Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You know you are married to a pilot when...

You know you are married to a pilot when:

- terms like FO, non-rev, pairing, ATC, and slam-clicker actually mean something to you, and are spoken often in your household.

- you took his car to get groceries, and curse when you open the trunk to load the groceries and realize you have to battle for precious trunk space next to his pilot hat and a flight bag. Remember, don't crush the hat!



- you have the internal thought of "what if I die in my sleep? When will someone find me?" (Although, I am sure that anyone that lives alone has this thought too.)


- you don't like to look outside the windows at night...because you would hate to see human eyes looking back at you. He isn't home to protect the house that night, so you just keep the blinds pulled.


- you have "crew scheduling" programmed into your cell phone, and you know what to do when that number calls.


- you know the difference between a 737, 777, A320 and an RJ. When people refer to RJs at "tiny planes" you want to slap them.


- his company's app is incredibly accessible on your cell phone, because you want quick access to track his flight.


- you understand military time.


-his sense of fashion was once horrible, and then you stepped in and shopped for him.  Now, he gets it.  Ok, maybe on layovers he wears basic running shoes and jeans and a basic top.  But, when he is home, he is looking good.


- you find earplugs in your dryer.  You find these buggers anywhere and everywhere around your house.  Oh, and you know how to properly put them in your ear (pinch and roll, pull ear up and insert)

earplugs in the dryer.  at least they are clean again



- your children look up at a plane flying high in the sky and yell "Hi Daddy!"


- you have times when you want to pick up the phone and call your husband, whether it be to vent, spread good news, or spread bad news. But, realize he is in the air and the call would go straight to voicemail. You get sad. These are the times when you wish your best friend was around more. So, you call your sister...


- you recognize when you need help, and you have no shame in asking for it.  This could be anything from a snow plow service in the winter, to a break away from life for a weekend.


- the world comes to a complete hault, all because a union email showed up in his inbox.


- vacation is a week away. You are planning on going...somewhere. You will make final decisions a couple days before you leave, and it will all depend on load factors

- you can only commit to events next month once his schedule comes out.  You often speak the line "I would love to come, but I will let you know on the 20th."


- you show up solo to parties/events often enough that people start to question if you are still married.

Me and the kids, without Steve, and the Polish Christmas program this past year. 
Thank goodness for Babcia and Dziadek (Grandma and Grandpa) and
 Ciocoa and Wujek (Aunt and Uncle) came with us...so we wouldn't be so alone.



- you keep energy drinks in the fridge to help your husband recoup from a red-eye.  You do this because you don't want to deal with his crabby ass for the rest of that day.  You will do whatever it takes to make that day bearable, so you don't have the desire to send him back where he came from.



-  you know what an epaulet is.  Better yet, you know how one fits onto a shirt. Best of all, you know the difference between three stripes and four stripes.


- you squeeze in a quickie before he leaves, because 4 days sees SO far away...and you want him to leave with happy thoughts of you. 


- you 'do it' with his hat on.  Admittedly, we have not done this.  But, the question has been asked of us.


- you plan sex, because it may be another 2 weeks before it happens again.  A woman knows her cycle, and needs to consider these things.


-  these rolls appear in the laundry, and you understand his "code."  Clean outbound rolls are opposite of dirty inbound rolls. 




-  your shave schedules are opposite.  When he is gone and has to shave everyday, you don't lift a razor.  When he is home and doesn't lift a razor, you make sure to shave everyday.


- you cringe when someone whines about "having to work the day after Thanksgiving" because he wasn't even home for Thanksgiving, and he won't be home for Christmas...or New Years Eve...You bite your tongue. 


-  you cringe when someone whines about having to deal with some house emergency when their spouse was out of town...because you deal with this on a monthly basis.  What's the big deal?  You bite your tongue.


- you cringe when you hear a pregnant someone talk about making sure their husband "has their phone on them at all time, or else" when their due date nears....because your pilot was in another country when you went into labor, and he still made it home.  If he is within a 200 mile radius of you at all times, he will make it.  Don't turn it into something bigger than it is.  You bite your tongue.


- you want to slap the person that says "oh, it must be nice to have 12 days off a month."  Maybe he was off 12 days last month, but he was gone 152 nights last year.  Now, tell me what you think about that.  You bite your tongue.


- you get "show time" and "go time"


- you leave directions for him in checklist form, because you know he will respond to it.


