Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Where Do We Go from Here?

Last week I was fine. A regular Army housewife debating when our husbands would come home, and why everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in Schweinfurt has to get a Volvo XC90. This week, my mind is alternately rattled with an unexpected - Ok, the word unexpected is a bit of an overstatement - car buying process, and a reignited since of confusion over where I'm going in life. I won't dwell on the car thing here - Woodstock and I have already come to a decision. Which means, I presented several options to him (since he obviously can't pick the car) weighed the pros and cons, come to a conclusion, and now I spend almost every waking moment deciding if we made the right choice. But that's just me.

The other part is a bit more complicated. With one phone call Woodstock has shaken the very core of the super Army wife persona I've somehow adopted. Meaning, he wants to stay in the Army a little longer. Now, don't get me wrong, for various reasons I probably shouldn't disclose in a blog for OPSEC reasons (haha), I'd actually encouraged him to stay in for a while longer. He resisted. So I made other plans, based on the timeframe of him getting out of the Army, um sooner rather than later. I'm on the Spouses Club board (for you non-military folks, it's a club for Army spouses. For you military folks - it is NOT lame); I volunteered to be secretary for the community Girl Scouts committee, and I hinted very strongly that I'd like to be considered for a full time position in the job I'll be starting in a couple weeks. Now, things might change. And I'm not happy or unhappy about it - just confused. As the most indecisive person I know (I'm the person who orders a cheeseburger and fries, and when it comes, wish I'd gotten a chicken sandwich instead), it's hard for me to help give Woodstock advice about it. And the reason it's so hard, is because I think that my deliberation process is skewed by, gulp, selfishness.

Before I start in on the choices, which are Ft. Benning, GA and Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, by the way, I have to say that I admire military wives. And as much as I currently look like them, I feel that I'm a fraud. These women have - and will - sacrifice everything. Careers, plans, goals, and dreams. Past employers, jobs, master's degrees, jobs in aerospace engineering (seriously). I'm not willing to do that. I want a career. Perhaps if I'd gotten into the job market instead of wasting one year working at a beauty salon and going to school, I'd have built up a solid freelance career. But I didn't. And I don't think I should have to wait until my husband's career has finished before I try. Imagine me, a 45-year-old reporter, working nights, listening to the police scanner, while some 25-year-old doles out my assignments. I admire the courage of these women who CAN do that. And at times, I am ashamed, I feel bad, that I can't do that.

Which brings me back to the subject at hand. Of the two choices, it doesn't take a genius or a military guru to figure out that I'd prefer Ft. Benning. I can get a job, in or around the Atlanta area, in my field. If he PCS's, he'd probably have less than a year left, and we could survive a commute while we both work at our respective jobs, and then finally move to the area. At Ft. Sill ... um, I could take the entire slate of courses offered at ACS (resume writing, typing and Army Family Team Building - yeah, I don't know what that is). BUT is Ft. Benning the best choice as a whole, or just the best choice for me? That, I don't know. And I know that Woodstock will be putting me into the equation and won't just make a decision based on what's best for him because we went into this knowing that the military thing wouldn't be forever.

I guess all my ramblings boil down to: Am I being selfish by wanting to go Georgia? Or am I just looking for the best interests of our family for the future?

Thank You

To, Roadrunner 2 (Germany version). Thanks for being my friend. We'll miss you while you're in the States. Since I am not good at expressing feelings, I'll let Boyz II Men do it for me, circa 1990-something.

Now - we shall never speak of these emotions again.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Most people just don't understand me. Well, expecting someone to UNDERSTAND me may be asking a lot. But can't I expect people to "get me"? By that, I mean that I realize it's very hard to put me in a box, very hard to actually understand how I may act in any given moment, in any given situation. But it seems like people who know me - my friends - would know enough about me not to even TRY to put me in a box.

I had a long conversation about my perceived snobbishness with some women I know. Apparently, my appearance - that I don't dress like a slob and try to keep my hair done - the way I walk (apparently with my nose in the air); the fact that I used to leave church without staying and chatting, and my lack of Amens (I guess) during the sermon, led them to think I was stuck up. Oh, and my facial expressions - my normal expression isn't a smile, and when I think of something, my face often shows it.

I don't know if this type of stereotyping used to bother me or not, but it does now. A lot. It bothers me that people often judge me before even getting the chance to know me. It bothers me that if some people just took the time to have one conversation with me, they'd realize that I'm not only NOT stuck up, I'm a nice person. Is it bad that I like to look nice? Is it OK, that I know when my hair's not done, I look a hot mess, so I pretty much keep it done on the regular? Is it OK, if I speak with proper English or enunciate my words? Is that OK?

Is it wrong to want people to try to get to know me? That way they'll realize that if and when I make a weird face, I'm probably not thinking about anything that's being said. I may be thinking, "Oh, shoot, did I let Taz out?" or "I forgot to transfer the phone," or even, "Is that rain I hear outside?"

