Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fucking Flowers

Today is our wedding anniversary. 14 years.

When Steve got his June schedule he noted he would be working today. I noted that he would be spending a lot of money on having flowers delivered today.

Knowing he would be gone today, Steve and I exchanged gifts on Sunday, the eve before he left for this trip. Exchanging gifts on a random day is very typical for a pilot household, be it birthdays or anniversaries. Steve gifted me U2 concert tickets, and a night downtown. I gifted him a trip to the shooting range, which is something (shooting a gun) he has never done before.

In my head, we will celebrate our anniversary the evening of the concert. Today, this year around, is simply a date on a calendar.


Wednesdays are challenging for me at work. On this hump-day, I receive a lot of money for my clients. And with these clients, it's my job to post the money. I delegate a bit of the work out, but I handle most of it. It's a lot of numbers, for many hours. By noon-ish my brain hurts and I need to step away from my desk. It was about then that I thought more about not having received flowers in the office yet.

With every sound of the company door opening, I thought that maybe it was the flowers. With each person passing my office I looked up. Nothing. Did Steve really not send me flowers today?

Around 2:30 Steve called me. Note that I leave my office everyday at 3pm. He was just "checking in." He was in Chicago and got settled into his hotel for the rest of the day. When he was asking how my day was going, he lingered a bit....as if to say something.

"So, did you get anything delivered?" he asked.
"No."
"Well, you should have..."
"Well, they have, like, 30 minutes to deliver them if I get them today..."

Here is the breakdown of the flower order:
- Steve ordered the flowers on SATURDAY! (he certainly planned for this)
- Steve ordered the flowers through FTD, online.
- FTD guarantees the delivery between 9am to 5pm.
- Note, again, that I leave every day at 3p.

I left work at 3. I didn't have any flowers.

Steve sent me a couple texts about how sorry he was. This was after I ignored his phone call. It wasn't his fault the flowers weren't delivered when I was there. I told him it wasn't his fault. But, with any situation where you are feeling something, you want to blame someone. I wanted to blame Steve. Why couldn't he get this right? I told him he should have just placed a phone order with a local florist. He agreed.

I started my drive home from work defeated. Deflated. I had a thing come up at work that upset me, yet again, and I was down from that. And then no flowers. I told Steve I felt alone.

Feeling alone on your anniversary sucks. Welcome to the world of a pilot wife. 

I tried to control myself on my drive home, and I did until I got a text from a co-worker. It was a picture of the bouquet of flowers that were just delivered.

Stargazer lilies. My favorite. The centerpieces at our wedding. Steve did good.


That picture triggered the tears. Steve is so thoughtful. I went through two tissues. Work pissed me off. Flowers pissed me off. Typically I'm not so emotional, but I have been ready to start my period for the last week, it seems and it fucking sucks, so I really wasn't in a great state. I let it out for a good couple minutes, and then I had to get my shit together because I was coming home to the nanny and the kids.

I got home, happy as can be. It really is amazing how your kids can switch your bad-mood off, and put a smile on your face. I needed that.

The kids and I loaded into the car around 4p because I had to go to the chiropractor. After that we headed to an outdoor mall. I wanted to get a pair of new sandals, which I did. And a really cute cross-body bag. There is always a promise for the kids to feed the ducks when we go to this outdoor mall, and today was no exception.
There is a Mama duck with three babies in this picture.
Super-duper sweet.

Steve "checked in" here and there during our outing. I figured he was calling so much since he knew I was upset.

We then headed to Aldi. I love that store! My latest find are these most awesome chocolate wafers (made in Germany) that taste like Europe. I may buy them out of those next time I'm there, and I'm not even a sugar lover. We are headed to the lake this weekend, which means lots of sugar, carbs, and beer. Have you ever tried to cook a meal on a boat? Not so easy. While at the lake, I switch my "gotta eat nutritious foods" mode off, and turn on my "gotta eat foods that are easy and fast" mode on. Aldi is a great place, in general, and an even greater place to get "boat food."

After Aldi, and nearly three hours later, we finally made our way back home. I commanded the kids help with putting the groceries away once we got home. I needed their help. I was tired. I was hungry. My heart was still heavy.

