29 September 2009

'Cuz She's Still Preoccupied With...With...With 1955!

Yes, I’m snarky lately. I don’t know why, but I’m having a bit of fun with it. I’m a ranter and raver, people. Just roll with it.

Now, we’ve all read it…we’ve all gotten the “FwdFwdFwd: Ladies??:” in the subject line, addressing the 1955 “Good Wife’s Guide”.

Well, I’d like to give a shout out to my Granny, who thoughtfully sent it to me to make me giggle. It’s so weird…it’s like she knows I’m ready to slam my head against a wall if I fold one more shirt or make one more meatloaf, and sends things to make my day better. Odd.

It was so thoughtful of the Good Housekeeping writers to give us a guide, so I thought I’d be thoughtful back, and give them my critique (you know, as a housewife). I’m not going to comment on all of their points, just the finer of them.

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
I love this idea. I would absolutely adore having dinner ready when my husband gets home. I know he’s hungry. I’m hungry, also, because my son thinks my breakfast and lunch are his, so I rarely actually eat. I mostly just spend my time cleaning my food off my kid’s face. Usually, around the time I’d start cooking dinner, I’m bathing Scoob, as my lunch as coated him in some sort of un-wipeable substance.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Work-weary people? WORK-WEARY PEOPLE? They play beanbags all day. Seriously, he’s told me. I don’t own any ribbons, I haven’t been fresh looking since I was sixteen, and if I could get a fifteen minute rest, it sure as shit isn’t going to be so I can look good for my husband. He’s lucky I shave my legs once a week. Work-weary people. Christ.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Three problems with this equation: One: Nowhere to light a fire, unless you count the pile of clothes he left in the bathroom. Two: It’d be nice if my husband found our home to be a haven of rest and order. It’d also be nice if I had a pink, sparkly pony. Neither will be happening any time soon. Last but not least, catering to his comfort provides me with cold dinner. It rarely provides me with any sort of satisfaction, personal or not.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
How often do you think I encourage my children to be loud?

Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
If he stays out all night, he better be prepared to stay there much, much longer.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Seriously? The master? Does that come with a cape? Now, I’ll say that usually my husband is usually pretty truthful, but fairness is another story. Unless fair is equal to sighing heavily (I mean, asthma attack heavy) when I ask him to perform a menial task, like taking out the trash or bathing his spawn. You’re right, Good Housekeeping, I don’t have the right to question him. Or to question why he has no clean underwear or spoons, because he forgot to wash them.

A good wife always knows her place. You’re damned skippy.

28 September 2009

Oh No You DIIInt.

Lately (before my meds were upped, to be honest) my friend and I have been talking about things that are…just, well, generally unacceptable behavior. I say it that way because I have a tendency to react a little harshly to obnoxious public conduct. It pisses me off a bit more than it does other people.

What does that mean, you ask?

It means I’m going to rant, of course.
Here we go.

Your car is not magic, and for all you jackasses out there, this means a myriad of things. It means that the size of your vehicle does not entitle you to drive like a moron. All it entitles you to is a larger car payment, and a bit more time at the gas pump. I have kids in the car, so knock that shit off. Seriously. It also means that your car has windows. Glass windows, which means if you are texting, beating your kid, changing the radio while slowly sliding out of your lane and into mine, or picking your nose, I can see it. Clear as day. Quit looking mad, because you brought it on yourself.
One more, just for good measure: crosswalks and speed reductions in neighborhoods and schools are not loose suggestions, people. They are there because you are texting and picking your nose, and we (the functioning public) would much rather that you did it at fifteen to twenty five miles an hour, so as not to run over a kid. Unless it’s yours, because they’re probably in the shallow, shallow end of the gene pool anyway.


Moving on, if you lack teeth, quit smiling big. It’s friggin’ gross. Now, I’m not directing this toward denture wearers (assuming their teeth are in at the time they smile). No, I mean those “I smoked crack and my teeth fell out and crack is ‘spensive, so I can’t buy any dentures” unpleasant individuals. And quit getting close to my kid’s face and trying to make him happy. He’s crying because you look scary. You know what would make him happier? If you QUIT TALKING TO HIM.
And, while we’re on the teeth subject, there is no methadone section in WalMart. There are also no loopy metal spoons, crack lighters, or used needles. If you look skeezy, brush your hair and put on something other than your Kermit jammie pants and wife beater with no bra. Get in the car with the guy with no teeth, he’ll probably give you a ride home (if you give him ten bucks for gas).

