So yesterday I wasn’t really in the mood to hang out with TC. I was so relieved when she called me and finally admitted we should reschedule. Apparently yesterday was to be a movie night; her husband called us later and was surprised that “movie night” had been called off.
I don’t understand wanting to get together just to sit and watch movies. I’d rather do something social, like sit around and talk, or play a board game. I don’t want to go over to someone’s house just to sit in front of their tv and watch a movie, even if they have a large widescreen tv. If I wanted to watch a movie, I could do that at home.
But that’s just me.
By the time TC called and decided to reschedule, it was 5pm. I was supposed to find something to cook for dinner, but I was so bummed in general that I really didn’t feel like cooking. And Miss Chaos had mentioned Mexican food while we had been chatting online… My mouth started watering at the thought of chips and salsa. So it was off to the Mexican restaurant for us!
Besides, we had to go to the grocery store anyhow. My blondies recipe calls for a stick of butter per batch, and I ran out of butter with the first batch I made.
We were sitting in the restaurant, enjoying extremely salty (yum yum!) warmed tortilla chips with fresh salsa loaded with cilantro when another family was seated at the booth behind us. Grace, being the extremely social creature she is, immediately began flirting with the little boy. This naturally started a conversation between the mother and me.
At first, the discussion was limited to our kids. Her three-year-old son had been due in November, but was born in September, while Gracie was supposed to be a September baby, but her refusal to come out resulted in an October birthday.
Then the mother mentioned they’d just moved here and arrived on Sunday. Assuming they’re Navy just like us, we asked where they’d been transferred from. We were floored to hear that they had arrived from Washington — just like us!! They had been stationed at the air base not far from where Kurt had been stationed the last couple of years we’d lived there. So we asked where they were living — and they’re basically right around the corner in the same housing complex as us.
So the mother wrote her information down, and I gave her my number, and hopefully we’ll get these kids together on a playdate or two. Grace loves to play with boys because she can be rough at times, thanks to Kurt’s rough-housing with her all the time. She doesn’t really understand the concept of “gentle,” which is why I prefer her to play with boys until she’s old enough to understand.
When we were leaving the restaurant, marveling at all the coincidences in our situations, Kurt asked me, “You know, he’s probably a Commander?”
That stopped me dead in my tracks. Sure, my dad retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander (O-4, for those of you keeping track), and my mom achieved the same rank in the Navy Reserves after being on active duty for many years, but Commander (O-5)… wow. And he looked so young, maybe just a year or two older than Kurt.
See, you have officers and enlisted people in the military — not to point out the obvious. The lowest-ranking officer (O-1) is an Ensign, and the lowest-ranking enlisted person is a seaman recruit (E-1). The highest rank for an officer is a four-star Admiral, which is an O-10 (except in times of war, when an admiral can become a Fleet Admiral with five stars), and enlisted can achieve the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9). Typically, officers are administrators while enlisted are the technicians.
Usually , it’s discouraged for enlisted and officer to mix because it could cause problems within the chain of command. How are you going to discipline a man under you in the chain if he’s your drinking buddy? Of course, we wives are not subject to the same rules because we’re civilians. But it could get messy.
In this case, there is no problem. This man is stationed at another command, and ne’er the twain (ie, Kurt and the husband) shall meet, at work anyway.
I just hope the wife feels the same way. Sometimes people take the fraternization rules a bit too literally. Some may say that I am not allowed to hang out with Caroline anymore, as her husband is an officer and mine is a Chief. To that, I say that I knew Caroline before her husband knew her, therefore I come first.
So maybe it was meant to be that our evening with TC was to be canceled so we could meet these other people down the street from us. Maybe it’s karma, and I did something right somewhere along the line.
See, I told you I was an optimist!
Later when we were in the grocery store buying butter, we ran into a mother with the most adorable eight-month-old daughter I have ever seen… that is, since Grace was that age. She mentioned that we Navy people are always so friendly and willing to meet people. I never really thought about it before. But then I told her that if we weren’t outgoing and friendly, we’d never make friends with all the moving around we do. If I didn’t talk to random people when I was in Washington, I would have been stuck home alone with Grace all day, day in and day out. That’s no way to live!
I also got in touch with my inner child at the grocery store. Grace asked for one of those carts with the car in the front, so I plopped my derrière onto the “dashboard,” thereby reducing Grace’s view of where we were going. But Kurt got into it too, racing us up and down the aisles, making both me and Grace giggle with glee!! I started laughing, which always makes Kurt laugh. Hey, I was voted “Weirdest Laugh” in 7th grade. But I was having so much fun, I didn’t care how dumb I sounded.
Once we got home, JC called us and told us the bake-sale had been canceled, but of course, no one had told Kurt when he was at work. Good thing I only made one batch of blondies!
I think it’s time for me to go indulge. Mmmmmm….