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As the departure date for my trip to Spain approached, I grew very anxious. I found myself questioning whether I should even go. I knew (from a previous long-distance relationship that ended with me being dumped at the airport — ouch!) that every time I said “bye” (or, as I prefer, “see you later”), I was opening myself up to a million emotions. I was also concerned — some might say paranoid — that he might not have room for me; he was working long hours, meeting new people, and creating a life in Spain. These emotions sounded crazy, even in my own head, so I let everyone think I was so excited, couldn’t wait, and I didn’t let on to the fact that I was downright nervous.
Well, as I am sure you can guess, I got on the flight. Sixteen hours and a few trial-sized mouthwashes later, I was in Jerez de la Frontera, the airport closest to Rota.
Side note …
I am convinced that the best and worst part of an airport is the area I call “airport purgatory” — the transition space between where ticketed passengers are allowed and their friends or family without tickets aren’t. Picture this: Your flight just landed, you get your luggage, then you enter an area (read: airport purgatory) where a slew of people are waiting, trying to figure out where the heck “their person” is. Then you find the person you are looking for, and all is OK.
Except this time, it didn’t work quite like that …
So I enter airport purgatory and I am looking, looking, looking, and I can’t find him! Crap, this is why I HATE airport purgatory. I stand there trying to play it cool (fail) and staring at my phone (which I knew wouldn’t work in Spain). Panic mode sets in. Then Mr. Cool comes strolling over from the café — I couldn’t decide if I wanted to punch him for not being in the proper waiting area or give him a big smooch (I went with the latter).
We had a fantastic week. We explored Andalucía, the southernmost region of Spain, where Rota is located. We took a few day trips, organized his new house, drank good wine, and laughed a lot. During my visit, he introduced me to a kitten he had befriended when he was staying in temporary housing at the Navy Lodge.
Let me start by saying that I am not a cat person. However, when we went to see the kitten — temporarily named Cat-Rat — I suddenly developed a soft spot for this pathetic, sickly looking thing. I decided that it would be a good idea to bring this kitten home, take care of it (we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl), and get it healthy. I thought that he or she would be a good companion while we were apart. So we brought it home, bought cat shampoo and a few pairs of rubber gloves, and attempted to give Cat-Rat a bath. It was a nightmare — scratches, bites, and lots of hissing later, Cat-Rat was cleaner, but still not clean.
The week flew by (as I knew it would), and it was time to say “see you later” again. This time was different, though: I wasn’t as nervous about the future. It was clear that he was invested in this, and I knew that we would continue our Skype dates and that we would see each other in six short weeks for the holidays.
I confidently boarded the plane home, knowing that it really was a “see you later.”
P.S. To readers who are considering rescuing a feral cat: Your intentions are admirable, but think twice. A few days after I arrived back in D.C. I noticed circular rash-like marks on my arms. Then, during our weekend Skype date, I noticed he was COVERED in these circular rashes. A few visits to WebMD.com later, we realized we had ringworm (thank you, Pepé!). Sweet.milfams milspouse
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