Saturday, January 26, 2008

Traveling with Einstein

Earlier this month I had to go to a library conference (and no, it wasn't ALA Midwinter *sniff*). Since it was only a few hours from home, Einstein followed me there once his duty day was over on Friday and spent the weekend in a hotel with me.

Before I say anything else, let me say this: it was absolutely glorious to get away, just the two of us, for a couple of days. I know, we don't have kids. But the social "whirl" around here can get to be a bit much and it was nice to have time to just sit around and be a couple: no cooking, no dishes, no making the bed!

But there were a few memorable things about the experience: this was the first time that I've been "outside" the military bubble since moving here. We went home for the Christmas holidays, but other than that I haven't interacted with non-military people that much. I was really surprised by how much military things crop up in my normal speech...I was using milspeak! Acronyms! Abbreviations! Bizarre wording!

It was strange. I often feel like Alice after going through the looking glass here on base, but I felt even stranger interacting with all the non-military folks during the conference. It wasn't anything blatant, just odd reactions to finding out Einstein is AF or weird comments, like one presenter who made a joke about nuclear war, and another about plane crashes. I find neither of those to be funny in the least, thanks. But everyone else seemed to.

Since Einstein has been so busy with training that I sometimes wonder if he even notices we live in the same house I have really missed getting to hear all of his hilarious observations on life. We went out for dinner and then decided to stop and pick up some beer to have with our chips and homemade salsa (which was a failure, oh well). He told the guy at the counter we didn't need a bag. As we walked out, I questioned his logic, since we would have to walk through the lobby of our very nice hotel with a six pack of beer. This is a transcript of our conversation from that point on:

Einstein: Is it bad to walk through the lobby with beer?
Me: No, it's just a little strange, don't you think? It would be nice to have a bag, is all I'm saying.
Einstein: Whatever. It's weird they don't sell beer in the lobby.
Me (befuddled): Have you ever stayed someplace that sold beer in the lobby?
Einstein: Sure! When I was TDY in Korea, New Mexico, etc etc etc

So apparently the AF sells beer in the lobby. Einstein eventually figured out that this was the first time he'd stayed in a hotel that didn't sell beer in the lobby (other than our honeymoon) in over four years. And just to clarify, he doesn't mean a bar; these hotels apparently had little sundries shops that also sold six packs.