22 November 2013

Flat-Out Friday: 7 Things About This Week

If you haven't seen it, you're lucky. Facebook has a meme going around right now to get people to share little-known facts about themselves. I've gotten tagged to do it, so I am, but with a twist. Since it's been such an amazing week (I wrote 'amazing' as I rolled my eyes heavily), my list is:

7 Things About This Week

  1. It has been snowing since last Friday. I don't say this so you can pity Edmonton and its residents, but  rather so that you can understand: the average cummulative snowfall for November (the entire month) is 18 centimetres. This week alone it has snowed over 50 centimetres. That's nearly 2 feet of snow in a week, people. This is a thing.
  2. Matt went back to work last Thursday and Friday after being in Wainwright, and since one of the senior captains went on leave and left no instructions or delegations, Matt spent two days sorting out his own stuff as well as this completely different full-time job. Which wasn't a big deal at home except for the Blackberry going off all weekend and through into this week, because even though the other captain is back now no one is getting any direction from him still so they are continually asking Matt. No private time with my husband after he's been gone for months because ARMY? This is a thing.
  3. My new car Watson suffered injury when the block heater cord completely fell apart in my hands last week. Luckily, the temperatures this week only went down to -30C at night. I took him for an assessment so they could order a part, and then back again this week so they could fix him. That is an entire day of driving/being driven around the city because the dealership is in St. Albert and I refuse to be pregnant and waiting for hours in the waiting room at the garage. Add on the amazing traffic because of the continuous snow? This is a thing.
  4. Yesterday I was so happy for a day that I didn't have to leave the house because I was just done (slept til noon, crying, etc.) that I completely missed my appointment with my psychiatrist. When you're so overtired and depressed that you miss the appointment with the one person who can help you? That is a thing.
  5. Every single nice thing I can wear to cover my legs stopped fitting this week. I don't blame Sonic, but I mean really - hurray for yoga pants. Yep, that's a thing.
  6. My step-children's new step-father decided to send my husband insulting passive-aggressive text messages about how he was a bad father, and when Matt didn't kowtow and instead stood up for himself, said step-father told him he must be drunk and to go "sleep it off, tiger". On a Wednesday evening at 8pm. This is a rage-making thing.
  7. I actually feel good enough to post this list. And that, my friends, is probably the biggest thing of all.

07 November 2013

Flat-Out Friday: Red is for Remembrance

Monday is Remembrance Day. Before I met Matt this meant a few different things, none of which have the slightest bit of importance to me now. It's sobering to think of how little this day mattered until I fell in love with a soldier.

When I chose to be with Matt, I chose to be in the military too. Not as an active service member, of course, but the military isn't just made up of the men and women who serve our country without question every single day. It's also made up of the spouses that stand behind their soldiers, the children, the support staff, the service workers... Like the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child", it takes a village to keep a soldier in service. 

So if it helps, think of us all as one great big village. And every year on this day, our village puts aside the internal differences that divide us and comes together to honour the memory of every single person who has given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. It is the one day where it doesn't matter if your beret is blue or green or black. We don't care what your rank, or your spouse's rank, or your parent's rank is. We can all find common ground on which to stand and be grateful.

And no, I haven't been with Matt for a long-term deployment, but I've felt the effects of not knowing if he's okay and where he is through the domestic operation for the Alberta floods. I haven't been out of touch for days at a time, but I have been unable to see him for months while he is on yet another training operation. And I wasn't around when the horrible things he experienced in Afghanistan were fresh on his mind, but in the quiet of the night when he's had a bit too much to drink I have heard about them, cried with him about them.

It's those stories I remember every November 11. Those things that happened while the world was fighting in a place most of us had never found on a map. The things that make a grown man cry while you hold him. The stories that no one should have to have bottled up inside them. I remember those and I stand with my village, supporting my soldier and all the others, remembering with them that they are the reason we can stand together in peace, and feel love, sadness, and solemnity openly. All these things were why, one month fresh from the hospital after my accident, I stood on the open prairie in the relentless wind beside my soldier and shivered. Why last year, even though it fell on a weekend, we held our own quiet ceremony together and toasted the memories.

This year, as Matt goes with a few other soldiers to a grave on the outskirts of Edmonton to remember a good and brave man, I will be standing with members of my village remembering him and all the others who can no longer stand there with us. I will hold my head high, my poppy pinned next to my heart, and recite "In Flanders Fields" with the crowd until I start to cry. 

And my poppy will be red.

01 November 2013

Flat-Out Friday: My Official Title is "Lady Who Lunches"

Ah, Friday. When I'm all wound up I can always count on you to be so cathartic. And after my "buying a mom-mobile" experience this week, I can use catharsis.

So Matt and I had already planned to get a second vehicle once the time was closer for Sonic to move from being an on-board passenger to a party of one. And I have said since the beginning of our "if we ever have kids" dreamtime that, if it happens, my ultimate Mommy vehicle is a Honda Element. So reliable, so roomy, so durably lined with hard plastic. Even though they don't make them new anymore, I have had my eye on them for ages.

This week, a 2008 in mint condition with every imaginable feature came up for sale at a dealership, so we went to go look. The colour is officially "root beer", and even though I hate root beer, I was hooked as soon as I got in for the test drive. Which leads us back at the dealership, deciding how we want to pay for it. Since it was used, there were a few things I wanted to ensure were included, like a Bluetooth capable hands-free phone device and an extended comprehensive warranty. No problem - the dealership took care of both of those for me. Matt and I discussed a few options for payment, but since my settlement money was covering this, we decided to be prudent and not just buy it outright. The cost of putting that money into a used car instead of making interest in our investments was too much for us to justify. So we decided to put a chunk down and finance the rest. SEE THAT? That's us being responsible with our finances. And because we were...

My car suddenly stopped being MY car.

Because, even though I am perfectly well off by myself, I don't have a job. And banks don't let you finance anything if you don't have a job. So Matt's name had to go on the bill of sale as well. I didn't really mind this, but it was a little irksome, particularly when the financial guy showed us our credit ratings and mine was higher. But whatever. I had a car.

My husband is nice enough to let me drive his Mom-mobile

Matt called his insurance company and had them create a policy for me so I could drive it home as soon as possible, so we arranged to pick it up the next day. While Matt was at work I went down to the Registry to get my plate and register my car, all excited about being a new car owner.

Did you know that if there are two names on the bill of sale the Registry will not let you register the car in just one? Neither did I until I got there. Defeated, I went home to wait for Matt so we could go together and register my new car. He was allowed to come home a little early to sort this all out before he left for Wainwright the next day, and together we went back to the Registry to register my new car.

Did you also know that if the insurance policy is under one person's name, even though the car is listed as the other spouse being the primary driver, the car can only be registered in the name of the person listed on the policy? NEITHER DID I UNTIL THEN.

I had to sign an affidavit letting Matt register MY car in HIS name so that I could go get MY car off the lot. And thus I was no longer the proud owner of a car; I was just the person allowed to drive my husband's second vehicle.

Here's what really really REALLY gets my goat. If I had had a job, Matt's name wouldn't have been on the bill of sale, which would have let me register the car myself as long as I had my own insurance as well. Which I take from society to mean the following: Get a job, keep a job, don't get married, and don't have kids. Well done. As one of the declining number of couples who decide to have children, I want to thank you for supporting my husband and I. When your failing public works systems are collapsing, remember all those people that wanted to contribute to the economy but couldn't because you were just too judgmental.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna go stick girly decals on my husband's new Element. Excuse me.