- you forget shit.  You forget lots of shit.  You forget things like uniform dress down day at school, and your first child's kindergarten orientation, because you just have too much shit on your plate. 


- you surprise yourself at how strong you are at times when it comes to being a single-parent.


 - there are times where you just want to throw in the towel, in terms of being a single-parent, and say "fuck it all!"  These are the times that you count down the seconds he walks in from that 4-day, so that you can finally have some sort of break.


-  you have your young children do chores.  3-year-olds are fully capable of bringing trash cans from the curb.  This is done to lighted our load when he is away. 


- the view outside your laundry room is this:


yet, you still have to wash shorts! 



- you have to yell at him to use his windshield wipers in the car.  What is it with pilots and not starting the wipers until you can't see anything?


- it is a rare occasion that you get ready at the same time in the morning for work. 


- after being married all these years, you still miss your husband.  You still think about him and get excited that he is coming home.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.


- you tell people that your relationship works because he is gone so much.  That sounds odd, but it is true.


- you wish he were home every night.  But, he isn't...and your life is still perfect. 



55 comments:

  1. Oh Joanna, this cracked me up. Each one was better and better...and darn near all of them applied to my life as well. And I thought the windshield wiper thing was just my pilot. I didn't know this was universal. I don't get it at all!! :)

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    1. I don't get it either! LOL I think it has something to do with taxiways being straight, basically, and they have instruments to "see"...so why bother with the visual. I have reached over and started them myself plenty of times...which, of course pisses him off more than anything :)

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    2. My husband has the windshield wiper issue to. We live in Washington so we get plenty of rain. It drives me NUTS!

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  2. This is so true!!!! I can do relate to all of the points ESP the shaving, windscreen wipers and not being able to committ to things until his roster comes out! Love love love your posts! Keep them coming :-)

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  3. Haha... sounds like you nailed it. Forwarding link to wife...

    - Brian

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    1. Thanks! I think that most pilot wives will be able to relate to most of these lines.

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  4. Wonderful post. I relate to them all!

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    1. Ah...so, you have done it with your hat on ;-) LOL

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  5. Yep, I'm definitely always finding ear plugs in the dryer and washing shorts in the winter. And when I'm not feeling good, I'm always telling my 5 year old how to call 911 just in case mommy passes out and nobody is here to help (those thoughts cross my mind often). It sure would be nice if we didn't have to wait until after the 18th to know whether or not he was going to be able to do something. Funny post! I can relate. Oh, and my pilot was flying for the military when I went into labor with my second child and he made it home just fine too:)

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    1. Yes, another women who had her husband make it home for the delivery! I only know of one pilot wive that delivered when her husband was in the air.

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  6. I am dying about the windshield wipers part ... I did not know that was a "pilot" thing! It drives me nuts when he does that! Haha! I couldn't relate to ALL of them since we aren't married and are childless, but I appreciate the list none-the-less. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. LOL I am just picturing all us wives reaching over to start those wipes...and our pilots reaching over and slapping our hands away! LOL

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  7. Haha Amen to the windshield wipers!! I can never see out the window when he's driving!

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    1. I seem to have let the cat out of the bag on this one. I know believe all pilots do this! LOL

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  8. It's not just pilot wives that "take the initiative" with the wipers. My wife does it all the time and I hate it! Why do women do this? I can tell you that I don't have a death wish. When I believe my visibility is compromised, of course I'm going to turn them on. My wife also likes to put the flashers on when she thinks it's raining hard enough. Again, why? Do pilot wives do that too?

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    1. I reach over and turn the wipers on since I like to see out of the front windshield too! And, I am serious when I say that there is nearly no visibility before he turns them on. <aybe I should video tape it to demonstrate how bad it is. As for the flashers, no...I don't use them unless I need to, and rain isn't usually the reason. I actually find it annoying when people use flashers unnecessarily.

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  9. Fashion - Yes, HORRIBLE! I can tell a pilot a mile away, with 90's Silver Tab jeans, a tucked in T-Shirt and white shoes with black socks. Don't forget that braided belt!! Yuck. But I was there too and have been "transformed" into a "meto" looking guy...

    Both kids point up and say "airplane" or something similar.

    Don't let the cat get a hold of those earplugs! Not good for their system.

    Love the shorts and snow pics! Priceless! Nothing better than hearing, "where's the SPF 30?" on a cold January day.

