Let me tell you a story about this crazy lady that I have the privilege of calling my friend!
About 3 1/2 years ago, I walked into a meeting full of other military spouses from David's ship. Isabelle was in a carrier carseat and I didn't know a soul in the room. Well, actually, I had met a couple of the women at an event, but they weren't the most friendly people. You know how you can meet someone and know if you are going to get along well or if you are better off not getting to know them better...I know that sounds mean, but military spouses can be an interesting breed. You have to choose carefully who/what you are involved with.
Anyhow...back to the meeting. I was very interested in being involved with this group. I had figured out that if I went to these meetings, I often knew more about the ship's schedule than David did. The CO and XO's wives attended the meetings and there were all sorts of activities that I could be involved in with the kids. My motivations were fairly selfish. Okay, they were completely selfish. I wanted to know more about this Navy life and about this crazy schedule and about why it was that my husband was gone so much. I figured the more I was involved, the more I would know.
There were a few positions open on the board, but that would have required me to work with those ladies that I mentioned before. I was trying to avoid that. The other option was to become and ombudsmen. For those of you that don't know, Navy Family Ombudsmen are volunteers appointed by Commanding Officers who serve as the primary link between families and Commands. I thought this sounded like a great way to get involved. Plus, one of the ombudsmen for our ship was named Parys. I thought it was a cool name and I thought she might be someone that I could work well with. I know that is a lot to assume about a person's name, but really, that is what I thought.
So, when asked what position I was interested in, I informed them that I would like to be an ombudsmen. Turns out, this Parys girl was at the meeting and she promptly replied, "We don't need anymore ombudsmen right now." So I thought to myself..."that is what I get for assuming that because she had a cool name, we would get along. I don't know who this girl is, but I am not sure I like her after all."
Long story short, I ended up volunteering for a position on the board that I didn't really care about, but it got me involved with the group. And by the way, I was right. I didn't get along with those other ladies at all. To put it nicely, we were VERY different...age, values, daily grooming habits (or lack thereof)...
As the secretary, I was in charge of writing a newsletter page on behalf of our group that would be included in a monthly newsletter distributed to all of the families attached to the ship. I had just taken over this position and had to attend a meeting with all of the other women writing contributions to the newsletter. Turns out the person in charge of the whole newsletter was none other than Parys... great. What have I gotten myself into???
Really, I couldn't tell you anything that I didn't like about Parys other than the fact that she obviously didn't want to work with me. And I don't take rejection well.
Well, to spare you all the details, let me just tell you that many of the women ended up leaving the board in the following months and I found myself surrounded by women with whom I had much more in common. That fall our ship deployed and these women became my family. They became my support, encouragement and my friends. During these times you get to know people on a much deeper level than you normally would. Among these women was one of the most amazing friends I have ever had...Parys.
I still give her a hard time about her rejecting me. I won't let her forget it! But, I am glad that I still had the opportunity to work with her and learn from her. She has taught me so much about the military life!
Parys helps anyone that she can in any way that she can. It is just what makes her the person that she is! So, when it came down to the wire as we were preparing to move this summer, she was helping me clean my house, talking me down from my "freak out" moments and reminding me to take one step at a time as we tried to get everything done.
And to top it all off, she was at my NEW house a mere 10 days after we moved here, ready to help in any way she could. The intentions were to decorate, paint, finish unpacking, etc. Mostly, it was just great to have a friend around. The kids all had a great time playing together while we stayed up until all hours talking, did a little shopping, walked around the market downtown and enjoyed a little Wii Fit. I can say that if you ever need a good laugh, this is the girl you need to be with!
So thank you Parys, for the help! Thanks for teaching me so much and most of all, thank you for being such an amazing friend! I can't wait to see you again soon! And I totally forgive you for rejecting me!