Here Come the Professionals

military family

I went out on my deck and caught Barry red-handed. Literally.

I recently received a text from a girlfriend:

September 23 is your night. A pamper Lori with friends and food night … complete with babysitter, wine, and a few fun friends to hang with who also want to spoil you with cleaning your home while you chillax. If you try to make food or tidy your house you will be in huge trouble, girlfriend!

In keeping with Deployment Cycle Phase One Million (WYSIWYG), I’m not cleaning it up, either. It’s all hanging out, baby. I surveyed the clean laundry mountain just this morning and contemplated getting up early Friday to remedy it (bwah hah ahha ha ha …. I kill myself, sometimes). But it’s already beginning to dwindle as we sift and pick through it, and as we move the clothing into the dirty piles in the laundry room. I may fail at math, but I can tell you this: laundry is a hideously pointless zero-sum game. And so, it shall stay right where it is.

After the hysteria of inviting a pile of stay at home moms into this working mom’s house wore off, their kind offer got me thinking about how many times this very thing has happened in a year …

There was the time I wrote about staring out at my long grass and Bartly called someone from Texas and had my lawn mowed while I was at work.

There was the time I wrote about impending car doom, and Uncle Dan showed up and worked on Husband’s Camaro, Chris came over and fixed my dislodged wheel-well and taught me how to change my own car battery, and Bob, our local American Legion dude, serviced my SUV for half price.

There was the time I wrote about the status of my house and MaryKay came over and completely cleaned out and organized my kitchen pantry and left me with a stack of home-canned goodies.

There was hitting the wall and being rescued by a not so random rainbow, which was sweetened when Robert showed up with a pot full of chocolate (including refills) and a reminder to look for the elusive prize at the end of it.

I questioned my writing ability and Athena nominated me for this little blogging award without telling me, resulting in a trip to Washington DC wherein I had a personally guided tour of the Pentagon, got coined by an Air Force General, and met Donald Rumsfeld. And a certain JetBlue pilot I’ve never met gave me an airplane ticket to get there.

I wrote about The Preschooler perched on the edge of a basketball court watching a father play ball with his kids, and Barry and Dylan took my son to a baseball game. But not before weeding every flower bed and filling them with two yards of bark dust.

And then there was the time I was sick, and tired, and done with deployment, and Suzy brought us five meals and successfully filled my childrens’ stomachs with hot dinners for an entire week.

And there was more. So much more. Too much to write about, really.

It seems to me that this is where Reserve and Guard families appear to have the advantage – we have slightly more sympathetic and available friends. When Husband was active duty, my community was practically all military, and we were all doing it. We helped each other, and we supported each other, but it was not like this. It has really been a blessing the way the community has responded. It felt lonely to be without a military spouse group and far from a military base at first, but then it was humbling, overwhelming almost, to see what developed in its place.

But more importantly, I’ve had another epiphany this week. I mean there is obviously a law of nature at work, here. A regular cause and effect relationship has now been very clearly established. Whenever I complain, things magically happen. It’s not going to be this way forever and I feel it’s my responsibility to jump on that bandwagon while the gettin’ is good. And I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t recognize this law of nature. First of all, it’s a law. It obviously must be followed. I’m a prosecutor for crying out loud. I took an oath. I must obey the law. Second, it’s nature. You can’t fight nature, man.

So I feel it’s of the utmost importance that I “mention” the following: (1) a small family of five long wrinkles which can only be described as “chasms” have taken up residence on my forehead, the teeth which I spent the better part of middle school straightening and missing out on steak dinners for are starting to retreat to their previous positions, my postpartum melanin “soul patch” pigmentation has returned, and my thighs are beginning to burst out of the gut-sucking sausage roll shapewear I purchased pre-deployment. I’m thinking this could be remedied by a small team of surgeons and a live-in therapist (both will be required); (2) my current mode of transportation does not include a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, or Maserati and really, it should be at least one of those. A driver would also aid in my ability to complete tasks with speed and/or class; and (3) I am currently forced to obtain my own groceries, pay my own bills, pick up my own dry cleaning, and clean my own house. I propose a team comprised of a personal assistant, publicist, agent, nanny, and housekeeper. Or a wife, which would cover most of that.

I decided to leave it at that for now. We’ll see how you do and then I’ll amend the list as appropriate. I’ll report on the excellent status of my girlfriend-induced renovation next week! THANK YOU FRIENDS. I love you. Really.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Big Al
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 07:57:39

    I didn’t think anyone would ever put Aladdin and his magic lamp out of business, but I believe you might have found the secret. Clever girl (but nonetheless, deserving). World class friends, as well.


  2. Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 13:49:28

    Um … astonishing update! I am now officially being treated to some free PR from – you guessed it – a publicist! The Maserati is next, I can feel it …


  3. Dave Thebigsarge Sivewright
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 12:36:49

    Lori this is an incredable post! I hear what you mean about being close to an active duty base and the difference from not on the reserve/guard side. When I went to Kuwait in 2004 my wife was dooing everthing you decribed with 6 chilren at home 2 of which have autism. Her whole support base collapsed as they ended up moving away. The awesome part was that one of my daughters second grade teacher at the time came to the rescue just as your freinds have. I think there is more to be said for those awesome people who come to resucue, encourge, and be there for our spouses when we are away overseas in communities where there are no military installations. I know that while in Kuwait there many times I felt so damn helpless becuase I was so many miles away. I thank god for Michelle being there for Kris. To those of you who have and continue to be there for Lori it’s honor as a Soldier that we have people like you! Thank you and Thanks Lori for your awesome post.


  4. Courtney Emken
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 22:33:59

    We love you too, LV!! Happy to fold your laundry anytime.


  5. Jenni Segura
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 18:57:53

    I’m thinking I need to start a blog myself, perhaps I could have some of those things too! LOL As a Navy Seabee wife, we have been in nothing but the Reserves for as long as we have been married. Hubby was active duty 10 yrs prior to going Reserve. Ayway, I too have seen firsthand the kindness of community. I have never lived on a base, but have managed to find other milspouses when needed, usually other reservists wives. It sounds to me that you are surrounded by many who care and just want to show their appreciation for what your hubby is doing, and help you in the process. And how cool is that?


  6. Athena
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 17:01:14

    You need a like button. And, can I borrow your friends when they are done?


    • Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
      Sep 22, 2011 @ 18:43:09

      You can’t have them. They’re mine and I’m a very possessive person. But if you have any special requests I can just pretend they’re mine … I won’t tell anyone I swear. Though it might be strange if I’m asking to send a live-in massage therapist to your house … DARN. I forgot to ask for that one.


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