    Love it!
    Ryan (aka FlightPics, but once RyanthePilot...)

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    1. I read your comment to Steve and his response was "yeah, I can pick out a pilot a mile away too!" It must be pretty bad! Maybe you should take a picture of that for your next Flight Pics picture :)

      No cats in our house, but I could only imagine the havoc on their system.

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    2. yep i can pick a pilot up a mile away from the way he dress, but hey happy hour at the hotel bar has no dress code. and plus why would i add weight to my flight bag, heck i even got a military style hair cut so i can take out the hair gel and brush from my bag and cramp in 2 minutes more of sleep at 3 in the morning....btw hello to you steve and the kids...from india..:)

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    3. Wow...India! I would love to visit India one day! Welcome!

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  10. Why not just ask us to turn them on? I know if my wife asked me, I'd say yes. I can't honestly say that I'd be 100% attitude about it, but I'd do it. In fact, I'm going to ask my wife the very same question. :)

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    1. Oh, I do ask him...and he may say "no" So, I just take matters into my own hands :)

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  11. I just found your blog recently and it is so spot on! I am married to a corporate pilot but we met while working at an airline so I can definitely relate. Thanks for the laughs and honesty!

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    1. Thanks for finding me Ginae, and your positive response!

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  12. just shared your "does it suck being married to a pilot?" post in my facebook closed chat group for Wives Of Commercial Pilots. The other wives love it as much as I do. Love the honest perspective:)

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Glad everyone likes it :)

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  13. Love this. I was in Lisbon when my wife went into labor (in Minneapolis). By the grace of God, I made it back 3 hours before our daughter was born.

    Side note: I do my best to not dress like a pilot, especially on layovers. I find it to be a great compliment when someone from another crew asks me how long I've been a flight attendant. That means (1) I'm not dressed like a pilot and (2) I haven't been talking about flying all night. Perfect.

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    1. that is great you were able to get home in time! We do have friends where the husband missed the birth of his second...I think every pilot's worst nightmare.

      Care to share your tricks about dressing nicely on the road? I would love for Steve to represent himself better on the road, although I have no control over that I could give him some tips :)

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  14. My pilot guy just told me to check this out. Think he was hinting? Lol

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  15. So as I'd said, my pilot guy told me to check this out. I need honest feed back from all the pilot wives here. Is marrying a pilot worth the heart ache of him being gone all the time? Would you all do it again?

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    1. Is marrying him worth the heart ache? That is for you to decide. Is it worth it for me? Yes. Would I do it over again? Yes!

      Check out this post I wrote a good while ago...you may find it worth reading:
      http://comebackdaddy.blogspot.com/2012/04/does-it-suck-being-married-to-pilot.html

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    2. I second what Joanna said. I've been married for 17 yrs and would definitely do it again. There are many great parts such as you develop a special bond with your kids and have more time than most people to stay connected with your friends. I've found that letting go of my career and becoming a stay at home mom made the hard parts easier to deal with.

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    3. I only work about 28 hours a week...I totally think this has helped me 1. stay sane 2. stay balanced.

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  16. These are funny but so true if you're married to a pilot. I laughed the whole way, especially the rolled laundry, I thought my husband was the only one:)

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    1. The system makes sense :) I am sure a lot of pilots do it this way.

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    2. A pilot here (my wife is LindyM) We were laughing quite hard at these "pilot & their wives lives" identifiers. So very true. We've been married 40 years and I've been in the aviation game the whole time, 35 years as professional pilot, the last 30 in the airline business. Yes, I only turn on the windshield wipers when I can no longer see out the window, drives my wife nuts, always has. I dress like a pilot on layovers, we call it our "Layover uniform" blue jeans (cargo shorts in summer) running shoes and a simple shirt. It's utilitarian and we don't have to overthink fashion when packing a bag for 100th time this year. I roll my dirty laundry too, it's simple, utilitarian, we don't have to overthink "which are my clean underwear?" on day 3 of the 4 day trip, and as an added bonus it's really easy to flip the rolls into the laundry basket when we get home and unpack. I just spin 'em real fast and the socks, undies and t-shirt are instantly separated for proper color loads! My wife figured out the "write a to do checklist" for me thing a long time ago. You didn't mention how we pack the car/trailer for a camping trip or vacation. My wife learned a long time ago to just enjoy a cup of coffee in the house while I'm in the garage sorting every bag and accessory item into a perfectly squared up and tightly fitted pack job. Organized of course in the exact order in which they need to be retrieved from the vehicle. I use "packing checklists" for camping trips (well, all trips). My friends say I drive my car "like a pilot" I don't know what that means, but after waiting patiently to get going, they laugh at me from the back seat as I'm getting settled in the drivers seat, check the mirrors and back out very carefully. My wife is the classically "Great pilot's wife" she has made it look easy being married to a pilot. :)

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  17. Can you explain the rolled laundry thing for a pilot who may be missing out on a new (to me) trick?

