By lex, on January 1st, 2007
And my head, she hurts.
Your correspondent has well and truly earned his personality type – INTJ – and most especially the initial “I.” It was therefore with some trepidation, not to say mulish foot dragging, that he was shepherded out of doors last night for to go to a New Year’s Eve celebration hosted by the parents of one of our daughter’s friends. But the Hobbit had made a social commitment that was not to be forsworn and “You’ll have fun,” she said and I suppose in a way I did.
It is a strange feature of staff life, seniority and the military diaspora these days, but we no longer have dedicated squadron-level organizations to provide us with predictable social settings and ready made friends – people who not only can trade unblinkingly in NAVMILSPEAK, but have useful notions on the trade-off between altitude and airspeed on an offensive counter-air sweep and know how to shoot their wristwatches with their hands during normal conversation, which let me tell you is a damned useful talent to have even if you are an attack pilot.
No – We are forced to make friends among the civilian populace, many of whom are pre-screened and selected for us by our children through their friends. And even if they cannot ordinarily offer up the kind can’t-fail conversation starters that begin with, “I once blew this really cool target up,” well we have this, at least in common.
Host: I have a 12-year old daughter.
Guest: I have a 12-year old daughter too!
Host: Yes, a daughter.
Guest: 12 years old, right.
Guest: You bet.
Thus fortified I put a game show of having a great time speaking with total strangers, many of whom, over the course of the succeeding hours, managed to become quite remarkably lubricated. The Hobbit took to the environment like a bird to the air, and soon enough there was actual dancing going on. I witnessed it. There was a young Iranian couple there, he from Shiraaz, she from the Caspian Sea and both of them beautiful – three weeks married, three months in the US. They had met at the University of Tehran and had eyes as round as saucers at our festivities, while enjoying themselves thoroughly. I hope they like it here. I think they’ll do well.
But now my head, she hurts – no bike ride this year up Palomar. Today is a safety day.
“In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.” — an Irish toast.