Peculiar something happened to me this Saturday morning. Stepped lazily to the dining room to have my daily ritual microwaved cereals with milk and read my long forgotten HuffPo blogs (Weber and Arianna Huff, are my favorites), at the soft music sounds on Radio 3, when the doorbell rang. Oh yes, I had forgotten all about it. The burden of every Saturday morning... A young woman entered with a large carry-on bag on wheels... my spouse's hairdresser, good looking, a typical provincial character, with loud voice, trained to throw more decibels into the air and overcome the torturing pain of the dryer's enervating noise. My spouse's weekly brushing was just about to happen.
A few long minutes into the brushing noise and loud chattering, as I got increasingly desperate and was about to wear my Bose noise canceling headphones, the dryer suddenly stopped, and -unwillingly, not?- I overheard my spouse's gossip with the simple lady, a local variant of an Essex girl. Always exciting to overhear women do 'girly' talk! You see, as it turned out, the poor thing was married to a Belgian Army pilot, flying an F16, who serves the country in Afghanistan, of all places, amid campaigns against the Taliban. I was flabbergasted. The gal was talking about him being away from home for quite a long time like being the most natural thing in the country. She got recently pregnant during one of his long vacation-returns back home and she's been explaining that he wanted to be with her at the gynecologist's every time she had to check-up. To which Rita, the spouse, very wisely responded: 'if he can fly an F16 he can sure watch the delivery of his own baby...' (wify laughs) Gimmee a break!
Is it the Belgians that are so thick, or naif, I don't know. I mean, this is bloody Afghanistan for crying out loud. Where the superpowers get defeated, one by one, in turn, for many years now. First the Russians, now us from the west, who knows who's next... the Chinese? Indians? The guy was away on flying campaigns with the Yanks and the Britts and all those other morons fighting the Bush war against terrorism and the savages of the Taliban. It's not the kinda vacationing flying to the Bahamas, innit? Apparently, to our girl, that was a husband's job like any other. Of course she's been proud of him... not so much about defending the flag (which one?) but about being a top-gun (she's probably seen the movie). I mean, it'd take a 'hard' character of a spouse to easily cope with a husband going off to work every morning to chase some Taliban, innit? Wow! The thought made me feel like a pathetic chickenshit, I swear!
And the courageous broad was chatting loud about his next coming back and that's a great job to have as he'd take another six week or somethin' paid vacation and bla... bla... bla... I seriously doubted whether to look at her with contempt or admiration. I reckon the latter, as if I were a parent of a kid serving 'there', or a spouse of someone in combat, expecting soon of all things, I'd be very worried... very very worried... But then, that's me!