Sunday, May 31, 2009

In My Defense .....

Nobody could have known -- it was unknowable! (word credit, Minoy) I submit to you guys, that it totally seemed like a brilliant and rational idea at the time....

So I decided to go to Baghdad (and when I say "decided" I mean was told, "You'll be going to Baghdad this summer. You may want to pack light...") in the summer of 2004. Back when the Iraq war was still semi-cool...back before they even elected a their first "government."

I also decided (after a year of being engaged) that I should get married at the end of that tour on my mother's birthday (see previous post for more info on my choice of date - I don't know how to link a post, do your own damn work).

I mean, it was brilliant!! - I'd be rich (and therefore able to pay for the whole thing so that my family would have no say in my plannin') and I'd have tons o'vacation time because I would have homeleave at the end of my tour (homeleave is the leave they give you after you finish a tour so that you can become an American again - God help us if the diplomats go native! How the hell would we be uppity!?)

What could possibly go wrong?

A few things I never saw coming and, therefore, didn't plan for:

(a) While in the warzone, you end up working 24/7, 7 days a week and there is no such thing as downtime. Turns out, that when forced to work AND live with my co-workers, I literally end up hating almost everyone and turn into the crabbiest of biatches ever to walk the face of the earth. SERIOUSLY people! By the end of my tour I was either irrationally angry about something or on the verge of tears -- those were my two "moods." (most people prayed for tears)

(b) It is difficult to plan your wedding from Iraq. Turns out the time difference and not being able to be there tend to impact your planning ability. AND, amazingly enough - your family and friends might not actually care that you got all up on your high horse and decided to pay for the whole thing yourself -- they will still spout their opinions!

(c) Minoy was in the warzone; as such, you may tend to feed off of each others' bat shit craziness and find yourself eating an entire bowl of mushroom gravy for dinner because you totally thought it was soup (in our defense, they made a large soup pot of gravy....there was no "meat" or "potatoes" to put the gravy on, and the pot was placed where the soup usually sits. ANYONE could have made the same mistake -- PLUS, it was kinda yummy...and clearly our gravy levels were dangerously low).

(d) Your life becomes focused on trying to figure out if it was "Mexican Day" at the chow hall because (other than gravy night) it was the only food you could physically swallow in that damn place (note to self: not being able to physically swallow the food and walking around with body armor in 130 degree heat is an EXCELLENT diet plan. To do: open fat camp in Iraq; Write weight loss book; Count your money!)

(e) At some point near the end of your tour after yet another person tells you that an 8 pm wedding is not convenient for them, and could you change it to 7 so that their kids could get to bed at a decent hour (after which - in a fit of rage - you declare NO KIDS allowed at your wedding - and you're still paying for that decision to this day) you scream at Josh over the phone not to even ASK you for a divorce because you're NEVER going through this shit again! EVER!!! (PS...Josh is a saint, I totally would have left me by now.)

(f) If you plan your wedding date itself for less than 7 days after you PCS back to the states, you will still be under the influence of your "moods." And, after one year of washing your hair in water that sits in tanks with chlorine in them and walking around in the harsh sun, your lovely brown hair will turn Orange (as if you used sun-in to try to give yourself those "Duran Duran" chunks of color that seemed like such a good idea back when you were in Junior High school). You might also find yourself screaming at the lady in the hair salon because "what part of NO RED and NO BLONDE did you not understand?!" until you see your mother's horrified face in the mirror and you realize that you have created this HUGE scene in a Spokane, Washington salon - so you storm out in a huff and stop at the store and buy a "DAMN BOX" and color it your own damn self -- medium brown -- however, HOW HARD IS THAT?!! It's BROWN you idiot! (SEE! I'm still angry about it to this day..BROWN! This is not rocket science!)

AND, the most egregious of all....

(g) You are not able to go to cake tastings - you will have to allow your MOTHER and SISTER to do this for you - and it is WELL KNOWN that they are not qualified to be cake tasters - they have not made it their life's work to become the greatest cake taster of all time! And that, my friends is an unspeakable outrage!!!

20 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

Damn. If I had known I would have lent you my teleportation device - cakes could have been sent to you instantaneously for a taste. Having said that, I'm not sure whether teleportation affects the taste of cakes - all the particles being separated, cloned, re-built etc.

