Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Babies and spouses groups

I love babies. I'm really looking forward to the day when Einstein and I decide it is time to have babies. Unfortunately, that day is not coming anytime soon.

Luckily, Einstein is in the Air Force. Babies, babies everywhere!!! I've decided that the thing I like the most about the spouse's group is that it gives me a non-creepy (or at least less creepy) way of approaching mother's of young children and saying "Do you want a mother's helper for your PCS/TDY/housecleaning? Someone to watch the munchkin(s) while you head to the commissary/hair salon/doctor's office/date with your hubby?"

Before I married into the AF, my only opportunity to ask this question was in church, and even then it came off slightly stalkerish. Now I have the spouses' group, and it is turning out better than I could have possibly guessed it would. I have a great way to make friends with some fantastic women, get my baby fix, and look like a really altruistic person, because, you know, I'm willing to hang out with their kids for free.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When not to share

Einstein is in pilot training right now. Two facts about AF pilot training. Most people are single. And most of those single people are guys. One of my best friends here is also in pilot training. Since she (Elvira) is often the only female surrounded by scads and scads of men, and it seems as though I am always cooking and cleaning and entertaining the scores of single men who view my house as a place of wonder, cleanliness, and home cooking, we like to get together for girl time. This is all just set up for the main part of the story, mainly that:

This weekend, as we were scarfing down our mint chocolate chip ice cream and discussing what color to get our toenails painted, I asked Elvira how her week had gone.

"Well, other than almost dying on Friday, great!"

"What?!?" Mouth oozing green ice cream.

Now, as my husband later pointed out, almost dying is not exactly uncommon in the military. But honestly, this is a training base, so I don't hear about things like what happened very often. What did happen was an awful horrible could-have-been-fatal incident involving a faulty oxygen regulator and a solo flight. Now you have to understand that Elvira has that sense of humor I've found that most pilots have. I think it might be military wide. So naturally, the story ended up being the funniest thing I'd heard all week. There were ambulances, flight medicine, forms, helmet bags, worried coworkers, psychic mothers and plenty of laughter and hand waving in her recitation.

So naturally, I had to share the story. Everyone I told it to reacted with horror first (of course), worry second (naturally) and then laughter, eye rolling and rueful head shaking when I got into all of the details.

Until I decided to tell my mother-and-father-in-law. Somehow they didn't find Elvira's story as funny as I and my military friends had. I see the planes every day. I know what Einstein is doing when he heads in to work. I realize that it is dangerous. But his parents are very isolated from that. I don't think they want to accept it. They were very, very upset, and it took me half an hour to get them convinced that, really, the planes are safe. Really, training is safe. Really, it is more dangerous for him on the drive to work than when he is flying.

So next time I have a "great" story to share, I'm going to stop and think about my audience before I launch into it.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Einstein's little section of the Air Force is superstitious and traditional in the extreme. Every time I turn around I hear about some new tradition, from what to drink to how to welcome a new commander to music to uniform alterations.

Before we were married, I read a lot. I've read pretty much every spouse's handbook out there. I sought out military spouses to quiz them. I read Spousebuzz and lurked on blogs. I read stuff online. I followed message boards.

And apparently, none of it was adequate preparation. Sure, I'm futher ahead on the curve than some: I knew what Tricare was, how much to tip baggers at the commissary, what to do during Retreat, etc. But all of these "traditions" ?? No clue. Also, no one seems to know why they are traditions.

I should write a book. But since I am assuming that every "little" section of the miitary (not just service by service) has its own traditions, quirks and superstitions, it would only really be helpful to a few people. Although, if I wrote some sort of anthropological survey instead of a guidebook, it might draw in a wider readership.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Should I be concerned?

Tomorrow will be my first real healthcare experience since marrying into the military. So far, I've only been a spectator to Tricare woes. I haven't heard too many horrible things from the other spouses here, so I'm hoping for the best. *knocks on wood* After all, how bad can it be?