This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i pay homage

salute

I’ve never been comfortable around women which is why it’s so interesting that I’m at a conference with 3600 of them.  I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with two brothers or whether it was because I was a tomboy and loved to play football and stuff or even if it’s because I went to a college where the ratio was 3:1, guys to girls so I spent most of my time with boys but for whatever reason, women in large groups scare me.

 

Yeah, you heard me right.  ME! Lynn MacDonald gets intimidated by large groups of women.  It helps in this case that I’m meeting Nicole from By Word of Mouth Musings and we already know each other. I’m a completely different person once I have a wingman.  That, however, isn’t the point of this post.  It’s not that I hate women; it’s just that I never fit in to large groups of women.

 

On a micro scale however, I love women.  In small groups where you can really talk; I find their diversity and different experiences to be fascinating.  Now obviously I’ve met women from all walks of life but this morning I had a particularly interesting conversation with a woman I ran into.  Let me give you the set up.

 

Because I’ve been in California so long at this point, I’m no longer waking up at 6:00.  Well, I am but I can make myself go back to sleep.  In any case, breakfast was at 8:00 and then the WELCOME speech was at 9:00.  I informed Nicole that I already felt welcome therefore I was going to work out and then show up at 10:00 for the sessions.  So I got up and of course, before I can work out, I need to have my coffee right?  After all, I’m controlled by chemicals.

 

So I go downstairs and begin the long trek to Starbucks and there is a woman right beside me who has obviously already completed her workout.  I tell her she’s lucky to be done and that I have yet to start and of course, me being me, we begin talking.  Her name is Denise and we walk and chat all the way to Starbucks.

 

The line is long at Starbucks so since Denise is also getting coffee, I decide to just get my breakfast and coffee so I won’t have to stand in line again later since I’m skipping the BlogHer breakfast.  I ask if she’d like to join me and the two of us sit down and chat.  Denise, as it turns out, is a local with five kids.  She had them within 6 years.  I had 3 kids in 4 years and barely survived so I’m in shock and awe when she informs me of this amazing feat.  Not the breeding part of the issue; the keeping them alive without killing them part of the issue.

 

As it turns out, Denise was (and is sort of) a military wife.  We start talking and she explains to me what it was like raising 5 kids with long deployments in between.  Her husband has been to Korea, Sarajevo, the Gulf, Somalia … you name it.  We started discussing what it was like to live in fear while your husband was God Knows Where doing God Knows What.

 

I was explaining to her that although I grew up doing typical “male” things like building stuff and using tools, I bet it was quite a shock to many wives to have to become not just a single mom but the “man of the house” as well. I have to imagine that the first time that something “broke” or “went wrong” that falls under the auspices of “the husband’s domain” that it would be a rude awakening.

 

The conversation was so interesting because once again, these are exposures that I rarely have and the lives of these women are something I’ve rarely considered.  Of course, when you meet someone in the military you realize that these women are alone a lot but you rarely delve into what it’s like to not even KNOW if your husband is safe or not.

 

Denise explained to me that in some ways, ignorance is bliss.  At the time some of these engagements were going on, she really didn’t actually know what was happening when her husband was deployed.  For example, I asked her if she had seen the movie “Black Hawk Down” and she told me she cried when she saw that movie because she had NO IDEA that things had been like that.  Her husband actually told her that he knew some of those men.

 

To me, meeting women whose experiences and stories OPEN my eyes are more gratifying than learning all the SEO and blogging tips in the world.  So what I want to say is “Thank you Denise” and all the other women I’ve met who have let me in and shown me a snapshot into their lives.

 

While I know I come across as extremely aloof and arrogant (which I am in a way), my favorite thing about blogging is the sociological part.  Hearing the stories; meeting the people.  So to all you women out there who have touched me, and to those that I haven’t yet met; I salute you and thank you.

 

Lynn MacDonald

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18 Comments

  1. Name *
    August 9, 2011

    Very Nice. I have to agree you. Growing up has allowed me to embrace people that otherwise in the past I would have been afraid of, or to insecure to converse with. With that wall gone and the exposure we get from the web, my interactions with people have been so inspiring and they feel very sincere. At least that’s they way I choose to accept them. ;-) PS I am a women and I am not scarry and you do not scare me. Nicole does. Sometimes.