I opened the car's back hatch and added one bag to the load I was already carrying, being my handbag and a cup of water. I greeted the dog as we entered the house, and then I placed my load on the kitchen island. I went back to the car for another load of grocery bags, which I then placed on the kitchen island. As I turned to head back to the car for yet another load, I stopped...

There was a bouquet of flowers laying on the kitchen counter, next to the sink. Red roses, with white hydrangeas.

I started crying. I stopped dead in my tracks, and just started crying. My cry, then, turned into that ugly cry.

You know how you sometimes carry that weight on your shoulders when something is in disarray? And then when the situation is resolved, you feel that weight lifted? Well, those flowers lifted that weight. My heart felt light. It was exactly what I needed to make things right. Despite a time zone and a couple thousand miles, Steve made me feel so special...and so loved. Those flowers made me no longer feel alone.

Ben had been helping me with bringing the bags in, and was in the kitchen when I saw the bouquet. As I cried, Ben was relating to the 'happy cry' thing, and shared some stories with me. It was very sweet. I think it's good when your children see you multi-dimensional like this.

After I placed the flowers in a vase, and put away all the frozen/refrigerated food, I called Steve. I opened the conversation with the fact that Ben saw me ugly cry. He knew exactly why I was calling. As I was recounting the chain of events to finding the bouquet, I started to cry again.

"It's just fucking flowers," I told him, trying to laugh through my tears. But the truth is, it's much more than just fucking flowers. I felt alone this afternoon. Like, really alone. Even though I know it wasn't Steve's fault for the late delivery, somehow it made me feel distant from him. I am way okay with this aviation lifestyle, and I like to think that I handle it pretty well, most times. But, today this one thing hit me *just* right.

Steve knew how down I was, and worked his magic to make it right. When I was driving home from work, he was running. While running he kept thinking how he can make this right. He had an idea.

He enlisted a friend to help him. Steve told said friend that the $80 bouquet that was delivered to my office today was now just a paper weight. Said friend totally understood, and jumped in to help. Said friend, and his daughter, delivered the goods while we were running errands. They entered through the garage door key-pad. Remember how Steve kept "checking in?" He was keeping tabs on us to help orchestrate this flower delivery.
this was the picture sent to Steve, showing the drop was successful

This anniversary, though apart, will go in the memory books for sure. I am reminded, once again, how lucky I am to be loved by my husband the way he loves me. And now, I think my favorite bouquet is red roses with white hydrangeas.




17 comments:

  1. Wow...you're legitimately fucking crazy. Airing your dirty laundry in public, and complaining that your husband had the nerve to send you flowers that didn't get there on time?

    You're a disaster. Get over it. You don't want the life, don't be married to a pilot.

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    2. What a horrible person you are. There are times when a pilot's wife will fail to maintain her usual strength. Being disappointed and/or sad by being away from one's husband during most special days can get hard. In the end, this fantastic wife and mother was fortunate to learn how much she means to her husband. Been there, done that for 30 years with my pilot. It ain't always easy or pretty, but it's my life. You should take another look at yours.

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  2. Yikes. Such a harsh comment.

    I'm not airing any dirty laundry, I'm simply sharing the details of my day.

    I have found many women happy to relate to my blog posts. I'm sorry you can't find the same.

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    1. Harsh comment indeed! Totally relatable as my husband is a fellow (new-aka lowest on the totem pole) pilot. The flowers are pointless but its the thought of him sending them, then trying to make you feel better the point. I totally got it. Sounds like you have a keeper! Happy anniversary!

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  3. Wow. What a completely unnecessary comment Anonymous (and you apparently don't even have the courage to put your name to your abusive message).

    Even though I was thinking - lucky girl to even get flowers (doesn't happen in this house!). As I read the post, I realised that what she seemed to be trying to say is - no matter how well you think you may have this lifestyle sorted out, sometimes there are days, or events that seem to catch you off guard. Where you realise that you're being unreasonable or unrealistic but that doesn't stop the hurt, or the anger or the disappointment.

    If you read the post to the end, I feel like what she was actually saying was - how lucky am I to have a man who will go the extra mile to help me feel better when I'm having a bad day or a bad week.
    Even if you don't agree with that, maybe if you think something like you wrote, in future, it would be kinder to keep your thoughts to yourself or even share them with your friend or husband privately, rather than feeling the need to attack another person on a public forum. I hope that if you ever happen to have a bad day and reach out to others in whatever form, that people treat you with kindness and compassion.

