Friday, September 14, 2012

Bad Day 66--Bad Chinese food makes a family

A couple of people at work asked me how I manage this whole Afghanistan thing without any family in the area. My answer is that I do have family here; they are just not related to me by blood. My family whom I'm actually related to live far away. So far, in fact, that apparently phone calls, e-mails, and facebook posts can't reach me from the distant shores that they live on, or so I assume since I never hear from them. (Yes, sisters, I'm speaking to you. Also nieces, and nephews, and in-laws and assorted others. I'm not sure if I even have a brother any more because he never writes or calls even though I totally fought with his bank on his behalf over his car payment while he was at sea in the Navy. Just saying!)

Husband's parents have been great because they have visited twice since we moved to this far away place that is way closer than China, for sure, so I can't figure out why it's so hard to get to. And my parents get a pass because, well, my Dad has cancer so they can't actually travel. I wish we did live closer because then maybe some of the rest of our family could actually help instead of just reading my blog and thinking about me. (Feel guilty yet, family? Good!)

But I do have a family here that supports me and keeps me going. They are the family I have collected over the years and they are amazing. One of them, "Gabrielle," is truly a gift from God and was bequeathed to me by my own sister-in-law whose sister-in-law she actually is. Don't worry if that doesn't make sense. Just know that we moved to this little town because Gabrielle lives here and she was so worried about me after Husband left that she changed her morning jog to coincide with my morning dog-walking so that she could check up on me daily. I love her for that.

And I also have my Foreign Service family. We are not related by blood, either, but we are related by sweat, toil, boring training that you have to take every single year, ugly furnishings, terrible 4th of July parties in the rain that go on forever where you aren't allowed to eat the food, frustrating cable clearance processes, and shared cases of food poisoning because we all ate lunch at the same awful restaurant. We bond quickly because we all know that we'll only be in each place a short time, and yet, in each place we still manage to make friendships that will last a lifetime. And my FS family totally gets how hard the Afghanistan thing is because some of them have already done it and many of them will do it someday. They distract me with silly e-mails, post on my facebook page, and even leave weird comments on this blog (yes, I know it's you, Guido,) and I love them all for it.

My FS family received yet another blow today when we learned that an amazing colleague lost her battle with cancer. She was beautiful, and smart, and fun, and most importantly way too young to go. We started the FS together and none of us imagined that she would be taken from us so very soon. She is already deeply missed.

And finally, I have my Norwegian family to thank for today's bad day win. My friend "Thor" is definitely having a worse day than me. He was being environmentally conscious as people often are in Norway and dried his laundry outside. When he put on his socks this morning, he felt something painful. It was a very angry bee that had been stuck in the sock for a couple of days and stung him. Thankfully, he is not allergic, but his job does require him to be on his feet for long periods of time and that will not be fun on his bee-stung foot. So Thor, thank you for reminding me to be grateful that I don't have bees in my socks! And thank you for helping me smile at your pain on a day when I really, really needed it.

I'm now going to go to see a movie about fish with my sister Artemis who is related to me by a really bad boss and excellent Japanese food.


  1. Am too alive. And that bank thing was like 12 years ago. Love ya, Brother

    1. Woohoo! He's alive! Plus, there is no statute of limitations on reminding siblings about favors. And I miss you.

  2. Sistah!

    Not to mention we're also related through those excellent red-haired nieces of mine. Careful I don't adopt them all away from you. They rock. (And so do you.)


  3. Um, the phone works both ways...and after seeing your schedule a couple of posts ago, why would I try to butt into that? :-P You *know* I have a talent for calling when people are a) at dinner b) at a restaurant and c) in the car to or from said restaurant. And I'm broke, so visiting isn't an option unless you'd like to pay my medical bills so that I can come visit.

    And, yea, Brother is alive!!!!!!!

    Snarkily yours (always),

    Sister 2

  4. Love the blog. Sorry I don't communicate. Your Sister 1 had to give me a polite lecture on that topic when I went off to school a couple of years ago. I should probably call her...

    Loving thoughts,
    Niece 2(?)

    1. Like mother, like daughter. :-) Tell Sister 1 I miss you all when you talk to her next, Niece 2. And I love your tweets, btw. Love, your aunt (I have no idea which number.)

    2. Maternal aunt 1 would be the correct term