    • Lynn
      August 9, 2011

      Hahaha…Nicole can be scary right? Too funny

      I do enjoy the different women that I converse with at these things

  2. By Word of Mouth Musings
    August 9, 2011

    OMGosh – who WAS that above lol!
    As I went about my weekend in my drug induced fog and not being my normal (cheery) self, having you by my side was my highlight. Without you, I may well have booked a flight home – you had me soldier through and manage to thoroughly enjoy our time together (with our love child Miss Bloggy Moms)
    You, you are a great addition to my life. Your blatant honesty, your disregard for perceived protocol and genuine ‘what you see is what you get’, is what draws me too you in this world of ‘I will blow smoke up your hooey if it gets me what I want” (yes, I used hooey, but seriously go read The Twitter)

    You are a true friend Lynn – thank you for that.

    By the way, Ian left for two weeks less than twelve hours after I arrived home – I just changed light bulbs, reconfigured the disposal and then dismantled a thermostat.

    • Lynn
      August 9, 2011

      I adore you too! For much the same reasons, you bring out the softer side of me!

      And excellent for you on doing all that stuff around the house…you rock!

      Lots of love

  3. Theresa
    August 9, 2011

    That was a beautiful tribute. My father is retired Navy, and I so admire my Mom for how she got moved around every 4 years to a new state, or new country, new people, new languages, and all with a sense of humor and dignity. She taught me how to just go out, get lost if you have to, but enjoy finding your way back home! How to fix things around the house and talk about packing and unpacking a house, omg, we are the best of the best lol!

    • Lynn
      August 9, 2011

      yeah…it was interesting talking to her about her perspective. I so enjoyed it.

  4. MRS BITCH
    August 9, 2011

    THANK YOU! Your post was rather touching as I am a military wife and was pregnant, in school full time with a 4 year old, and having complications when my husband deployed to Afghanistan, 2 months later he was medivaced home, to hear that a stranger understands and sees that its not easy and to not hear the same old bullshit of “well you signed up for this whats the problem..” is very warming and touching. I will definatly be following your blog!

    • Lynn
      August 10, 2011

      oh thank you. it really was amazing talking to her. I wish i had gotten her information so i could have linked to her blog but she got mine so maybe she’ll be in touch. That sounds like a tough road you’ve had. Hope all is well.

  5. Amy
    August 11, 2011

    Total identification with the second paragraph. Having a wingman totally makes a difference!

    • Lynn
      August 11, 2011

      hahaha…it was so awesome seeing you. And Manhattan Beach was beautiful…as you were.

  6. Kelly
    August 11, 2011

    Lynn, you amaze me! The way you are able to connect with others is truly a gift.

    I am also sister to two younger brothers and played army, dug in the dirt and rode big wheels. Much more fun than barbies!!

    You, Nicole & Tiffany. You made my conference experience awesome! It is your friendships I will take away from this & nuture.

    Thank you for everything!
    xoxo

    • Lynn
      August 11, 2011

      Aww…thanks so much. It was so amazing meeting you and hopefully we will all hook up again

  7. Kirsten
    August 29, 2011

    This is what I *love* about blogging. You get diversity and insight into different people’s lives and perspectives. You realize that your worries and fears and joys are, on one hand, completely normal and many people feel the same way you do. But on the other hand you also get to be exposed to people speaking from a different perspective. Getting to know them is a good way to broaden horizons and know that everyone walks a different path. And that they deserve love and respect too…not in spite of, but because of their differences.

    • Lynn
      August 29, 2011

      Absolutely spot on!!!

  8. Elaine
    August 29, 2011

    I think a lot about military spouses and all they have to juggle as temporary “single” parents… My hubby used to travel quite a bit but never longer than a week at a time. I can’t imagine if it was months or even over a year at time!!!

    I love that you told us about your conversation and I think it’s so cool that there are SO many different women blogging!!!

    Thanks for linking up today! :-)

    • Lynn
      August 29, 2011

      thanks for letting me…i usually don’t do too many links but when you said a post that deserved to be read i thought of that one…

  9. Galit Breen
    August 29, 2011

    Lynn, I love this side of you! I can relate to so very much of what you wrote and I absolutely LOVE that you took the time to get to know someone over coffee. That right there speaks volumes about *you!*

    • Lynn
      August 29, 2011

      thanks so much for that compliment…that’s what i really enjoyed about the conference. the little individual conversations. I wish i knew her name but she never got in touch with me. :(

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