Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ah, Mother's Day. Good Times, Good Times

To fully appreciate the story, you have to understand that on Kwaj, a lot of the menfolk went to work every day on another island, Roi-Namur.   It was about a 40 mile commute: a quick plane ride most days.   That is, if the windshield doesn't fall out on landing, like it did Tom's very first day of work in August of '98.  There followed  a scramble of plane inspections and months of boatrides and abbreviated workdays because of the 3-hour commute each way.   But usually, the guys (it was mostly husbands at least in my circle of friends) all got back on-island at the same time, all hopped on their bikes at the airport and walked in their respective front doors within minutes of landing.   It was pretty predictable.

So it was the day before Mother's Day in '99 (the workweek was Tuesday through Saturday, to maximize overlapping office hours with CONUS [Continental US]). I heard the plane come in, and got supper on the table, expecting Tom any minute. Minutes ticked away, no Tom. More time passed, and still no husband walking through the door.   "Oh, yeah. Tomorrow's Mother's Day. He's probably stopped off to buy me something. What a great guy," I thought to myself (because my thought bubbles are always grammatically structured sentences.)  This, even though I had known this man some number of years already, and really should have known better.  Eventually he walked through the door, with no gift hiding under his arm, and I surmised he dropped it at a friend's house on the way home. Cute.

He played it totally cool, even though I knew something was up, and I knew he knew I knew something was up. Cool as a cucumber.

So Saturday night morphs into Sunday morning, and here I am, surrounded by my little family on my first Mother's Day on Kwaj. Breakfast comes, breakfast goes.   Nothing.   We pass the morning, and I begin to wonder just when my dear, sweet husband is going to retrieve the gift from the friend's house to give me.   Lunch.   Nothing.   I start getting a little concerned, and I guess I can admit now that my half of our conversation might have gotten a bit, well, let's call it "curt" by mid-afternoon.

Eventually my -- okay -- total bitchiness gets the better of him, and he snaps at me. "What the hell bug flew up your ass today?" he inquires.   (Can't you just hear him?)  "You ... forgot ... sniff, sniff, ... Motherrrr's Daaaaaaay!" I wept, running up the stairs.

I never did find out why Tom was those few minutes late that day.   Maybe he had a flat, or his chain slipped, or he was talking with a friend before leaving for home; I don't know.    I know he felt just awful, and he went to 1010 (the store) and got me a very nice card and a bottle of expensive wine.    I drank the wine, and I probably didn't share with him.

Then he got onto the internet, making his first online purchase that night.   And that, children, is how Momma got those pretty diamond and sapphire earrings.


My membership dues:
Agent 96 in November 1996 - 1 month old

Agent 98 in March 1998 - 1 month old


  1. Oh that story is so cute and typical. Aren't you glad you have all those memories to look back upon? What are you doing today? Marie made me breakfast in bed and a book and lots of cute little things. Hubby left a card on the dresser and the two older ones are asleep, as teenagers tend to do on Sunday mornings. Colette

  2. Thanks, Colette! Happy Mother's Day to you!