I know that tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and if I’m going to be talking about how great Phil is, I should probably frame it somehow in terms of his military service, and it’s not that I’m not appreciative of his service and the service of the people he works with and all the men and women before him, but he just really doesn’t bring it home all that much. Well, except for some things that are up in the air right now, but that’s a whole different thing for a whole different day I’m probably not going to get around to because I don’t feel like trying to get Phil to explain it to me, because Phil is SO GOOD at SO MANY THINGS, but the guy is absolute crap at explaining things. I mean, just garbage at it. He starts talking like we’ve been in the middle of a conversation for half an hour, only my half has been going on in his head, so I’m just actually dropped in the middle with no clue what I’m supposed to have picked up in the previous half hour. Or like I’ve been working right along side him in the Air Force, with all the attendant knowledge, for the last sixteen or so years. Not only have I never been in the Air Force, but 16 years ago, I was 15. So, no, Phillip. No.
I only hope he doesn’t explain things to his coworkers as if they’ve been married for three years.
BUT WAIT, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PHIL’S GREATNESS.
I’m not saying I don’t appreciate him on Veteran’s Day, I do. It’s just that before I knew Phil, it was easier to appreciate veterans because they were abstract kind of people who had served in the military, and that was their defining feature to me, and that was a pretty fine defining feature, if you’re going to have one, right? But I know Phil, and he has served in the military, and continues to do so, but we’ve also been together for five years now, and we drove all the way across the country together without killing each other, and we live together, and we’re married, and we have a kid. So he’s a guy in the military, but he’s also my husband, and he’s Penelope’s father, and the guy who does the dishes, and the guy who, even if I do the dishes which hardly ever happens, will start up the dishwasher for me because I don’t like to touch the dishwasher soap chunk thingies because they feel gross. He does a lot of things.
I’m not campaigning for a better appreciate a Veteran’s Day, or saying that we need to all TAKE A MINUTE and recognize that these men and women have done MORE and ARE MORE than just people who have served in the military. Of course they are. Duh. Everyone knows that. It’s just that this is a holiday set aside to recognize a particularly large thing that they have done. Incomprehensibly large, in some cases. WHAT I’M SAYING IS, that when I sat down to put up a picture of my husband with a caption that said, “Woo! Veteran’s Day! Woo!,” for me, about THIS PARTICULAR ONE SINGLE GUY that I am writing about in this post, I felt like I also wanted to put in SOME MORE STUFF.
(“Oh, you were writing a post and found that you wanted to include more stuff? How shoooocking,” you say.)
I’ve had about enough of you.
Let me start over.
Hey, did you know that tomorrow, possibly today if you are not reading this in the middle of the night, is Veteran’s Day? Did you know that my husband is currently in the Air Force? Did you also know that in addition to his military service, he is awesome in several other ways? Did you also know that this is my blog, and that after failing to justify combining Veteran’s Day with My Husband is Also An All Right Guy in Many Other Ways Day, I’m just going to do it anyway?
I’m in a bad mood now. I just don’t want to talk about heavy stuff, but I still want to, you know, acknowledge. I don’t want to offend anyone by not doing it correctly or taking it lightly, and it’s not that I think of the holiday lightly. I don’t at all. I just want to point out that I know it’s happening, and I know what my husband does, and I know that what he does is a thing, and he knows what he does is a thing, and actually, I know it more than he knows it, sometimes, I think. He’s been in the military long enough that he’s completely out of touch with how civilians view the military.
Well, that’s not true. I think he’s aware of some of the weird fringe that absolutely hate anyone in the military. But he’s genuinely boggled whenever anyone thanks him, which happens when he’s out in public in uniform. He feels awkward and doesn’t know how to respond, and I really think he doesn’t understand why people come up to him out of the blue to SAY SOMETHING to him. And I think I gave up a couple of years ago – I don’t know how many more ways I can say to him that that’s how people FEEL. People – real people – civilian people, of which he apparently is no longer one. Obviously. But he’s been in the military since he was 21. It’s just who and what he is, and it’s not that he doesn’t get the concept that people are appreciative, but he can’t seem to internalize it. Today we were at church, and it’s a big church, even with five services every weekend it’s still packed, so lots and lots of people, and the veterans were asked to stand and be recognized, and there was applause and appreciation and I didn’t even have to turn my head to know he hadn’t stood up.
And don’t even for one second suggest that he’s ashamed or embarrassed of what he does, because he’s not. It’s just that, I guess, to him, he’s a guy who does his job. He’s been doing it for so long, and surrounded by other guys who have been doing it for so long, and day to day, it is just a job – he works in an office and he comes home every evening right now, though of course there’s no guarantee it stays that way for any set length of time. And they don’t sit around in their offices congratulating each other on what a job they’ve taken on, and I truly think he’s fallen out of touch with how much other people truly don’t want to do it. How much other people don’t want to have to do it. Or how much other people don’t want their children to have to do it. How in other countries, everyone does it, and people know that. People know that a country has got to form a military, and if it’s not by volunteers, it’s by voluntolds, and it’s only as long as there are people volunteering to take on that job that other people’s children aren’t being told they have to do it.
I don’t think any of that goes through his head when someone comes up to say thank you, or when someone at the front of a room or auditorium or stadium or what have you asks all the veterans to stand up and be recognized for what they did or what they do. I gave up on explaining the civilian view of the military to him a long time ago, I think. I don’t really remember when. Maybe when I started appreciating him way more for all of the other awesome stuff he is.
Also, I got sick of going around with him about insurance after a few times explaining why I couldn’t go to the doctor before we met.
“Why didn’t you just make an appointment and go?”
“Because I had no time to take off work.”
“YOU HAD TO TAKE VACATION TIME TO SEE A DOCTOR?”
“Why didn’t just make the follow up appointment and go?”
“I couldn’t afford it.”
“But you had insurance.”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t covered.”
“But you had INSURANCE.”
“WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW REAL PEOPLE INSURANCE WORKS.”
I’d ask Liz to back me up, but I’ll just have a stroke and she’d probably go right into labor. Oh yeah, big thumbs up to her husband, too. Non-insurance-grasping vets. Nab one for yourself!
Anyway. My husband. He’s great. In several ways. You will probably just be able to appreciate him as a veteran, and also because most of these pictures of him also feature Penelope.
Okay, several also feature food.
I get this a lot.
It means he loves me.
Totally outstanding at moving airport reunions.
I was moved. I was totally moved.
I was moving away very quickly because six weeeeeeks.
Takes the responsibility of teaching Penelope about her West Coast heritage VERY seriously.
I give him credit for at least 35% of how adorable this family is.