Sunday, May 23, 2010

Piloting the Pilot

Last Sunday we picked up Bar Mitzvahzilla from the airport after his week long eighth grade trip to Washington DC with his class.

Everything went well, or just as expected. We got to the airport and found all the other parents milling around waiting for the kids. We spotted our boy, who seemed to have grown five inches in the one week he was gone. I got tearful, of course. Daughter was in quite an awkward spot. They normally live in a constant battlezone but she had actually missed him like crazy and spoken with him on the phone like a normal human sister, so what would their new relationship be like? Humans or opposing armies? Awkward or back to normal?

I warned her, "One day you and your brother are going to be grown ups and you're going to have to speak to each other like real people, not like fighting siblings all the time. Start now."

Then we got back in the car, drove out of the parking structure. Suddenly my husband starts fumbling with something. I see it's a walkie talkie. From like 1972. It's gigantic and has an antenna and he has to almost hang it out of the car window in order to get some reception. This is as modern as he gets in the day and age of iPhone and iPads. A Vietnam-Era walkie talkie so that he can listen to the pilots talking to the control tower.

The kids and I all look at him like he sprouted horns. Then we look at each other, all of us thinking what a geek Husband is because, of course, a trip to the airport means one thing only to him: listening to the gigantic walkie talkies and being at one with all the pilot lingo. Husband was a licensed pilot before he was a licensed driver, though he hasn't flown in all the years I've known him. Right now, unfortunately, the closest he's getting to a pilot is that we're actually driving his Honda Pilot.

I think of his other hobbies. The weather maps always pulled up on our computer at home so he can predict what the day will be like. The collection of albums that he's absolutely, positively going to transfer onto CDs, except that now CDs are out of date.
I sigh and think of my advice to my daughter. One day the kids will be out of the house and Husband and I will be alone so I'd better start treating him like a real person right now, not just a geek.

I say, "Cool, honey. Watch the road."

Does your spouse or partner have any hobbies that border on the geeky? Anything that makes you want to roll your eyes?


  1. this post made me laugh and thing that for us the better query is DOES HE HAVE ANY THAT DONT?!

    I love my hubby and his quirks.


  2. Oh, this is such a cute story.
    My kids always mock me for what they consider my quirks, but they do it with affection. I think.
    So glad your son is home safe and sound. It's cool to see our kids' relationships evolve when they're apart.

  3. I'm afraid I am the geeky one in the relationship. You would have to ask my husband for full disclosure, as I am too busy deluding myself into thinking I'm cool.

  4. Awww, what a cute little nerdlet your husband is! My husband is ALWAYS fumbling with the stereo when he drives, changing stations maniacally and forever getting distracted. Drives me batshit crazy.

  5. Glad your son had a wonderful trip but I am sure you are delighted to have him home again.

    Well I think you already know my husband is a major geek - right now he is traveling back from England where he goes once or twice a year to play his gaming games with his geeky friends from childhood. He has a massive collection of figures, gaming books, model structures and more which are his pride and joy. Once a geek, always a geek sadly, so I knew what I was getting into from the start......

  6. Oh I can roll my eyes at my husband so often! Men and gadgets. Sigh.

  7. Xbox, Xbox, Xbox and all of his little online Xbox "friends", computers, guns (that he never uses), cigars (that he never smokes), watches, planes, downloaded music every night, the History Channel, car racing (but NOT Nascar), his iphone and anything Apple, including Steve Jobs, and, oh, number one - his car

  8. Did you miss him like crazy? Can you believe they are starting high school.

    I love that your husband wants to listen to pilot chat with his 1972 walkie talkies. Somethings are best from the past.

    I am getting the feeling that you are slowly stepping into my world. And for my husband-he loves to fix things. And each time he tries, he takes ten trips to the hardware store and then settles on the duck tape fix.

  9. My husband still gets together with his college friends to play Dungeons & Dragons, so, um, yeah, we're well past bordering on the geeky over here. :)

  10. The imagery made me laugh! As for geekiness... I always thought I was the cool one and my hubbie was the geek, but he likes to remind me that I was in band and theatre ( and still play in a community band). So, I guess our children have no chance. Nerdiness abounds.

  11. Ha! Adorable and geeky at the same time. I'd actually love to listen for awhile on his vintage walkie-talkie.

    I remember as a young girl going to the airport with my dad to watch planes take off. We didn't actually go to the airport, we went to a frontage road nearby with a perfect view of the runway. Growing up in a small town, this was just one of the many appeals held by the big city.

  12. I remember our (cancelled) 8th grade trip to Washington, DC (also a tradition in our NJ grade school) in '68. It was cancelled due to "violent" anti Vietnam protests. There was a consolation trip - I can't recall to where.
    Now my kids learn in and travel to our capital, Jerusalem, as well as other locales in areas deemed unsafe by the US State Dept. There's irony in there somewhere...

  13. I still haven't figured out how people don't just kill each other outright. God has a sense of humor. He really does.

  14. Oh husband is an engineer. He looks at maps and traffic patterns all day and for fun...

    He can quote sports statistics like no one's business...

    So yeah, he's a nerd. And we have nerdy kids who accuse each other of cheating at chess...

    Tons of fun over here!

  15. um, my husband is geek personified.
    He played world of warcraft.
    Has a ham radio license.
    Love geology.
    And is working on plans to build a generator and likes metal work.
    nuff said.
    Cute post.
    And my husband would be green with envy over your husband's walky talky's.

  16. Not in a position to comment on the geeky spouse thing. But I will say - don't you LOVE it when your kids realize they actually missed each other?

    That's a gift. More than they realize at this stage. But they will, later on.

    Good stuff.

  17. I got your vacation comment, but you never did say if you liked your video dedication from HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY.... maybe I need to check my email...

  18. I just want to hug you whenever I read of your stories!

  19. I am certain that I married the one guy who could stand me for more than a few months. That's why I love him.