    Joanna, thanks for putting yourself out there...the good, the bad and the ugly and sharing stories that others (if not everybody...!) may be able to relate to.

    I'm glad Steve did such an amazing job of spoiling you and understanding what your heart needs. Obviously the reason you chose him!

    Happy Anniversary and I hope you have an amazing time at the concert.

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  4. I sure can relate to your day. Those days that are predictably unpredictable. With twists and turns and hopes and dreams. As pilot wives we rise up! We become the wonder woman that we know is inside us. We live and we love. We are blessed and grateful. We are kind and courageous. We are pilot wives after all. Thank you for such a raw and beautiful post.

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  5. What a day! Reminds me of all the years we celebrated special dates (birthdays, holidays, and yes, anniversaries) on totally random dates! My husband was awarded his first Christmas off the year after the kids were grown and gone. Timing, it's everything. This pilot wife life can be amazing and it can totally suck; sometimes all in the same day even. Glad things finally came together for you. PS- I love roses and hydrangeas. So much so that they're my bouquet for my 25th anniversary this December! Cyndy

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  6. This is an awesome story. Thank you for sharing. The wife of a pilot can be hard sometimes so the little things like this can make all the difference. Thank you for sharing and know that you are in good company.

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  7. From one PW to another, I get it! I am so glad your husband knows you well enough to know how to make you feel better! Sweetness, understanding and communication. You have a good combo there! :D

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  8. Hello, I am sorry but I find you egoistical. What did you get your husband on that day? Only drama! It's your anniversary for both of you not just you. If you really miss him well I think the fact that he called you that day (while you were ignoring his calls) was enough to reassure you that he was thinking of you. I want to reassure people that your story is not the life of healthy and stable married couples when one of them happens to be an airline pilot. I have no doubt your husband loves you to put up with your character. You are the wife of what looks to be a mainline guy, life should be good now so instead of complaining because me me me didn't get the flowers, share with us the exciting life experiences you have traveling and how their dad spends days away from home in order to provide the best he can for his family! As much as I understand that your blog is a way for you to vent, remember that pilots talk in the cockpit as well and (with all due respect) you may not want to be "that pilot wife".

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    1. I just saw this comment, and needed to respond. There wasn't drama on our anniversary, rather my husband felt badly and wanted to make me happy. I can assure you that our marriage is healthy and stable, believe me. I wish you the best...you seem to have a lot of hate in your heart.

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  9. This story totally made me smile bc I can totally relate. While reading, I thought this would be a good one for my hubs to read to help understand what we go through... the emotional roller coaster of knowing this is no big deal which becomes a big deal simply bc I miss my man.


    Anonymous, I read your pilot is new. Does that mean you're new to this lifestyle? It's lonely carrying these emotions and tasks after so many years. I hear this story not as one day of missed expectations but many. I think many of can relate more than we realize or admit.

    Thank you for sharing!!

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  10. Joanna, I loved the story and i can totally relate. Im guessing the nasty comments are from shallow thinking un-enlightened men who can't possibly imagine a life different than their own. Having your spouse gone on an anniversary is a big deal, it does matter, especially when you still love that person and crave their presence. I enjoy your writing. My spouse is on a trip and I'm alone with two small kids; you get and often express my feeling and are encouraging at the same time.

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  13. Such idiotic bitter comments on this post. Joanna, I really appreciate the honesty of all your posts and relate so much. Sometimes our annoyance is irrational, sometimes its deserved, it doesn't make it any less real. The reality is, for me at least, that anniversaries/birthdays etc are so much more special when you're with a pilot, as you already get to spend such a short amount of time with them compared to anyone else. I don't think it's unreasonable to be disappointed if it's not perfect, even if you rationally know that it's silly and it's not anyone's fault. Emotions are not rational. That's the whole point. If your posts weren't honest, and painted everything as rosy 24/7, I'd have stopped reading a long time ago. As it is, your blog has stopped me feeling alone and has been a serious help and guidance for me. I first found it when I started dating my then pilot in training 2 and a half years ago, and have been reading ever since. Pilot wife/girlfriend life is unique, and I'd have been lost in that first year without your blog. Please don't listen to the few bitter commenters on here who clearly have nothing better than to insult someone on the internet.

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