Friday, October 9, 2009


You might think you know what hell is, but you would be wrong. Vomit in the grocery store? Child's play. Poopy infant + sleeping toddler + airplane window seat + fat snooty business person in aisle seat? Pfffft, who hasn't been there? I know all my Osan pals will readily understand true military hell, but I'm going to try really hard to write it so our civilian sisters get it too. I'm not sure I have the proper skills but I'll give it my best shot. So, the military is weird. Especially on a teeny-tiny base like we have here. Imagine a person that is like your boss, your father, the president of the only bank in town and your kid's principal all rolled up into one. In our own little hellish version of Pleasantville, that guy is your husband's boss, aka 'The Corner'.

Lloyd's squadron regularly has events at their squadron hangout, and we never, ever go. EVER. Only today, we went. Not going to squadron events gets you a major frowny-face on your paper, your allowance docked, your loan denied, no promotion, and gossip behind your back; get the picture? Taking kids is a disaster waiting to happen; the drinking, the swearing... and that's just me! But the thing to do is show your face once in a while, and today was the day. It was carefully planned to the second to minimize the potential catastrophes. The speeches were scheduled to run 1630-1700 (that's 4:30-5:00 p.m. for those of you not in the know), followed promptly by a spaghetti dinner. I even made deviled eggs. New post coming soon: Bedeviled by eggs (but that's a story for another, not-so-depressing day).

I wiped faces, I packed snacks and toys, I made sure bladders were emptied. As I loaded up the stroller, Lloyd called to tell me the power was out and they were moving the event. He gave me these long, detailed instructions to the new location that included the phrase 'Go through the gate with the razor wire and into the door that says 'No admittance''. I'm sure that would have worked out really well but I was deterred by the machine guns and made a detour that resulted in us entering through a fancy security clearance office that opened up right behind the podium where the big boss man was giving his speech. We got there right at 1700 but what's this? The location change delayed the dinner so the speeches will continue? And we're trapped behind the podium in full view of the entire squadron? And the stroller has stopped so what's that, Shane? THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE WILL EXPLODE RIGHT THIS SECOND IF YOU DON'T EXIT THE STROLLER AND START SHRIEKING AND RUNNING AROUND LIKE A MONKEY ON CRACK?!??!?!!?

So yeah, tres embarrassing. And it went on for long, excruciating minutes and included a toy thrown in my face, a screaming-laden time-out, a loudly popped balloon, and a penis joke. If there had only been a little puke or poop, it would have been an unholy trifecta for sure. And oh yeah, NOT DONE! At 1725, there was still no food, so we decided to leave. We're not gluttons for punishment, after all. We gathered our 56,629 tons of goods and made tracks. As we left the building, it started to rain, and Weston, still traumatized from the toy throwing/time out incident, started wailing. Right that second, the 1730 music started, and we ground to a halt. Right behind a large group of uniformed people that work in Lloyd's office. If there is anything worse than being humiliated in front of the boss man, it's being humiliated in front of the staff, right? Usually when the music starts, Lloyd is either still at work or is at home in civilian clothes, and so Weston was very confused about why the uniformed service members stood at parade rest during the South Korean anthem and saluted for the 'Star Spangled Banner'. We generally encourage questions, and he loudly asked me about the details: 'Why doesn't he have his hand over his heart? Why are they standing like that?' Shane, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less, and started running in circles and hooting wildly into the solemn reverence, capping it off by banging into one of the airperson's legs while he stood stock-still, ignoring us to the best of his ability (ed. note: airman is the generic term for an Air Force service member, similar to soldier, sailor or marine. I refuse to use it on the grounds that many of these service members are female, and use airperson instead. Lloyd most definitely does not approve, just in case you were wondering. Lucky for me he doesn't read my blog anymore).

Stoically (we're good at that now), we stood there until, mercifully, the music stopped and we could slink away like beaten puppies to await our inevitable pink slip/F grade/ foreclosure/grounding. I just hope we don't lose our internet access, because that would really be bad.....


Wendy Hawksley said...

You must have been on the other side of the building when that happened. We were by the porch talking to one of David's Bossmen, while Gavin whined and moaned that he wanted to leave.

Then the music started.

And we finally ran, telling the Gavinator how disappointed we were that he whined, not just at us, but in the presence of a Bossman!

Dude, it's FINE to know your own child is whiny and impatient. But for OTHER people to notice? Yeah. I get it.

Wendy Hawksley said...

P.S. Your boys are still cute, no matter what!

Helen said...

I don't know that I agree that you were in Hell. Unless, Hell is a place with a sense of humor. I wish I was there to watch...I mean help.

Carol said...

And THEN you had to cook dinner???

Amanda Evans said...

Good times!