Friday, September 24, 2010

Burning questions

While reminiscing about the good old days of flying not long ago (remember when they GAVE you food instead of selling it? When employee dress codes didn't allow jeans or shorts and required coats for men and hosiery for women in First Class? And my favorite- when United Air Lines used to give out those snazzy little blue triangle packets of macadamia nuts as snacks instead of dry salty pretzels?) I was reminded of the calculation challenge pilots would always give on flights to Hawaii.

Now this was back in the days before in-seat entertainment. Back when the flight attendants would pull down a big movie screen and turn on the overhead projector to show a grainy movie you couldn't really see because of all the seats in front of you. Before they had the instant navigation screens that showed you where you were on three different maps, how long you had been in the air and how long you had to go, in three different languages.

At the beginning of Hawaii flights, the pilots would always give the distance, airspeed, headwind/tailwind speed, altitude and some other data and whomever could calculate the halfway point of the flight (was it time or distance?) would win a bottle of champagne. Not that I'm going to Hawaii anytime soon, but I've always wondered- how do you solve that equation?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Growing pains

All day long on the 12th, the date was nagging me. There was nothing going on, nothing I missed, no one's birthday. I couldn't put my finger on it but it felt like *something* more significant than it was just the day after the 11th. Finally, at 8pm at night, while skyping with A I realized what it was.

September 12 was my former wedding anniversary. For seven years in my twenties, it had been a big day. The seventh year was the biggest because it was also the day we split up. Our divorce was supposed to have been final on September 12th of the following year, but the attorney was a bit lax on getting the paperwork in so we weren't finalized until mid-October.

In counseling, we'd call this lack of recognition progress and healing. Which I guess it was. But it feels just as strange to have lost what was once such a significant day as it does somewhat awkward to remember it when I'm (happily) married to someone else.

We had met in High School; in the band. We dated, moved away to college together and eventually got married just short of the 6 year mark. I was 21 and he was 22 and at the time, it just seemed like the natural progression- we had no reason to break up, so why not get married? After college we moved back to CA and started our real lives. I was immersed in a job surrounded by women and moms. I decided I was ready for a family. He was immersed in a job surrounded by techies and yuppies. He wanted that life. We had Kidzilla and while things were never bad, they were never that great either. About two weeks before that final anniversary things came to a head where we knew they had to change somehow. Those weeks of misery and tears ended when we decided to split for a while and he moved out. About six weeks later he ended up meeting the woman he is now married to. About six weeks after that, I met A. I don't think either one of us was expecting to meet someone else so quickly, we were still mulling over the get back together options at the time, but it seems to have worked out for the best. Even though it alternately delights me and freaks me out that he (and the new wife) are still fairly close with my parents. Like my parents invite them for dinner and attended their wedding close.

Even though I *KNOW* that I am happier now than I was in that marriage there is still one thing that I'm not sure I can ever forgive him for and that I'll always wonder about. He never put up any kind of fight to keep me. Why? Was our family really not worth it? Never did he say "wait, this isn't what I want" or anything like that. He just kind of blithely accepted it all. I think at the time, it gave me the strength to power through what had to be done, but still, it will always hurt to know that he didn't think enough of us or want his family enough to fight for us. At all.

Looking back, I have no regrets about the decisions I made and where it's led me to now. But I think the unanswered questions will always be there. I'm not sure I would want to know the answer though.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trying to keep organized

Growing up, I was the classic over scheduled kid- Girl Scouts, music lessons, dance, softball, gymnastics. I always had at least 2 activities going on at all times. And while I've dialed it down a bit for my own child, I wrestle with how much is enough and how much is too much. And how does it all balance with my own commitments?

This fall we have committed to two things, Cub Scouts and flag football. Which, of course, overlap. And overlap with my class schedule as well. Because even though there are seven days in a week, all scheduled activities must occur on only two of them. Because that's the way the universe likes to play.

The following is a Facebook interaction I had with my friend the Nancinator about my scheduling difficulties:

S-Trying to figure out how to get kid unit 1K to connect with football practice slot 1P when the parental connector units 1M and 1D are in school or at work 4 states away during practice time.

Some assembly required

S- If I had access to a nanny 1.1N facilitator or a neighbor 1.2N facilitator it might work out, but those come by special order only and are hard to come by here. Or a family 1F bridger unit...

N- sorry - those options don't come with the starter kit. you'll have to upgrade to basic village set 2V.

S- That's what I get for trying to make do with just the nuclear family 2.0 starter pack

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How to be a supportive spouse

  • Listen and pretend not to be distracted or uninterested when he talks about his day. Reassure him that yes, winter ops, V speeds, and oil pressures are just as interesting to you.
  • Don't take it personally when he calls and is in a bad mood because of some mix up at the training center or base. Even when he takes it out on you.
  • Remind him that he's necessary by calling to ask stupid questions like what brand of sliced cheese he buys for the kid's lunch or by bemoaning the atrophy of your arm muscles since he's been around to open all of the jars in the house.
  • Promise to send him treats in the mail, even if you keep forgetting to follow through. Blame it on the slowness of the mail or that he's home every weekend anyway.
  • Remind yourself he's practicing Crew Relations when he goes out with friends at night while you are at home washing dishes, supervising homework and implementing bedtimes.
  • If it's winter, remind him how much you miss his bedwarming services. If it's summer, tell him how difficult it is to simultaneously adjust the fan and lay in bed so you know the fan is adjusted properly. Remind him that at least he can crank the AC down to 68 degrees without a) having to pay the bill and b) listening to you complain how cold it is.
  • Tell him how much you miss his keeping you on your toes with his constant relocations of the lens cleaner, coasters, and measuring cups, from the places they've been kept for the past year to his new preferred locations.
  • Forget to mention the "honey do" list you started 10 minutes after he left.
  • Tell yourself it's flattering if he calls you frequently because it means he misses you and is showing his care and concern. Tell yourself it's flattering he he doesn't call because he recognized your strength and independence and doesn't feel he needs to check on you.