forefront for me again.

And this morning, the fertility clinic called me and said they have an opening when I get back, so I scheduled an appointment to see if we can figure out this crazy puzzle.

Time to get back on the horse.

Oh, and Darla and I are totally going to have triplets at the same time and move in together while our husbands are deployed. Take that, Jon and Kate.

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August 21, 2008

ROCKS

So I made some calls re: the windshield. Naturally there are two hitches: both my sticker to get on post and my state inspection sticker are on the broken windshield. I can only get a new inspection sticker if I get the windshield replaced in my state, and since our vehicle was registered at our old post, I have to go in with umpteen documents to get a new sticker at our current post. Pain in the neck. So I decided to just wait until I get home to get the windshield replaced.

But would you even believe that, while driving today, another rock hit me and made another chip in the glass in a different spot? Thank heavens I hadn't already fixed it; I would've gone through the roof.

Don't ride with me, I'm a rock magnet.

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August 20, 2008

MY MOTHER IS A HOOT

We were teasing my mother the other day that her eulogy is going to be a laugh riot. We have so much hilarious material on her, including the fact that this week I threw out some canned goods in her pantry that expired in 2001. And how she argues with her GPS: "No I should NOT turn left here!" And how she whistles under her breath all the time. Oh, the whistling, it drives me nuts.

She pouted and said that we can't wait for her to die so we can make fun of her.

But yesterday, I saw a side of my mother that I love. Through her work, she's befriended a family from Tanzania. We stopped by their house because my mother had done some school clothes shopping for their daughters. My mother is so entirely generous that way: she invites this family to Thanksgiving, she bought them a Christmas tree, and she's always popping in on them with new clothes and toys for their kids.

And I just love how these two little African girls climb all over my mother and call her Grandma. And my mom kisses them and reads books to them and loves on them to death. It is such a beautiful sight to see this little black girl throw her arms around my mother and shout, "Grandma!"

Don't worry, Mama. We'll include good stuff like that in your eulogy too.
Just please stop with the whistling.

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WALIMA

On Sunday, the final wedding event was the Walima, a sort of brunch reception that takes place after the consummation of the marriage. No, seriously, that’s what the speaker said at the thing. This event seems to be the groom’s family’s doing, and it ended up being fairly military. My friend just got out of the Army after being Special Forces, so his Army buddies were in their dress blues, and they performed the saber arch as my friend and his new wife arrived. My friend also wore his blues, and his wife again looked stunning in a bejewelled robin-egg blue dress.

Some of my friend’s cousins and friends got up and spoke a few words, like you would do at a toast during a Western wedding. I made some jokes about high school and what a good friend he’s been over the past 16 years. And then there was Pakistani food and merriment again.

After my little toast, several people came up to me to thank me for my husband’s service, which is always nice but especially nice to hear from the Muslim community. In fact, during the wedding ceremony on Saturday, when the officiant mentioned that my friend had served his country, it got a round of applause during the sermon. Those things just affirmed my good feelings for everyone I met this weekend.

And my friend asked the wedding photographer to take a photo of two of the guests: his cousin, who wears a traditional turban, dishdasha, and long beard, and his SF buddy in his dress blues. Everyone laughed as the two men symbolically shook hands and then threw their arms around each other for a photo.

So that was the wedding. As I bid my friend and his wife goodbye, I got tears in my eyes. I was overwhelmed by the emotions of the weekend, and I sadly don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. His entire family made me feel so welcome this week, and I hate to say goodbye to them.

But he’s kept in touch over the past 12 years, so I’m sure we can manage in the future.

What an awesome experience this whole event was. I am so glad that I came home for it and that I got an inside glimpse at the local Muslim community and their customs. It really gave me a perspective on some things I’ve only considered in the theoretical before.

(See also the Mehndi and the wedding posts.)

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August 18, 2008

MY BATTERY FIASCO

AirForceWife and I have the same camera, and last time we were together we were lamenting how it sucks batteries. I came into town with a set of batteries in the camera and an extra pair. I cycled through all of those during the Mehndi alone.

So on my way out of town on Friday, I stopped at the Walmart to buy batteries. My husband called while I was in the self-checkout, and I stupidly walked out of the store without my bag of purchases. It didn't even sink in until I got to Chicago that the batteries were nowhere to be found.

