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not very manly

We had friends over today, who used to live in the neighborhood but were assigned overseas. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of my lovely wife, and then sat down to chat & watch the kids play. I had my two daughters in my lap in their very pink clothing. The women were chatting about mom things, and the other husband & I were sitting across from each other, not saying much.

While the conversation was going on regarding breast milk, I turned to him and said, "Sorry. I don't have much of anything to chat about. I've been tired lately, and I'd like to say something manly. But I don't have much to say."

His response was "Yeah, I understand. Hey, did I tell you about my assignment to protect a bridge opening between Tajikistan and Afghanistan? I had to have flying spares."

"Flying spares?"

"Yeah. Turns out when you requisition three Blackhawk helicopters they send you four, in case something goes wrong with one." He then proceeded to detail the full firepower he was assigned, which included three other helicopters (he'd only requisitioned two, but there was of course the flying spare), five UAVs, some ridiculous quantity of NATO and/or US-affiliated troops, etc. He had a colonel assigned to him from the head of the Joint Chiefs to make sure the operation didn't leave anything out, and to remind him to do things like thank the 1200 troops from Germany after the event was over.

Yeah. I'm not real manly today. As I sat there with my daughters in pink.

*edit* 9am-ish

When I said "Watch the kids play", I meant Julian & their two boys. Our infants did not participate in play.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
There's another way of looking at this. You sat there with your socialy acceptable serial-immortality, knowing that in a few thousand years every single man woman and child on earth could share you as an ancestor, and he was talking about over-priced technology that assumes a certain failure rate and will be behind the curve within 40 years tops.
I personaly think you should have been gloating.
Happy Thanksgiving!
another friend overseas,
Nov. 23rd, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
True. Say hi to him for me if you ever get in the neighborhood of that part of Central Asia. 8^) He'll be the short, non-dangerous looking Jew who could shred a man into several hundred even strips using only an eyebrow tweezer and his left pinky toe.
Nov. 24th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Hopefully we'll never need each other's services. WCS I'll be the overburdened SGT keeping the bright red stuff in his or one of his entourage's bodies.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Sitting with your daughters in pink strikes me as particularly manly.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Sorry for any confusion. I was wearing green & blue. Although yes, sitting with them shows one of the most important aspects of manhood: the ability to reproduce.

Sleep deprivation: it's not just for conventions any more!
Nov. 23rd, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
I was referring to your demonstrated ability to care for your girls. That's manly.

The fact that they were in pink was just extra cuteness.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Wait a few years.

Your four kids will be far more dangerous and destructive than his four helicopters.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Julian weighs about 45 lbs and is about 44" tall. Not a small child. Our friend's oldest boy is 6 months younger than Julian and weighs in at 27 lbs and is about a head to a head & a half shorter than Julian. He decided at one point that Julian had a toy he wanted, so he proceeded to hit Julian over the head until he got the toy. Julian, bless his soul, sat there and took it. This means, for starters, that Julian isn't getting into lots of fights at his school, or otherwise he'd know more about retaliation and application of force. It also means that he didn't damage our friend's kid, which is good. The other family's kids were overtired from being 10 hours off their normal schedule, and should not be held responsible for their behavior.

I said to him, once he was done crying, "When someone is hitting you, you can move away from them." The other boy got a time out, and got another one later when he thought that hitting me was a good idea. I did not feel the need to apply any response to a blow that tiny.

I have often thought that organized sports and/or other organized physical activity are the way to help Julian get his energy levels under control. I would also, at some point, want him to learn martial arts. He has to improve his attention span and impulse control before that is possible. Our friend has the ability to deliver force in many ways, but in appropriate ways and at appropriate times. It's a good thing to know and practice.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
With the odd exception (don't mess with his momma!) Richard's not a fighter either... But he is pretty big, and the last thing I want is for him to ever become a bully. I've also been thinking "martial arts" when he's older.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
You can always tell him that there are always bigger bullies. Jim, for example, could always show up at his school and take his lunch money. The real money is in starting a street gang. Tough to do in Laurel - too many streets, low population density. But I digress.
Nov. 27th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
If you want a gang to steal lunch money, you need Catholic schoolgirls* ... and there's a whole school full of them a block or so away from where I live.

*Everything I need to know in life, I learned from games.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
>> I have often thought that organized sports and/or other organized physical activity are the way to help Julian get his energy levels under control. I would also, at some point, want him to learn martial arts. He has to improve his attention span and impulse control before that is possible.

I also have my eye on organized sports for CJ, for the same reason. But I hadn't thought of martial arts -- thanks for the idea!

In your position, I would have asked all kinds of questions about the bridge from Tajikistan (Central Asia coolness!), but I'm nerdy like that.
Nov. 23rd, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, when choosing a school, it is important to find a class where the black belt teaching the class is doing it for the love of teaching and not for the love of money. For example, it is expected at the international levels of Tae Kwon Do that a large school means that the head of the school is bringing in lots of money. Testing for the highest-level black belts is thousands of dollars, because you can only test in Korea and the belts giving the tests expect that level of payment. Paying lots of money is not required, though.

I've taken TKD under two teachers - one was a classmate who was charging but wasn't trying to make a living off of his fellow students; the other is in charge of the TKD club at UMBC, and only charges testing fees. The best way for you to figure that out, of course, is for you or your husband to take a class yourself. You don't have to take it long term, but seeing how it works will let you know whether or not it's a good place for your kids.

Master Phom's class at UMBC doesn't specifically teach small kids...but several local teachers come to his class to learn *from* him, and they're all nice people, many of whom have kids in their classes. Something to think about.

In my position, you would probably have been thinking "Sleep. Sleep is good. Mmm...sleep..." 8^)
Nov. 24th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
Protecting a bridge versus protecting four (six?) lives:

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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