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    1. Steve bundles his socks, underwear, and undershirts. Clean rolls at the beginning of the trip are: socks in the middle, undershirt, and then underwear on the outside. (His underwear of choice as a boxer brief, so they have enough length to roll on the outside.)


      After they are dirty, the roll is: socks in the middle, underwear next, and then the outside is his undershirt. This way when he looks into his bag he knows instantly what is clean and what is dirty.

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  19. Joanna, i love your blog since aviation is a very small community immaterial of where we are in the world it is all very very relatable. tho I'm not married but my ex and myself did go through about 70% of the problems you face and she found out your blog. what airple does steve fly..is the 738 or 322......hello to all form VIDP... :)

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    1. Hello! Steve flies the 737...he isn't assigned to a certain type (800 or 900, ect) and basically flies whatever equipment is assigned to the leg.

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  20. The other night I was flying an approach at night in a snowstorm, and didn't see anything until a few hundred feet above the runway. Afterwards, I drove home and didn't even think to turn on the windshield wipers because I could see WAY better than when I landed. I think it makes sense in comparison. Still drives the significant other crazy though : )

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    1. Thanks for the perspective! Now, it actually makes sense!

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  21. Wow Hi Joanna!
    My boyfriend is a pilot and I used to get so mad at him because he missed my birthdays valentines almost every occasion... After reading this I feel like I was unfair! and hahaha and he does the laundry thing too i used to think it was strange.... WE HAVE DONE IT WITH THE HAT HAHAHHAHAHA

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  22. oh can relate to this! thanks for the laugh.
    wife of UPS 757 FO.

    xo

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  23. I laughed, I almost cried, by don't have time for that. He is at training, and I am in the middle of my 8 year olds room cleaning, so it is organized for school to start.

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  24. The windshield wiper thing is easy: when the window is thoroughly wet the wiper will not streak as much, especially when it is also a bit dirty (the water will loosen the dirt). My dad told me, my driving instructor told me.
    Most on here have pilots who are gone for 4 days. I am on the road (worldwide) for 20 days. Buying a house from Uganda, telling my wife via an emailed drawing where to find the special tool and which shut off valve to close after freezing temps blew the sprinkler system and water is blowing in the air.... while I am sweating like crazy in Nigeria.... Dealing with a death in the family from Dubai and ordering tickets. Kids end up in er with something as soon as you leave the house, leaving mommy severely sleep deprived....

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  25. I love this! Nice to see a mom and wife who understands!

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  26. Replies
    1. Compared to a 777, yes. But, compared to a real "tiny plane" they are huge. Perspective.

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  27. they like a small private jet bruh, wat does spencer fly?

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  28. From the pilots side. In SFO on a daytime layover. Big earthquake. Loma Prieta. 1989. We all ran outside the hotel which was near to the airport. Our all guy cockpit crew in tee shirts and trou. Shoes w/o sox.
    A strange lady approached us. “Are the three of you pilots?” How the hell did she know!
    “Let me tell you this story. I was a passenger on a morning RJ flight recently. All of the guys had drinks in their hands. . .including me. The Captain called the flight attendant to the cockpit to tell her that there was turbulence ahead. Prepare the cabin. This most perfect attendant then made the following PA announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to enter an area of heavy turbulence. If you have a drink, hold your drink in your left hand and your balls in your right.”
    I looked at the uneasy gentleman next to me who had a drink two drinks and said, “Can I help? I’m not doing anything with my right hand.”

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  29. Everything he is true. The shorts one makes me mad living in Ohio and he facetimes me from the beach ugh. But we love our life and wouldn't change it for anything. Some days are harder than others but we get through it. We have a system. Kids have a countdown of how many big sleeps until daddy is home. They are 4 years old and 8 months.
    It helps I was a flight attendant so I get it but it's still hard. Thank you for this.

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