Thursday, February 28, 2013

Because I don't like odds...

     If you know me, you know I love sports. My friends know if the Red Sox are playing the Yankees, I'm not available to do anything, because my butt will be parked in front of the TV, yelling and cursing. A few years ago when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, the broadcasters kept posting the odds of them winning or losing, based on what Tom Brady ate for lunch or the last time he defecated. Okay, so not really, but that's what it seemed like. And that's why I despise odds.

     I see odds as something that can be overcome, for the most part. According to those who make the odds, Adam and I should have divorced years ago. A military marriage, a Special Operations one at that, still together, and still extremely happy, 16 years later? Suck it, odds, you were wrong. I once heard that because we are both children of divorce, the odds were higher that we would live in a rat-infested house. Say what? I know my teenager is piggish at times, but we have never had a rat infestation. We saw our parents' marriages dissolve, and maybe that makes us work harder, not just give up because something isn't right.

     Addison told me the other day that I would have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than ever winning the lottery. "Well," I told him, "I'd much rather win the lottery." Again, I don't believe in the odds of this happening or the odds of that not happening. I believe in being positive, and not welcoming the odds of something into my life.

     Have you ever heard of someone being told the odds of them living past a certain time after being diagnosed with a disease? I don't believe in those either, mostly because I do believe in the power of prayer, only because I've seen it work with my own eyes. My grandfather had a tumor in his throat, and wasn't expected to live very long. Lo and behold, the tumor went away. I prayed fervently for him, along with friends and family. To my loved ones fighting, keep fighting. Kick the odds to the curb where they belong.

     In the end, life comes down to what we make of it. But, if God could maybe tilt the odds in the favor of the Red Sox winning the World Series this year, I would appreciate it.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Because numbers don't matter...

     Have you ever heard someone say, "I wish they would act their age." Usually it's said to a child who is being ornery, but it's just one of those phrases that I don't understand. Like, "He was as quiet as a church mouse." I'm sure there's a very good meaning behind it, but A) All of the times I've been in a church, I've never seen a mouse and B) Are church mice that much smarter than regular ones, who seemingly can't be quiet?

     I guess I was skipping out sick from school the day they handed out the manual that says how you should act for your age. If you had asked a prepubescent me how a 38-year-old mother and wife should act, I would have said she should watch Murder, She Wrote, secretly want to marry Bo Duke, just like me, and drive a station wagon.

     Now I'm a 38-year-old mother and wife who only resembles one characteristic of what I thought I should be at this age. John Schneider, you are still smokin' hot.

     Is it wrong that I seemingly don't know how a woman of my age is supposed to act? I don't go around farting in public (unless no one is in the general area, of course). I'm not immature, mostly, I like to think that life is supposed to be fun. I do what I am supposed to, as an adult, but why should we give up on having fun, or just being silly because we're supposed to act a certain way because of our age?

     Remember that feeling of being a little kid, having no cares or worries (not everyone was able to enjoy a childhood like that, but it certainly beat the worries and responsibilities we have as grown-ups) and just being you? Friday nights were my favorite, (no, not only because The Dukes of Hazzard was on) because I knew the next morning my sister and I would get up early and watch cartoons. There was no way I was sleeping in when The Smurfs were on.

     Why can't we try to recapture some of that simply joy? One of the best days I ever had was during a huge rainstorm a few years ago. The side yard was flooded, so Addison decided to go out and play in it. I thought, what the hell, and joined him. We were soaked to the bone, but playing in the rain was invigorating. Go grab some crayons, and color a picture. Jump in some puddles. Do something you enjoyed doing as a child. It's time to recapture that feeling. Life can suck the pureness of our enjoyment and fun little by little.

     There's nothing wrong with not "acting your age" because until I can find that damn manual, I'll do what I love, what brings me happiness, and I'll have fun doing it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Because we're not them...

     A lot of people seem to bemoan getting older, but I, for one, welcome it. As I age (not my body, just my mind. I have amazing genes.) I find that I am able to take a thought and roll it over in my mind, and have the ability to see all sides of it. There are probably some lucky people born with this ability, but mine seems to grow by leaps and bounds the older I become.

