There’s ALWAYS a Worse Flight

 

Why are you getting a Thursday post this week?  Because if you’re too busy fighting with your racist uncle to Internet today you’ll see it just fine on Friday, and I want to reward those of you who are refusing to engage with family today.

 

You are the real heroes.

 

Note for Canadians and other non-US persons: This post is mostly for YOU.  Because I know you’re sick of the entire internet being about our gluttonous holiday.[1]

roasted turkey twerking as gravy is poured over its ample bottom

Offspring escapes Afghanistan this week.  This means I was forced to go days without hearing from him at all whilst he quickly handed off vital information to the next team[2] and I quietly[3] prepared for the holidays, but it also got me thinking back to when he left.

 

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Best Care Package EVER

 

I have no way of knowing how many of you are in a position to send care packages, but I highly recommend it.

mail package, wrapped in craft paper and tied with twine; express stickers and stamps cover every surface

Sure, shipping costs will amount to more than the value of the actual items, but it’s the easiest way I’ve found to become a hero to someone you love (and a lot of people you’ll never meet.)

 

I, naturally, put together the Best Care Package Evah for Offspring.  I meticulously listed and photographed everything as I put it in the giant box, with the intent that he would photograph the condition of his treats on arrival and we could then report on which items ship best and which you could maybe pass on in favor of something more durable.

 

He opened the box in front of them.

terrifying (possibly armored?) pirhanna hoard attacks YOU

 

Most everything was gone within the hour.

 

So copy my list at your own risk!  And be aware that if you send The Best Care Package Evah your loved one might not get any of the actual treats.

 

Unless, maybe, they live with humans and not wolverines.

blanket of packing peanuts in box

Shall we dive in?

 

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My Gym Rat

 

This week contains my last few “normal” days before I begin terrorizing the citizens of St. Louis every single night,[1] which means I’m spending whatever little bits of time I can with Husband—cuddling, sitting with him while he finally watches Mindhunter,[2] and taking care of some projects we foolishly put off until the least convenient season.

 

Yes, I really want to tell you about one of them, but I can’t.  It’s too big (and not at a shareable stage yet).  We’ll get there, I promise.

 

But my altered schedule makes my nightly call with Offspring easier; most nights I just call him when I’m on my way home to wash the blood out of my hair.[3]

(Ready or Not) Bride in torn, burned, bloody wedding dress, covered in blood spatter, hair matted with blood and grit, giggles.

 

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It’s Gotta Be The Sand

 

While my weird hours leave me almost no time for Husband, they do make it much more convenient for me to chat with Offspring; I’m not staying up for him anymore, if anything he’s staying up for me.

 

Which means I’ve got more info on the life of PFC Squdgee Booboo than I do on your favorite engineer.

 

And I’m sure you won’t be surprised which one is currently experiencing overwhelming job dissatisfaction.

army meme: Jumps out of a perfectly good aircraft with a parachute packed by a 19 year old; forced to wear a reflective belt while raking dirt. (pair of soldiers raking dirt in hi-vis safety belts)

 

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“Reassuring”

 

I would like to address this comment, to which I did not reply directly because I was busy accumulating evidence.

Comment on this blog: "And yet no matter how hard I try and reassure you, you always seem to get more stressed. Maybe I'm doing it wrong? Nah. I can't be wrong."

Yep, that’s him.

 

Now, I saw that comment and had to laugh; that’s my little smartass, doing his level best to make me look like the crazy overprotective mother[1].

 

Which gives me all the excuse I need to tell you just how reassuring he’s been these past weeks since his arrival at Fabulous Bagram, Afghanistan.

 

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Scattered

 

Offspring is in Afghanistan.

 

ME:  How’s it going?
OFFSPRING:  Pretty shitty day, actually.  It’s raining, long shift… and I had to enact the River City protocol.
ME:  What’s that?
OFFSPRING:  Shut down internet.  Because someone died.  Someone I was literally just talking to.
ME:  … I’m so sorry, hon.

(we talk about this for a while; him clearly still in shock and sleep-deprived, me gamely hiding my own tears of sympathy and relief that it wasn’t my boy)

ME:  Wait a minute… if there’s no internet, how are you calling me?
OFFSPRING:  Oh, it was on the other side.  Plus…  I’m on dirty internet.
ME:  …
OFFSPRING:  ‘s technically illegal, but I ran it myself, in my own room, so it’s fine.
ME:  … I love you, kid.
OFFSPRING:  What’re they gonna do, right?

 

Woman kneeling in front of child says, "I'm a proud mom"

 

Husband is in Taiwan.

 

HIM:  They took us out for dinner.
ME:  (sleepily, I am 13 hours behind)  Mmmh?
HIM:  To a “traditional Chinese restaurant.”
ME:  … Oh.
HIM:  Yeah.  The second course was some sort of tofu with a fish sauce.
ME:  Oh honey… I’m sorry.
HIM:  I didn’t know about the fish sauce until I took that first bite.[1]
ME:  (nodding)  Because you’re in a place where fish is so ubiquitous they don’t even think of it as an ingredient.[2]
HIM:  So now not only do I not like tofu because of the texture—
ME:  Okay, I keep telling you—
HIM:  But now the last time I had it there was fish sauce and I got sick.
ME:  … Right.  But the texture thing: tofu has a lot of textures.  There’s no one specific texture that’s “tofu.”
HIM:  But that’s part of the problem!
ME:  … (considers possibility that I’m actually still asleep)

(Will and Grace) Karen holds out hand, says to Jack, "I'm to tired to slap you. Bash your face against my palm, would ya?"

 

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