Monday, May 2, 2016

Small Town Carnival

Even though we live in the Sixth Borough, we live in what most people would consider a small town; it's a community right outside of The Big Apple, where cops can let out their breath for a minute.
Every year our small town hosts a typical carnival-type event, and last year we went for the first time with our son. He was young enough to not know fear, so he went on all the rides, and we left there feeling as if we had touched a small slice of Americana, even if for just a few hours.
This year we went but our child is a year older and a bit more aware. He was not interested in the rides. He didn't even want to walk by some, because they were larger than life to him, and perhaps the things that toddler nightmares are made of...I'm not sure, but either way, I wasn't interested in sticking around in order to figure it all out.
We made a decision to get some ice cream, but on our way out of the carnival, my husband made a quick detour over to the Police Officer who was directing traffic. He showed our son the Officer and told him to wave. The Officer seemed rather excited and waved back, and when he had the chance, stepped off of his post in order to greet my son and offer him a tiny plastic badge. 
My son liked this far better than the dinosaur ride that sat right behind him.
He clutched the badge, and yelled in his little boy voice, "Thank You Mr. Police Man!"
We all chuckled.
When we left, I gave my husband a look that only couples that are married great lengths of time can interpret and immediately understand.
"Ah...it was important for him and for that Officer."
I get it.
I always have.

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Conversely, I was turning onto our road today and saw the local Police parked directly outside my house, idling there, window down. I may have taken the turn a bit quickly as I pulled up alongside the SUV.
"Did you need me for something, were you looking for me?" I addressed the Officer with my heart hammering in my chest.
"No, but you didn't come to a complete stop just then." He sneered at me.
It took a moment to process his words.
"Oh!" Then it dawned on me. He was sitting outside my house trying to catch people running the Stop Sign at the turn onto my road.
I blinked, then said, "My husband is NYPD. I thought you were serving me a notification."
The look on his face said he didn't understand or perhaps care.
That was fine. I get it. In a small town, running a Stop Sign gets elevated to a level of importance that it would not have in the streets of the Big City.
But he also didn't understand why I did not...could not...pause.
It's that half a second, that moment of not knowing...that breath you just can't get...the irrational urge to scream at him and say, "DO NOT IDLE IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. EVER!"
So...today was a different kind of small-town carnival.
A sideshow, perhaps.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Spartan Race

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Go check it out: you and your inner warrior will be glad you did!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Things Kids Say

Tonight while we were getting my son ready for bed, he pointed to my husband's wrist and proclaimed, "Daddy has a Glock!"
We looked at each other and laughed.
He was pointing to my husband's watch, which he just found out is the kind of clock you wear on your wrist.
"Daddy does have a Glock, but that's not it."
Only in Police Families...is this a really cute anecdote.

Here's hoping you and yours had a Fabulous Easter, and that the next Season upon us is filled with love and peace. May God Richly Bless You; and keep our Officers safe.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Out to Lunch

My husband’s job has changed considerably in the past couple of years. While he was once a street cop with lots of interaction with the public (read: long hours on patrol) he is now at a desk more often than not. He’s still saving the world in his own way, but lunch is more often eaten at a desk versus behind the wheel of a car.
I often chide him about going out for lunch. I say all the things a wife has been known to say: you should take a break, get time away from the computer, get some fresh air, etc.     
“It’s just not worth it.” He says, and then proceeds to explain to me why. It cuts into his time to actually eat lunch and breathe a little; by the time he heads outside, stands on line, grabs lunch…you get the picture. He also insists that he always gets approached by the public. They ask questions, ask for directions, or worse…they need Police help…and at that point, he’s just a hungry guy trying to grab a bite to eat.
I get it.
However I really got it the other day when I was in Midtown Manhattan. For those of you unfamiliar with NYC, Midtown is where all the stuff you see on TV is located: the Empire State building, Times Square, et al. I was walking from the East Side over to the West Side and had just decided to pop into a Chipotle for a quick Mexican fix. Side topic: I have mixed emotions about Chipotle to begin with, because of reported incidents about the way they threat Law Enforcement Officers. Since I haven’t experienced any of their prejudice firsthand, I will still eat there for the time being.
That said…I was craving guacamole.
So I grabbed my bowl and saddled up to a stool facing 42nd Street. As I was pulling off my various layers of clothing, I noticed the guy next to me shoot me a side glance, and I nodded. Us Native New Yorkers tend to give a half-smile/side glance/I’m checking-you-out-but-don’t-want-you-to-know thing and call it a day. This all happens in nanoseconds.
I think nothing of him.
A few forkfuls in, he turns toward me and says, “Are you a cop?”
I look at him questioningly and then peer down and realize that I’m wearing an NYPD sweatshirt. I left the house in the usual rush, so I just threw it on and headed out the door.
“Oh!” I smile and chew. “No…but do you need help?” I figured if he was a tourist that I can help him get wherever it is that he needed to go.
“No.” He sneers. “I was just wondering…you know.” He gestures towards my sweatshirt.
“Oh, yes…my husband’s a cop.” I generally say this with pride, but I’m starting to feel the little alarm bells going off in my head and my thoughts turn instantly to the anti-police climate that we currently live in, as I begin reaching for my phone.
“Yeah…well…I was just wondering, you know…my wife, NO, my ex-wife...” He sneers again as he crumples his burrito wrapper, “Just had me falsely arrested.”
Oh, here we go…
He proceeds to try and engage me in the details of his “false arrest” while I shovel food down my throat at the pace of a competitive eater. I am not sure if he’s unsafe, but he’s rambling, and either way wants to go on and on about this injustice. I am watching him far more than I am listening to him, still making all the right noises in the meantime. I am playing along. At some point, he tilts the conversation toward kids getting busted for weed, and how cops just like to go after these kids for minuscule amounts of weed. I am tempted to inform him about how patently false this information is; that the current administration in New York City can give two shits less about people smoking pot, openly, on the streets, and how they have even advised cops to not arrest these menaces to society.
I hold my tongue.  
This is a Tuesday at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in Midtown Manhattan, people. This is not a conversation that’s going down in a scary section of the City. This is the New Police Culture: where the police are wrong and the criminals citizens are right.
I manage to extricate myself from this individual and go on my merry way. I wish him well in his fight, and I even smile at him as I leave.
But as I re-enter the pedestrian traffic flow, I begin to realize how right my husband is…sometimes it’s just not worth going out to lunch.
 
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