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The Mixed Blessing of Shared Interests

It was a beautiful Saturday in early spring a few years ago, complete with a blue sky, shining sun, and the scent of blooming flowers perfuming the air. My day had been going quite well until my doorbell rang; I answered it to find my neighbor on my porch asking me if I’d seen my car.  Thinking she was referring to the flat tire we hadn’t yet gotten around to fixing, I said yes, thank you for pointing it out, we’re planning on getting all new tires anyway.

“No, not that!  Your window, did you see your window?”

I had not.  Nor was I, apparently, destined ever to see it in one piece again, for the glass on the driver’s side had been transformed from a functional car window into a sparkly collection of glass shards, a swath of glitter bestowed liberally on the street in front of my house and the interior of my poor car.

SpouseBUZZ readers and authors alike are familiar with the Military Spouse Corollary to Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong while your other half is out of town.” My husband had already been away for most of the week, and at the moment my day of rest was so rudely interrupted, was living it up at an airshow and having all manner of amazing aerial experiences of which I would have been extremely envious at the best of times.

Get this: while I was making a police report and trying to sweep up a million shards of broken glass without cutting myself and taping a garbage bag over the gaping hole in my car, that lucky so-and-so I married was getting to ride in “Fat Albert.”  You know, the C-130 in the Blue Angels?

The Blue freakin’ Angels, y’all.

I was so jealous I could just spit.

I love sharing so many interests with my husband, especially a fascination with aviation.  Sometimes, though — if I’m being totally honest with myself — it is hard to see him get to do things that I would love to do and experience things about which I can only dream.  And when I hear about something like that when I am stuck at home having a horrendous day… well. On days like that, the very things we love to do and talk about together can feel more like a wedge than a bond.

Please don’t misunderstand: I truly am excited for him when he is presented with these incredible opportunities, and I would never want him not to take advantage of such a chance just because I would envy him.  I love hearing the joy in his voice when he shares stories of this or that awesome thing he got to do and couldn't wait to tell me about.

Of course, my husband's job is not all -- or even mostly -- glamour, fun, and excitement. He works his tuchus off, and there are plenty of days I am relieved that I am not in his shoes and having deal with the myriad frustrations that attend military service. I know that it isn't all sunshine and lollipops for him; I doubt anyone in the military gets the cool moments, the moments that make it all worthwhile, without also having to swallow a lot of nonsense that I'd just as soon avoid.

That particular day, though?  You’re damn right I would have traded places with him.  When I told him as much, he understood (of course he did; he’s a pretty wonderful guy like that).  We agreed that it would be only fair if next time, I went gallivanting off to the air show and he stayed home to deal with any crap that might arise.

You don’t think his squadron will mind when I show up in his place for the next cross-country, do you?

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