Now, I know I have to take the blame for part of this. For one thing, when I first meet a person or group, I tend to keep to myself until I am comfortable. I don't know why people automatically jump to stuck up, but I'm not really comfortable jumping into a new group of people. Here's a secret ... I'm self conscious. And insecure. So, I'm not always comfortable walking up and chatting away with a group of strangers. Which takes me to my second point of why I'm partly to blame - I've developed a "socially acceptable public persona." Before the year I served as president for the sorority during undergrad, I remember my LS saying that some of the sorors thought I was too mean. Then I was mean. No doubt. But it wasn't just that - I'm not a hugger, and some people took that personally.Anyway, I digress. Since undergrad, I've tried to be more outgoing and friendly. Smiling and laughing, doing a lot of that ha ha-ing and whatnot. The problem is that it is a persona - not the everyday me. But the me that I feel like I have to be to make others comfortable. And if it's not the everyday me, then I can't possibly keep it up everyday, 24 hours, ya know?

So, here it is, the real me. I like being alone. Now, this doesn't mean I don't like being married or anything, but I do like to have my space. Which means, if I've out all day, I like coming home and just being ... home. During the deployment - just because Woodstock is not here - doesn't mean that I need to be out of the house all day. It's OK that I'm at home with just Taz all day. I don't mind that.

Next, I don't like calling people. I once worked at Glamour Shots and we had to cold call people and say they "won" a photo shoot, which would eventually make it so they'd have to come in and buy a bunch of pictures. Every phone call I made was hard for me. It was a lot of work, I had to take a deep breath before each call. So, I still don't like making phone calls. Especially not random phone calls to people I don't know. And while we're at it, sometimes I can't keep "it" on long enough to have a conversation where we are just chit chatting, shooting the breeze, talking about nothing. I mean, sometimes I can do it, but I'm just saying please don't take it the wrong way if I don't seem chatty. It's not that I'm in a bad mood, or don't feel like talking, or that I'm mad. I just don't have anything to say at the moment. Is that OK?

I don't know, I could go on and on about this, but I won't. I know how people think of me, I know how people see me. And usually it's OK. But I have feelings too. And just because I don't wear them on my sleeve or cry in public .... I still have feelings. So when you meet someone, and she seems aloof or "stuck up," Talk to her anyway, because maybe she doesn't feel comfortable speaking to you first. And if you make a decision about her before you give her a chance, you may just end up missing out on one of the best friends you'll ever have.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So, I must preface this post by saying: Sorry, Woodstock, this is not about you. I must also say that this is not an anti-man post.

That being said: What is up with men? Really, sometimes, what are they thinking?

The guy who lives upstairs in our apartment building thing - I'll call him upstairs guy, same as I do here - has been a slight sense of contention with me almost since he moved in. But it really started to bother me after the deployment started. No one told me when the trash was to be picked up in our town. No one told me the difference between the plain black trash can and the one with the green letters on it that reads "bio-tonne." But I figured it out. Pretty easily too. Wait for the Germans to do something, then do the same thing. As for the bio-tonne, there were pictures on it, for goodness sake. So, weeks go by and upstairs guy is filling up the trash can with his trash, but for some reason, I'm the one dragging the trash can to the curb every Tuesday night. So, I do what you would expect. I talk to him about it.Tell him the schedule. Say we can alternate week to week, because, HELLO, it's his trash too. So, I guess the week we talk is my week. Then two weeks later, it still seems to be my week. Then a month later, OK, maybe he went to the field or something.

Sure, the trash isn't a big deal, but it started to get on my nerves more and more. First of all, wtf? Isn't that man's work? Second, this dude puts all kinds of plastic into the trash, I'm talking milk cartons, juice bottles, the whole nine. If we recycle, 3 trash bags can fit into our little trash can, which brings me to the third of all: he stacks the bags on top of each other, kinda standing up, making it possible for only 2 bags to fit. Everyone knows you have to turn the middle one to the side, punk! And I'm not even gonna start on when I went to the states and when I got back the trash cans were in my parking spot like he doesn't know where they go, and that same week he obviously threw away all the trash he had laying by his front door and filled up the can so I had to take my trash on post. Oh, um, well I guess I did get started.

Now, I must say here that I did think for a mere moment that perhaps my control freak nature took the trash out BEFORE he could get the chance to and he was merely waiting for the opportunity. SO ... I gave him the chance and didn't take the trash out at my usual 8 p.m. or so on Tuesday. And ... yes, you guessed it. Trash didn't get picked up that week.

Despite the twice a month annoyance I get from this, I'm pretty used to the trash thing by now. But the final straw was this week. I get home one night and the light bulb in the entryway is out. I'm thinking this dude has got to notice this. I mean, I walk straight to my door, but he has to go up some winding stairs to get to his door. So I wait it out. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday; yeah .. still nothing. This MF got the nerve to go in and out of the house all those days - days, 2 of which I left home at 8 and got back at 9 or 10 that night - and couldn't change the freaking light bulb. So I did what any other woman would do. At 1030 at night, I noisily changed the lightbulb.

So my question is: whats up with this guy? Is it because he's young ( I assume he's early 20s)? Unmarried? An A-hole? What?

Because so far, all he does is make a lot of noise when he leaves for and comes back from PT in the morning.