Next, I don’t care how friendly you’re pretending to act…if you smile and suck your teeth or sneer, the less friendly of those shines through. I don’t really know what your issue is, and I don’t particularly care. I do ask, however, that you keep it to yourself. You’re being bitchy, and it’s just uncomfortable. This especially applies to women, usually the ones that have either been nosy in my phone conversation or think my kid’s hair should be combed better.
In addition to the “fake friendly” situation: yes, I am an Army Wife. I’m aware that there is a show. No, it’s not even remotely close to anything even slightly resembling real Army life. I am not friends with a General’s wife. My husband is not in the Special Forces, yes, I am scared for him to deploy, and yes, Iraq IS scary. Thanks for the update. Please don’t even think about asking whether I’m scared if he deploys that he’ll die, because I promise you, I’ll punch you in your uninformed, Lifetime-watching face.


Raggae? Really?

I can't seem to write much lately, for some reason. Even the great Bea Arthur said:
"It's only writers block if you've written something. Otherwise, all of us have it."

I wish I could think of something funny and witty to say about this...but if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video should be worth (at minimum) a giggle.

At least, it was to me.

21 September 2009

My Life In The Sandbox, Part 1

Recently, I was asked (by someone whose writing I much admire) to provide more insight into being a combat veteran with tits. I have some pieces I wrote many moons ago, while on my second tour. Some are funny, and some are sad. If you're up for it, read on.

I have a tower.

It’s a relatively small tower, as towers go. It’s concrete, and the inside is small. I can’t tell you much about this tower, because that would be a violation of the rules that the PTB’s (Powers That Be) have set forth. And that would be bad. So instead, I’m going to tell you what’s outside my tower.

I have this window, see. And this window overlooks some of the ugliest friggin’ country I’ve ever looked at. Seriously. It’s gross. I look at it, and it literally makes me wonder why the hell anyone would stop long enough to set up camp there, let alone build cities. Anywho, my friend Serrano and I are “in the business of observing the perimeter”, as the brief tells us. Well, I guess that the briefer really tells us, because the brief can’t speak due to the fact that it’s a piece of paper.
But I digress.
We watch these shepherds. And yes, they are shepherds, not “sheepherders”, or “the sheep herding guys”, as my shift mates so lovingly refer to them. There are three of them. A father and a son, who have either a rather large flock, or more than one flock. I don’t know what the measure of a flock is, so I can’t rightly say. They are cool. They don’t come too near the wire, and they don’t do anything shady. They just run around and play what looks like tag, and then they take their sheep in. Sometimes they skip. It’s cool. Then there’s the other guy. I’m not sure what his issue is, but when he comes out, the father that tends the other flock guides his son away. The first day I saw him, he was walking around the field with his pants around his ankles. Ew. And as if that weren’t enough, I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, so I found him with my binos. And if you’re a little ahead of the game, you can probably imagine what I’m going to tell you next.
That’s right. No underwear. Nada chonies. Bare assed, in HDB (That’s hi def binoculars).
His pants were too big, so he walked around with them around his ankles. So not only is this dude making me throw up a little in my mouth, he’s getting a little too close to my concertina. I am not down with Ahmed (which is what I call him) getting that close to my little sandbox haven. So we decide that we need to let him know what he’s doing wrong. Of course, I get to be the one who yells out of the window of the tower, and wave him back. To which he promptly waves hello back. Unfortunately, he happened to wave with the hand that was holding up the pants. That’s the kind of full frontal that will make a girl yearn for Brad Pitt, with or without Angelina. Because it was singularly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. Today he figured it out, and when I yelled, he moved his sheep away.
And his pants stayed up.

11 September 2009

Never Forget That It's Not Just A Game...Iraq, 2007

The loss of a friend is always difficult. It is never easy, painless, or quick.

We stood in ceremony to honor the memory of a good friend, Randy Raabe. You know, it’s funny…the personality attributes that most people don’t (or won’t) appreciate until that person is gone. Today, the brothers and sisters of our unit stood as tall as we could while crying for the loss of our friend.

There’s initial shock, then the slow acceptance. None of us really knew how to act after we received the news of his death. The reaction was simple: awe, shock, and sadness. The fierce set of emotions struck us hard and fast, and as the days progressed, we began to make peace with the situation. Those of us that cried, cried for the loss of his presence, and the hole he took from our world.

I didn’t hold it together through the ceremony. I’ll never know why they chose to make me an usher. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time was watch my friends cry, and not be able to go to them, to comfort them. Watching Ashley (my roommate), and my friend Drew, speak from the podium about the great loss, the pain, and the memories…there aren’t words. I mean, obviously, they had words. I (uncharacteristically) didn’t have any. I cried throughout the entire service, even as the group dwindled to only our unit.

