new hobby.

As someone who has waved real signs protesting the Iraq war (the pic above is actually from a friend's surprise birthday party), it has been entertaining to collect the reactions of people who are catching word that I am dating a military guy.

When Whitney heard, she took me to see the movie, Valkyrie. She said that she loved good stories about good men trying to save the world.

I recently told some married friends about my news:

"Oh my gosh! We just barely saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. There's this girl in it who falls in love with a male model in her figure drawing class. I automatically thought of you and said something about how maybe that could be a dating strategy you could use... yeah, military... whoa, I never saw that coming."

I even try to even break it down gently for others who I think might feel particularly surprised. This was my method with my German friend (who tends to be a more left-leaning pacifist):

"So what is he like?"

"Uh, he speaks German; he actually lived in Germany for a while..."

"Oh, great!"

"Yeah, he actually also speaks French and Spanish...and he graduated from BYU in microbiology...

"Cool, cool..."

"And he's also serving in the military..."

"Oh...now that's, uh...different."

My brother (who's the Navy doc) explained, "Laura, if you're gonna date a military guy, you've gotta start learning some military vernacular." And then we talked for an hour just about how the military ranking systems work.

Yeah, I'll confess that there's a little culture shock involved for me. Even though this is just a paintballing pic, the whole feel of it strikes me as completely foreign (Josh is the one on the left):But as I've considered a relationship with a military guy, I've actually come to the conclusion that I may be well suited to it.

When I was married to someone with mental illness I joined NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness), volunteered, taught classes, attended support groups, read every book on Bipolar Disorder that I could possibly find (I am seriously an expert now), kept updated on new research and medications, and did my best to ensure that my spouse was receiving the best possible care that he had access to.

I think I can continue to demonstrate that kind of loyalty and support although the circumstances are different.

Furthermore, no matter how left-leaning I may be, I absolutely believe that the United States needs a military and that the military should be operated and run by quality people with a sincere desire to serve.

Here's a quote from the bottom of Josh's facebook page that sums up my sentiments (and probably Whitney's too):

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
-George Orwell

Scary, but true.

I am likely to register as a Republican any time soon?


AllgauerJodler said...

I think you should change the title of this posting from "new hobby" to "new hubby".

AllgauerJodler said...

and for the record, this is a blog commment, and not a blog kiss.

whitney joy said...

your hair is so long in that picture. I enjoyed this post.

Dylan said...

so are you saying that being married to someone with bipolar disorder has prepared you to date someone who serves in the military? huh? is he bipolar too?

Reginal Archibald Barlow said...

Oh, Laura, I'd say something like, "It's only a matter of time", but that sounds too sure, arrogant, and discounting of your own convictions. I'll simply say that probably 95% of all discussed at Eagle Forum, you would be consonant with--in all seriousness. It's interesting how things start seeming (at least, to me) more and more like principle, and less and less like right vs. left, or Rep. vs Dem. In the end it amounts to freedom, rights, and relation with God. The rest is just the table and the chair chosen to decorate your room--neither here nor there in the end.
(Oh, and by the way, this is Carl, and not Hilary that keeps writing on her account. I forget my log-in name, and thusly exploit hers.) We love you! Talk to you lata!

Reginal Archibald Barlow said...

Oh, never mind, this IS my account! How do I change that atrocious name?!?

Tom said...


It is so interesting that there is a consistent streak of anti-military in left leaning political circles. I think it's the lemming effect. Both parties have a handful of ridiculous but widely held views that survive only because people fall in line. On the other side of the aisle is the notion that we should not back Barack. How ridiculous. Thumbs up to Barack for promoting volunteerism today. Let's join hands with him in every good thing he promotes. America has been hungry for a leader who will lead instead of just "enact." And, to bring the circle back around, there is no group of people in the country more engaged in this spirit of volunteerism than the military.

Mark said...

Aside from the Squishy, falling for a military man talk I am glad to see a former war protester see value in the military, and give well thought through attention to the hard work they do. Having met him once and just for a short time, I never would have taken him for the rough tough type, the complete opposite actually. This makes me consider how honest and real his intent is to serve and give all for his Nation. I wish I had that pure a heart.

laura said...

Dylan, It's not that being married to someone with bipolar prepared me for dating someone in the military, more that it proved to myself that I can be independent and strongly supportive in my relationships. I believe that someone serving in the military as well as someone with a mental illness can benefit from someone who is capable of offering this kind of support.

Tom, Thank you so much for your comment. I completely share in your point of view. I might have to write it down so I can quote it later.

Mark, Thank you so much. I have no doubt that your heart is plenty pure.

mim said...

Valkyrie? Josh seems way cooler than Tom Cruise or an eye patch.

Yah. I just looked at a picture from the movie. I'm right about this one.