     That being said, I may piss some of my fellow military spouses off with this, but then again, I have never been one to care what others think about me - it's a gift. Stop comparing yourself and your life to non-military families.

     I know, I know, when we see a friend post on Facebook how hard it's going to be while their husband is gone for a few nights, we roll our eyes and think, "Oh please." We can cook dinner while entertaining a toddler, folding laundry, and make a callout to our fellow wives all with one hand tied behind our back. See, that's the thing. We know we can do it. We laugh at the women who have to wait for their husband to come home from work to kill a spider, or hang a curtain rod for them.

     I am guilty of this. Way back in 1997, Adam was at Ranger School for three months, during the summer. I was 23 and bitter. I would sit in my living room every day and see couples walking by, hand in hand, and in my head I'd be saying, "Fuck you." I was very eloquent when hurt, as you can tell. I was jealous. Jealous that they were with their spouses, and I wasn't. I couldn't just pop over to my mom's house or my sister's, because they lived 1,000 miles away.

     Then comes Facebook. I admit, I used to tell civilian women to suck it up, in the most polite way I could. Didn't they know what I was going through? My worry trumped their worry. I was playing the martyr and the victim. I can look back now and realize this wasn't very nice of me, but sometimes it was extremely frustrating to see women who complained about their husbands, while I was just hoping and praying every day that Adam would return safely.

     Who are we to tell someone they can't miss their husband, even if he's headed to a business meeting in Miami? We don't know what's going on in their lives. Maybe they have a sick child, or are the main caregiver to a dying relative. It's not up to us, as military spouses, to be the all-knowing of what it means to miss someone. There are spouses, military and non-military alike, who use social media to garner sympathy for themselves. That gets old, sister. Sorry your kids have a vacation from school for the week and you have to be a parent. If I happened to read or hear my mother say that when I had been growing up, I would have been devastated. Luckily, I was an angelic child who never caused my mom any trouble. (No comments on that last sentence, please.)

     So, my fellow spouses, especially my Ranger wives, let go of the bitterness. Just think about it - you're married to a square-jawed handsome badass who even Chuck Norris is afraid of. There are very few of us who can say that. Be proud, be brave, and don't compare yourself to anyone else - this is your life.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Because I just don't understand...

     The more commercials I see about new TV shows boggles my mind. A show about two women who fit women for a correct bra size? Really? Don't even get me started on Honey Boo Boo, or "housewives" who wipe their asses with $100 bills. This isn't reality. This is crap, pure and simple. I understand guilty pleasures, but as more and more of these "shows" appear, the more and more I don't understand what is happening in this world.

     I'm biased, of course, but what about the reality of our servicemen and women? Why do our kids know more about the sex lives of teenagers who are rewarded with a TV show because they became pregnant? They are who our kids watch, and who think this is the norm.

     How many people know an actual servicemember, or know what their life is really like? They should be the people our kids look up to, to want to emulate as they grow up. Sure, there are shitbags in the military, same as any other profession, but there are also men and women who could tell you a story or two (or thousands) that would leave you speechless.

     There are those who mourn when celebrities die. Death is always sad, but when celebrities who had the money and support to go to rehab die, I'm sorry, I just can't care very much. Addiction is a nasty thing, I understand. But why are they celebrated, and our military who die while doing their job are swept under the rug?

     These men and women willingly join the service. They choose it for their career. It's not just a job, it IS a career. They hug their wives, their moms, their kids, and pray that they will see them again. They know in the back of their minds that they may not return from war. They don't want their wife to be a widow, to have their children grow up without a father, but yet they go, because they are selfless, and brave, and willing to do what most people can't or won't do. They spend months not sleeping in their own bed, eating crappy food, hoping that when they call home, someone picks up the phone, just to hear their voice.


     They get shot at, they hope as they roll down the roads of Afghanistan that an IED isn't triggered to go off, they never know what's ahead for them. They miss birthdays, anniveraries, holidays, etc., yet they don't complain about it. They signed the dotted line, held up their hand and swore to do their job.

     These are the people our kids should be learning about, not people being paid obscene amounts of money because they can throw a football or can sing. Our children deserve better. They deserve to know about bravery and sacrifice. It's time to make things right.