We watched the slideshow and taped goodbyes that we had labored on since the day the news of his death was given. The Colonel spoke, the Chaplain spoke. We sat in silent, sobbing, supportive reverie until we were allowed to leave. Friends of those who were close to this lager-than-life man hugged us, held us close, said the normal things.

My friend Tanya (who is Mortuary Affairs, and worked in the Mortuary services before coming into the Army) told me once:“I never tell people that their loved one is in a better place, that it was God’s will.” That stuck with me. Although meant well, they are trite clich├ęs.

This was a huge blow to morale. Slowly but surely, our lives have begun to return to normal. We breathe in and out. We eat, sleep, shower, and laugh, as Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedoms rage on.


09 September 2009

I Do, But My Washing Machine Doesn't

Saturday morning, I was pretty sure the pod people had taken my husband, and left someone named Jeeves in his place.

“I’m going to make you breakfast. Just sit down, watch whatever you want on TV, and I’m going to cook and clean up a bit.” And cook and clean up he did, amidst my weak protesting. (Shut up. Don't judge me. There was a Hell’s Kitchen rerun on.)

“Bring me the laundry. I want to get it all done.” Although it was pretty much all his laundry, I was still a little woozy over the badass, cleaning mamma-jamma that had replaced my other (less sanitizing obsessed) half. I obliged, throwing everything but the kitchen sink down the laundry chute.

As the day progressed, we watched a few movies, held hands, and played with the baby. We cooked dinner together, and held each other as we went to sleep. All in all, it was a pretty fabulous day. The rest of the weekend passed uneventfully, and I was just generally glad to be married to him and have my life.

Cut to: Tuesday morning after a long weekend. There was a light rain, the breeze flapped through the curtains, and light jazz flowed through the speakers. It seemed as if it was going to be a very calm, nice, once in a while kind of morning. As I went downstairs to get the laundry from the dryer, I found that there was nothing in there. Odd, huh?

Not so odd. There was nothing in the dryer because the first of the seven loads never made it out of the washer. The formerly clean clothes were rancid. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t transfer themselves into the dryer. Sigh.

Coming back up to the kitchen, I found a smelly pile of exercise clothes next to the highchair. Sighing, I took them to the hamper. Entering the bathroom, I found the small (but undeniable) piles of hair he had cut the night before. They were on the sink, on the soap dispenser, on the floor, and ON MY TOOTHBRUSH. Resigned, I cleaned up the bathroom. As the morning droned on, I banged my head against the proverbial wall, trying to figure out why I’d been so blissful and head over heels for this man over the weekend. It crept in the corner of my mind, but remained blocked by the smell of bleach and my muttering voice emptily threatening serious marital issues.


I woke this morning and made my coffee. I blearily read the text message on my phone. It said simply “Wanna marry me again? Love you”.

I guess sometimes the scales balance themselves out strangely.

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Kid Plays With His Snot.

It started with a cough.

Innocent enough, that little cough. Could have been from anything, really. Water going down wrong, a stray crumb.

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t a stray crumb. It was the fall-approaching-back-to-school-crud.

It’s a gyp, really. I feel that if my stepchildren can’t live with us full time, I should at least get the gift of skipping the second grade mini-mono. Or, even as a stocking stuffer (you know, rather than a full on gift) perhaps it could avoid arriving on our four day weekend. Especially the last weekend I get with my husband before he jet sets off to Colorado to do some training for two weeks, and leaves Scoob and I with nothing but our cuddles, snotty tissues and HGTV reruns.

The sickness fairy, however, (who I picture with a huge wand of mucous) has whacked us all squarely on the head. She didn’t seem to hear my vitamin and eight ounce water pleas. And the kicker? Scoob is acting fine. I mean, I know he’s sick. He’s got snot everywhere, and the volume of his breathing level rivals the vacuum. (No, really, I tried it. I can still hear him.)

On the upshot, yesterday I cleaned the entire house, did seven loads of laundry and mowed our half acre. Seriously. I figured that if we were going to be sick, we might as well be sick in a sparkly clean house. Somehow, I feel better about being sick in a clean house. I suppose it’s because I don’t feel the urge to get as many things done. I think I may have some sort of compulsory disorder. But that’s another doctor’s visit.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to beat the doldrums o illness? I mean, besides subjecting my eleven month old to various episodes of Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock?