Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Deputy Commander for Seniors/Mission Pilot/Aerospace Education Officer
Mount Pocono Composite Squadron 207, Civil Air Patrol
Since I'm a sucker for a man in uniform, I thought I'd post a picture of a man in uniform. Except I happen to be engaged to this one.
Last night I accompanied David to his weekly Civil Air Patrol meeting, to shock even more people with the announcement of his engagement. We'd created a buzz at his office, where I'd been placed on Monday because the ADSL hasn't been installed at the house yet. I'd mentioned I'd passed the Jewish Mom Test on Sunday night. Here was the next stage: meeting his CAP comrades and the cadets.
Les, the Squadron 207 Commander and David's good friend, accompanied us to the meeting and delighted in the prospect of announcing the engagement during final formation. But, when we arrived at the army base, the state troopers at the point of entry told us I wouldn't be allowed on the base because I was a foreign national.
Canadian? (Coalition of the Unwilling?)
He really didn't look like he was going to budge. I silently cursed myself for not bringing my passport, thinking my driver's license would be satisfactory. The state trooper took my license into his office and told us to pull over while he presumably wrote down every digit he could find, make a bunch of phone calls, brew coffee, or whatever else state troopers do to make themselves appear busy and officious.
Eventually he let us through, after David and Les informed him of their rankings, and we headed off to the meeting. I was shown around, and there were more than a few curious people, wondering who I was. At Les' request, David kept hush-hush about the engagement, and I was introduced as his friend to the others. After the "50-cent tour" (a senior member's words, not mine), a cadet class (runway markings) and a senior members' class (weight and balance), it was final formation and the Big Announcement. Les started out by introducing me as a visitor from Vancouver at the beginning of the announcements, and at the end, after correcting himself a couple of times -- "Miss Edwards" then "Miss Edwins" -- he laughed it off by saying they could just refer to me as "Mrs. Fielding"...
Mrs. Fielding! (Trying it on for size, here.)
There was a stunned silence in the room, then a chorus of disbelief: "Nooooo....." Which sounds bizarre, but in the context of the "consummate bachelor" reputation David had earned during his CAP days, it was obvious there were some people who just couldn't believe he was getting married. What that meant for the cadets was that they'd have to finally share him -- David dedicates a large amount of his free time with his cadets, who number around 45-50 or so. What that meant for the senior members was that they'd have a youngin' in their midst. At least I'm young somewhere. After attending numerous lectures on the SFU campus with kids younger than my car, this is a welcome change, indeed. Secretly, though, I think they're thinking I'll steal David away to the Left Coast...