Right now Kurt’s taking a class through the Navy that will supposedly make him a better leader. He’s not all that fond of this class, not like I blame him. The first day featured him drawing a pig and then taking a personality quiz to find out what kind of personality he has. Apparently how one draws a pig says a lot about a person.
The class is only a week (thank GOD!), and so the Chiefs all decided to go out and have a few drinks together after class. They met up at the CPO [Chief Petty Officer] Club at 4pm yesterday because really, where else would Chiefs gather?
The thing is, my husband doesn’t drink. That isn’t to say that he never drinks, or that he won’t drink. You just have to give him a good reason to drink. If that means that beer will taste really good with a particular meal, then he’ll indulge. Or if we’re having a party here in the neighborhood and everyone else is having a beer or two, then he’ll have one too — especially if they buy a decent quality beer.
We are a tad bit snobbish when it comes to beer. I will not drink Bud Light or Miller Light or just about any other light beer — although Bud Light with Lime tastes pretty darn good. I won’t even drink plain Budweiser. I will, however, drink Icehouse, my beer of choice when I was younger, but I much prefer a good Hefeweizen.
He will not drink if there is any kind of driving involved. Even if I’m available to drive for him, in general, he will not drink for that very reason. He’s come too far in his naval career in the last fifteen years to throw it all away on a DUI.
And you know, that is the most responsible reason I can think of for not drinking.
Besides, at the age of 34, with a wife and a kid and another on the way, why would he want to spend his time drinking? It’s one thing if someone truly enjoys the flavor of beer and is a beer conneisseur. But Kurt’s always been rather so-so on beer; he could take it or leave it. And so nowadays, he chooses to leave it.
At last night’s get-together, most of the Chiefs respected his desire not to drink. A few asked him why he wasn’t drinking, and he just said, “I don’t drink,” and they left it at that. One, though, mocked him a bit and tried to push the issue. This particular guy is most likely an alcoholic. He will not attend a function if there is no alcohol to be had. He will not have any kind of fun if there is no alcohol involved. If alcohol isn’t served, he’ll bring his own in a flask. To me, that’s insane. And this particular guy has decided to live about forty-five minutes north of here in the big city, so his downing of multiple beers this afternoon on an empty stomach was really concerning Kurt. But somehow this guy always manages to dodge a DUI.
We saw him pulled over by a military cop one day on base, and I was so hoping they were going to get him for DUI or something equally serious. But it was just because he was talking on his cell phone while driving, which is against base policy.
Another thing that bothers Kurt is these people’s apparent total lack of concern for their families. Some of the people in his class are attending from out-of-town, so they didn’t have to get back and spend time with their families. That makes sense. But others have wives and families right here in town, yet they didn’t seem to have any concern as to whether their wives were at home making dinner for them. They would much rather hang out with the guys at a bar (because that’s what the CPO Club boils down to) than go home and have dinner with the wife and kids. Maybe if you’re 25 and still feeling like it’s time to party, but when you’re in your mid-30s? Shouldn’t you have settled down by then?
I know Kurt was probably teased behind his back because he came home earlier than anyone else to have dinner with Grace and me. In fact, he was more than willing to help me cook. He opened the cans of tomatoes for me, he grabbed ingredients from the pantry and the fridge, he retrieved my iced tea maker from the garage, and he pressed some garlic right into the pan for me. He even helped me drain off the fat from the pan when I was done browning the turkey sausage.
And you know, that’s exactly where he wanted to be — in the kitchen with me, helping me cook. He didn’t want to be at the bar with the guys, swapping improbable sea stories and yelling for more beer. That holds no interest for him.
I just wish it held no interest for any of those other supposed “family” men.