Next stop was a corner store near my friend's house the day of the wedding. I bought a four-pack and we headed to the ceremony. I had enough battery power left on the ones from the Mehndi to take one photo of the venue.

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Right before the ceremony started, I put the new batteries in the camera: nothing. Not even enough juice to turn the camera on. I bet they'd been sitting in that corner store for years.

So here I am at the most beautiful and colorful and camera-worthy wedding I'll ever attend...with no batteries.

Luckily, Muslim weddings have a break in the middle for evening prayer. During this break, I went to the hotel front desk, asking if they have a gift shop. They do, but it was out of batteries. However, the nice manager went off in search of a pair of batteries owned by the hotel. He brought me two AAs and I handed him some dollar bills and raced back to the wedding.

And thank heavens those batteries lasted through the wedding and the Walima.

More on that later. I'm on my way to Walmart. I called them from Chicago to see if they'd found my forgotten bag, and they said that if I bring my receipt, they will give me another pack of batteries. Three cheers for awesome customer service.

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August 17, 2008

I HEART CORN

Seems to me out here,
it's all about the sky.
Clouds are pure art,
migrant birds flying by.
   --Allette Brooks

Apparently I'm supposed to be able to dodge flying rocks while driving. What? Phone or no phone, how in the heck was I supposed to do that?

And I was on a bluetooth, people.

But I threw caution to the wind when I noticed what a beautiful day it was. I love the Midwest so much that my heart grows two sizes when I drive here. You can take your mountains and oceans; I'll take my corn and clouds.

So I pulled out my camera and started indiscriminately snapping pictures of the road without looking through the viewfinder or bothering to focus. I took a ton, and a few actually came out great.

I called AWTM and told her I was thinking of her. Apparently she also drives through the Midwest with a camera in hand.

She challenged me to a Plains-Off.

Nebraska...

nebraska

Illinois...

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AWTM, I'll see you your barn pic and raise you a farm plus a big honkin' American flag.

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Also, you mentioned cows. I managed to snap some.

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Man, I love driving in this state. What a view. Horizon as far as the eye can see.

It's home.

Oh, and a photo of the new crack in my windshield, for good measure.

crack.JPG

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August 13, 2008

LITTLE GIRLS

An observation from my trip: Maybe little girls aren't so bad.

I realized that Guard Wife lives on my route home, so ol' Charlie and I stayed the night with her on the road trip. Our arrival coincided with her daughter's 5th birthday party. I was mentally thinking, "What did I agree to do?", but the party was charming and funny.

And Guard Wife's two daughters never made a bicker or a peep the whole time I was there. No fussing, no whining, no "she's hitting me!" They really upped the bar for me on child behavior. Maybe little girls might be up my alley.

Ha, now I just know Guard Wife will mess up her dynamic by adding a boy to the mix!

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August 08, 2008

HOMEWARD BOUND

I'm headed out this morning for a trip home. As my dad always says before a road trip, "It's 902 miles to Illinois; we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." (Hey, that's one of our Dadisms, like we talked about last night with Sherman Baldwin.)

More when I get there. Midwestside til I die, baby!

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August 05, 2008

I THINK THE CLOCK IS WRONG

I am having such a hard time getting off the computer. I mean, I just categorically deny that it is already 10:30. It can't be. Where did today go? Oh, right, the car dealership. Where I stood and drank mediocre coffee and then gave them six hundred bucks. Ugh. And the three hours I spent on that long post. I didn't knit a single stitch today. I refuse to go to bed yet, even though I'm exhausted.

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August 01, 2008

GO GATHER YOUR NUTS, YOU NAGGING GRASSHOPPER

Went back to the eye doctor. I am stuck where I'm at for now; we can't do another Lasik correction until we're certain that this is where my eyes have leveled off, so I have to wait a month and see. Also, I have blocked tear ducts so, to quote the doctor, they should be oozing Wesson oil and instead are blocked with Crisco. Gross. He was doing everything he could to unblock them and make me cry, including digging his fingernail into the base of my eye until I saw stars. It made me giggle on the inside because I felt like Fry on "My Three Suns," when they have to make him cry the emperor out. Good thing the doctor didn't start beating me up or telling me my husband was murdered in a juicer. Heh.

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