Hit 40 said...

WOW! I do not know what to say. I was impressed that you were in Sudan. But..

Iraq in full body armor? Now I am scared of you. I bet you could totally whip my ass at paint ball.

I will go teach some math now.

blognut said...

I would NEVER agree to be your cake taster because to do so would be suicidal at best. Clearly NO ONE living on this planet is qualified to taste cake, and their skills would pale in the shadow of your greatness.

However, I would totally mail you cake. :)

Gaston Studio said...

Damn girl, you had every right to either be irrationally angry or cry your little heart out. Having to wear body armor in that kind of heat AND knowing you had to delegate the cake tasting would have put anyone else in the loony bin!

Carolee / Home4ever said...

Wow- thanks for serving- it sounds like pure hell.

Dedene said...

You've convinced me not to go to boot camp in Iraq.
Glad your husband still loves you after all that.

marathoner81 said...

I only wish you would have signed up for the show Bridezilla, so we could have watched this all play out.

CK Lunchbox said...

Uh, that's probably the most stressful I can think to plan one of the most stressful events of your life. If anyone has the balls to accuse of being a bridezilla in the process, tell them to ef off - you've earned the right.

And if you do any liaison work with the Army, let me know I know a few people...

Michel said...

Mo: so how long have you been crazy?? You know, for comparison purposes?

Hit40: don't be so impressed - we all were. I was not "special" i was just there.

Blognut: and THIS is why you are my new BFF!

Jane: I totally knew you would understand. All those people I wronged?? They had it coming!

Carolee: I think "serving" may be an overstatement...

Dedene: Believe me, I'm glad too!

M81: totally, I'd have been the best season ever - b/c I absolutely was. Minoy was doing the same thing and we literally fed off of each others' outrage!

Clark; I know, right! And I don't do any work really, ever. And never with the army! They'd boot me out b/c of my non-chain-of-commandey-ness

Pastor Sharon said...

Oh my gosh! A friend of mine was in Iraq. His helmet alone, weighed 32 pounds! I am so sorry you went through such fright! Your determination to still get married. . . that is WOW! After going through the "wedding stress", most people would say, forget about it and just live together without the vows! I would definitely say that Josh's heart belongs totally to you. . . that's a lot to go through!

Pastor Sharon said...

About the hair. . . too funny! I used to have mine hi-lighted because I was so blond as a child. Then I went to Ash Blonde to keep it that way. Once I got tired of waiting on a "beauty school drop-out" to get my color done. Went to the store bought a box of Ash Blonde. Turns out the wrong color was in the box and I became a Dark Burgundy Red Head within an hour. YIKES!!!!!! Never by a box from the local department store!
It took some time to get my color back, without it all falling out by the roots......
I should have just washed it in a chlorine bucket like you did. . . ha! It would have been that bleached blonde with a green 'pool tint'. . . . .

darsden said...

YOU were Tagged at my place missy today...LOL

otin said...

I think that it doesn't matter where you are as long as there is a pastry chef around to bake you some cakes! What kind of cake is your favorite?

Beth said...

I can tell you've handled all this so well. Not bitter at all. Nope. Not at all.

Beth said...

And how was the wedding cake?

Hit 40 said...

I will be off work in 11 days!!! Watch out while you sleep!!!!!!

Fragrant Liar said...

In the words of my five-year-old nanagirl, "Now that's impressive." All of it. So how did the wedding night go, dare I ask? Were you able to unwind? Did you even get a honeymoon? Did you just want to stay home and vedge after all that? I mean, I'm just stressed out hearing how you planned your wedding. But just thinking about planning a wedding these days makes me break out in a sweat, having already done it a few times, so I'm not the best judge. Or maybe I'm the BEST judge? Huh? You ever think about that? Maybe next time you'll do yourself a favor and call me! Sorry. It's the hair thang. It's making me crazy.

Fragrant Liar said...

BTW, I think it's important to know if, in your popularity contest vote over in the side column, 1 = best or worst? I am funny about being precise, my Sudanese SuperSpud.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

So where can I sign up for this Iraq diet? I'm desperate!

Oh and BTW, you are totally my hero, Michel!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I soooooo loved the Duran Duran referrence!!! I loved that group! (I was in high school though when they were at their height..Geesh I'm old)lol