Last December when I was 5 months pregnant with Ronan, I sat in on this very important meeting with Colonels and managers to discuss why our organization was so goddamn important.
I am not joking. Nothing like having to justify our mission/purpose on earth in front of military big-wigs 2 months after your hired.
There were other organizations that were also present for this justification meeting. I was warned that one of the other scientists was someone I went to undergrad with. Dr. L.
I was a little surprised that Dr. L. was a Dr. at all. And although we had gotten along fine in undergrad, she had the reputation for using her charm and luscious good-looks for getting her way. A bit of a snake-charmer. Her best asset was her long, flowing red hair and this flawless porcelain skin. She called everyone sweetie.
Fast forward 10 years, and there she was at this meeting, looking a little haggard and not as luscious (but hey, who does). She recognized me right away.
"Reese, it's so nice to see you. I thought that was you, but they kept calling you Dr. S and I know you by Reese R,"
I nodded and smiled, taking it all in.
"When are you due?" she asked.
"Boy or girl?"
"A boy," I said.
She smiled. "That's great. We had a girl. She's 18 months," she said.
I had also heard through the rumor mill that she had married some military guy and was having a rough time of it.
We chit-chatted and she talked to me about collaboration and I uh-huhed through most of it. I figured it would be a long time before we actually met up again. We work on 2 totally different bases.
Well, this week I had to shoot her an e-mail about a project that went completely in the crapper. There was a bunch of he-said-she-said and a lot of misrepresentation that I felt needed to be addressed. So, I wrote her about it.
She called me the next morning, thanking me for the information and chatting me up. Then out of the blue...
"So, how are you doing?"
I was a little surprised but not. Civilian world is small, and science civilian world is even smaller. I figured she was told, but who knows by who, and I was a little relieved she did know and I didn't have to break the news that I did not have a 1 month old son, colicky sitting at home.
"I am doing as well as can be expected," I said.
"Yeah. I was so sorry to hear about it," she said.
"Well, we found out that he had an underlying genetic issue that was undiagnosed,"
"But you are ok?" she asked again.
I love when I am asked this question. What the fuck is ok? Ok, I am breathing? Yeah. Ok, the sun is shining on my face and I am singing zippety-do-da, not so much.
"Yeah. We are doing alright. I appreciate you asking about him," I said.
"I didn't know if I should," she said.
"No, I appreciate that you did," I said.
"And the job is going well. They are treating you alright since this happened?" she asked.
"Yeah, yeah," I said.
"Good. Ok, Sweetie, it was good talking to you," she said and hung up.
Sometimes. Sometimes people can surprise you.
I leave for Boston for yet another conference on Sunday. I am not thrilled to be gone another 5 days without my hubby and I am out of 500 page books to read to distract me while I am there.
The good news is that I will be joined by Peyton on Thursday for a 4 day getaway to Rhode Island/Maine.
I will blog from the road when I can....