Last fall, I was at a post-wide gathering when I noticed the CG's wife wandering around the large banquet room. I also noticed that everyone was staying away from her, including me. She's a fantastic lady, but after all, she's the General's wife, and who really wants to take a chance on saying or doing the wrong thing, right?
I watched her for a good while because I found my observations fascinating. She was the one approaching table after table and initiating conversation. In 20 minutes or so, I never saw anyone approach her. And then I thought, wow, that must be hard. What if someone threw you in a room with 300 people and you were responsible for all the introductions and conversation? Some of us would be just fine, but I'll bet most of us would hate it and feel uncomfortable. I'd be thinking, "sheesh, would someone please tell a good joke or do something a little bit improper? I need an icebreaker here..."
Yesterday, we talked with Beth Chiarelli. Before we went on air, I thought about that night last fall and what I had observed. Mrs. Chiarelli gave me the opening I was looking for. I got to ask her if she feels like she lives in a bubble. She does not, but she fully understood the question. Oh, and she did a bit of myth-busting, too. Apparently, General's wives are not always busy from sun-up to sun-down. And I don't think they sit on the sofa eating bon bons with cucumbers on their eyelids, either. Who knew?
I discovered some interesting things while chatting with Mrs. Chiarelli. Would you believe that....she laughs, has a good sense of humor, has children (and apparently likes them, too), has friends, likes young people, gets on the internet (she's just learning about YouTube and blogs) and enjoys interaction with spouses of all ranks and genders and sexes? Gasp. I know, what a revelation! You heard it here first, folks.
I didn't see her as we were on the radio, but I'm pretty sure Mrs. Chiarelli looks and acts human, just like the rest of us. However, I'm still not totally convinced that this small group of people called, "General's Wives" are completely, well, normal, so I'm going to test this theory once again tomorrow with Mrs. Sheila Casey, wife of General George Casey.
Hummm. I think I'll throw her a trick question. I'll ask her what she eats for dinner. If she says small children then, well, we'll have to start this little experiment all over again and I'll need to alert the authorities. But if she says chips and salsa, I've got a new best friend.
Seriously, we're looking forward to our half hour with Mrs. Casey tomorrow, for many reasons. One of which I find very interesting. Mrs. Casey has managed to develop and maintain a career throughout her husband's 38-years of military service. I want to know the secret!
Tune in tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. EDT for a chat with Mrs. Casey. The chat room will be open.