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.