So you'd think that acquiescing to being a foreign service spouse would guarantee one a spot among the Pantheon of great husbands. And surely, throwing an awesome surprise party to mark the occassion of A-100 graduation would seal the deal.
The dirty secret is that these benevolent acts only serve to equalize some of my terrible shortcomings, such as what I'll be doing to my wife this weekend.
Today is Natalie's birthday. Tomorrow morning, I'm leaving her in D.C. while I go to Louisville with my best friend and a group of his friends to partake in the party of all parties, the Kentucky Derby.
That doesn't seem too bad. In fact, I'm actually delaying my arrival in Louisville by one day so I could celebrate her birthday with her. The rest of the guys will be a full day ahead of me.
The real clincher in this heinous act is that while I'll be at the party, she will be doing the two-day, marathon-and-a-half walk for breast cancer. By the way, I'll will call your attention one last time to the link in the left hand column beneath the picture of A-100 graduation. That link will be disappearing after the weekend, and it takes you to Natalie's donation page and includes the story about why she is walking.
Most likely, I'll be in Churchill Downs' infield portion for the derby, which is kind of like where spring break meets a bachelor party. Except, from the way I understand it, you're more likely to see a horse at either spring break or a bachelor party then at the infield during the Run for the Roses.
But that's beside the point. As a native of the Bluegrass State, I've always wanted to attend a Derby. I feel obligated to do so. It would be like being from South Dakota and never visiting Mount Rushmore. In terms of attractions, Kentucky doesn't have a whole lot to offer tourists, and this is the one time every year the Commonwealth demands national attention. To paraphrase the illustrious Veep Joe Biden, "This is a big effin deal." (I'll never tire of including that sentence in my blogs.)
Meanwhile, Natalie will be walking. A lot. 39.3 miles, to be exact. I was there when she did this walk two years ago, and after the first day and 26.2 miles, her feet were covered with blisters. Her blisters had blisters. I remain shocked to this day that she was able to walk the final 13.1 on the second day.
Both of us are going to be hurting Sunday morning, but for entirely different reasons. She'll be raising money and awareness for a noble cause. I'm going to be donating money to Jim Beam and Kentucky public schools - and only through the fraction of a fraction of a percentage of every gambling penny that is taken from Churchill as mandated by law. She'll be suffering physically and emotionally as she does this walk in memory of her mom. I'll likely have no memories, other than those caught on camera, at all.
So, sure, at times it might seem like I'm a great, accommodating and understanding husband. But other times, I'm more like the television husbands such as Al Bundy or Homer Simpson.
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