Tag Archives: military

The Remedial Patriot Strikes Again


My husband sat, watching a show on the military channel.  This was his life before we met.  Mine was more hippie-esque. No guns.  Just brownies.  He was really into this veteran show and being the asshole that I sometimes am, I asked my husband, “Aw, honey, are you tearing up?”  I mean, the “Aw” was dripping with sarcasm.  Why would I do that?  Because I’m a closet bitch.  And he never cries at the abused animal commercials that make me choke up.  As the question came out, I wanted to retract it or twist it into, “Aw, honey, are you hungry?”  or something equally non-provoking.  But I didn’t. It came out before I turned on my filter.  He said, “Seriously?” and walked out of the house.

Well, I never said that my mouth works as well as my hands.

After letting him rake the leaves for a while, as if he were raking my face, I went outside and apologized.  Sincerely.  Not sarcastically.  It wasn’t enough.  I could tell by the way he continued his vigorous leaf destruction.

Did I mention the fact that the following day was Veteran’s?


He is a veteran. My intention was simply to mock him and be silly because he mocks me when I tear up during commercials.  How was I to know that my “never-been-to-war-but-really-enjoys-laughing” self was jabbing into a veteran wound?  He went to work on Veteran’s Day, something I notice most vets do.  It’s only teachers, students and postal workers who actually get the day off.  I decided that I would be a good citizen for once and hang a U.S. flag in honor of our veterans.  I don’t usually display my American pride because of my past of growing up in another country.  Sometimes it feels forced and awkward, but this time I decided to get over myself and thank the people who have fought for our freedom.  I knew there was a flag around my house somewhere.

Where was it?  I know it was here.  My mom sent it to me years ago… I think she ordered it from L.L. Bean.  Oh.  There it is. Poking out from that shelf up there.

Red, white and blue.

So nicely folded.  L.L. Bean must really be into presentation.  Wow.  And it’s huge.  I unfolded it, marveling at its size.  I hung it from our bedroom windows.

Sigh.  There I was.  The patriotic wife of a veteran.  I was kind of proud of myself.  This stuff does not come naturally to me. Maybe I’d whip up a casserole and clean the house.


My husband was touched.  He came home and told me that it meant a lot to him and he couldn’t believe that I had done that.  I glowed in my new patriotic role.  I felt warm like apple pie.

And then he paused.  It was one of those “pregnant pauses” that you read about.  Big.  With a creature inside.  Ready to be birthed.


“You do know why it’s so large, don’t you?”

I defensively responded, “Well yes.  Of course I do.”  Thinking that it’s so large because it’s a flag, an L.L. Bean flag.  They do good work.  It’s supposed to make an impression, right?

I looked at him.  He smiled in a patronizing way, his eyes looking at me with simultaneous amusement and pity.  It was a smile that said, “was this woman raised in a barn?”

Remedial Me.

“The flag is so big because it was on a coffin.  This was my uncle’s flag.”

Yes.  I had just dishonored a flag.  A flag that was never to be unfolded.  I shook that puppy out and hung it from my window.  Gad.  I hope a bird didn’t poop on it.


Maybe being patriotic is not my cup of tea.  Still, I think those veterans rock for putting their lives on the line, and my veteran rocks the most.  I’m glad that even if I am a remedial patriot and perhaps a remedial wife he enjoys my brownies. Sure, they don’t have anything but sugar in them, but they make us happy.

Call me!


I never thought I’d see the day when prank phone calls were a thing of the past.  Such a tragedy, really.  What do kids do now, anyway?  Play Nintendo, instead of calling a random phone number (such as 867-5309) and asking them if their refrigerator is running, or inviting them to a non-existent party, or – as my sister was known to do in the early 80’s – ask them if they wanted to come “hang at my pad (she was 8).” We always gave fake names and fake addresses.  It was so fun, and I’m sure we really had them fooled.  Now no one would even answer their phone because of that stinkin’ caller-id (which I admit is the single best invention of the century).  If I don’t know you, or I feel too undercaffeinated or overstimulated, or if you are talking politics, I won’t take your call.  Grade schoolers can’t prank call me.  It’s such a shame.

That being said, I frequently ACCIDENTALLY prank call people.  I mean to call someone else, but I have slippery fingers (massage therapy job side-effect) and misdial.  It often takes me a while to figure this out (blonde hair side-effect).

I was home one morning, at the same time as my husband, which is statistically unheard of in our house.  Some military show was on, and to avoid the attack on my sense of hearing and my intact chi, I decided to take the dogs on a walk.  We headed out.

“wap wap wap wap wap wap wap wap”

About ten minutes into our walk, I heard a helicopter.  At first I thought it was hearing damage from the military channel.

“wap wap wap wap wap wap wap wap”

No.  There was actually a helicopter.  A military helicopter.  It was pretty close.  I watched it fly away and kept walking, becoming instantly distracted by my yellow lab’s insatiable appetite for prairie dog poo.

“wap wap wap wap wap wap wap wap”

What?  The same helicopter?  What is going on here?  I stopped watching the lab and started watching the helicopter.  The lab swiftly dove towards a prairie dog hole.  I pulled back on her leash while the pug peed on the hole.  Not very polite to the prairie dog, but at least he’s not going to contract the plague through peeing.

Once I had a semblance of control over my dogs I scanned the horizon.  There was that damn helicopter.  Making a big circle and headed back my way again.   Is the prairie dog field actually an undercover Al Khaida training camp?  Are those really prairie dog turds out there?   I don’t live in Afghanistan so I thought this was pretty funny.  I fumble around in my pocket and get my phone out to call my husband.  This is not the easiest task when coordinating two dog leashes and avoiding prairie dog excretions.

The phone rings.  Rings again.

“Hello?!” The t.v. must still be on, it’s so noisy in the background.

“HEY!  I can’t believe you called the CIA on my ass!”  I shout into the phone, watching the helicopter make another round, juggling leashes as I’m pulled down the trail to the next small pile of poo.


“I said, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU TURNED ME INTO THE CIA – a helicopter keeps circling me!  They’re hot on my tail!”  I’m kidding of course.  I think this is hilarious because I know my husband is sitting on the couch watching a similar helicopter on the military channel.

I wait for the laughter.

I can hear the television in the background.

“Um.  Who are you trying to call?”

Oh.  That’s not my husband, is it?

“Greg?  Oh.  Uh.  I’m sorry.  Um.  I thought this was my husband.”

“Ummmm.  No.”

“Oh god.  I’m so sorry.  Have a good day!”  I’m always polite.  I went to Montessori.  There’s never a bad time for manners.

He hung up.  I looked at my phone.  One number off.  I looked up, expecting the “wap wap wap wap wap” to be coming from a police helicopter by now.  It wasn’t.  I decided I’d better keep walking.

In my bubble I love my caller-id.  I can avoid people I don’t want to talk to.  I can answer my phone with a comical voice, saying stuff like “hey baby, what’re you wearing?” because I know who is calling me (usually).  Why did this man answer his phone?  Why didn’t he immediately call America’s Most Wanted?  Why don’t people ever call me with funny mix up’s like this?


That’s because I don’t answer.  Better change that.  My bubble could use a caller-id vacation.   An old-school prank phone call or some heavy breathing would make me laugh.

If you’d like to call, my number is 867-5309.