Well, hello, everyone. Long time no see.
I hear there's still life out there in the great big world, even though I can't partake in it because I still have no VPN. So, you know, still no Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Netflix, Pandora, etc. for me.
Yes, I know. The rest of y'all have those things. And to you who can right now get on Facbeook and browse freely to your heart's content, I have only this to say:
Today is a pretty big day for many reasons (none of which have anything to do with it being Valentine's Day).
Reason Numero One: It's my Matthew's 19th BIRTHDAY today!
Ah, Matthew. Here he is, pictured over Christmas break when we were back in the States, at one of his favoritest restaurants, hugging his doting Gramme:
To me, Matthew's 19th birthday is even more of an important milestone than his 18th birthday was. This is because I, myself, was 19 when I had him.
True story - I had just given birth to him and was still in the hospital when the Teenage Mother People came to my hospital room to offer me all manner of whatever help it is that the county offered to teenage mothers back then. And I remember being absolutely shocked because, swear to you guys, it hadn't even crossed my mind that I was, in fact, a teenage mother. I was married! Etc. But during their visit and ever afterward, I was keenly aware of my teenage motherhood status. (And no, we didn't take the county up on whatever its offer was.)
And then later on my husband became a U.S. Diplomat and so THERE YOU HAVE IT, PEOPLE. In America, anyone can be anything. Land of opportunity. And don't even go there with the crap I hear on the internet in some places about how U.S. Diplomats only come from posh, wealthy backgrounds. Can you BELIEVE that a year or two ago, a website that spewed this sort of nonsense (based in another country, which will go unnamed because I am gracious) even used ME (and linked directly to my blog!) as an example of this falsehood?!?! Please. I was a freaking teenaged mother, people. SHEESH. And believe me when I say that we were POOR.
Reason Numero Dos: Theoretically, deep in the bowels of an undisclosed location somewhere in the DC area, another panel for those of us who are leftover summer bidders from last year (like us) will supposedly be meeting.
Now, let's be clear: This will NOT be James' panel. James will NOT be getting an assignment from the panel today. I know this for several reasons. You'll just have to trust me.
I mean, it would be nice, of course, but I'm 100% sure that
But each and every time that the panel doesn't give us anything is STILL a day of learning more than we previously knew. Because when the panel bestows jobs upon other people those jobs are, of course, no longer on the bid list, thus narrowing the bid list for us.
Of course, of this you can be quite certain - the bid list has already narrowed to such smallish proportions that it may well be today's panel that turns the bid list into a funnel that sends my husband down into whatever job vortex remains for those who have been... how to put this... left behind. I fear the vortex.
Ah, bidding. We've basically been bidding now for six months. (James says four months - he counts from when the paneling first started - but I say six because I count from when the list came out and when James first started bidding and sending out lobbying emails.) Six. GLORIOUS. Months. And all along, our mantra has been:
That ain't gonna change now.
The very, very hard part of all of this is that our younger son starts high school in the fall, and right now we have no idea - no idea whatsoever - where we will be then. This means that, even though application deadlines for schools are either this month or have previously passed (some passed last December!), we cannot plan for his schooling. Cannot plan in the slightest.
It's not like I expect State to care about this - it's just that worrying about children and school and application deadlines, etc., especially for a high schooler (!!), really ups the stress level. If both of our boys were graduated and in college/out of the home then this neverending uncertainty would just be - depressing. But now, it's way above depressing and is sliding into painful.
So, anyway, there you have it. Our bidding update. Wish us luck. I am still mindful that DS friends of ours have been summer bidders in one year and haven't been paneled until May of the following year. So, you know - it's only February right now! Theoretically, we have several months to go!