Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feeling the Hypocrite

I've never been one that automatically took to females being police officers. LE work is an extremely masculine career, so I automatically felt that only males made truly fit officers. I was proved wrong, but let me explain my old mentality before I admit that I'm a hypocrite.

Whenever I would watch police shows like COPS or Speeders with FH, the officers that stuck out like a sore thumb were usually the females as their protocol seemed more wishy-washy and foofy.

The belief that only males make fully capable officers was further instilled when I saw the hires right after FH as we gained a police dog (male), a male officer and a female officer. She proved to be unfit and was let go over a month ago quietly after repeated red flags, internal frustrations within the department, etc...

During the majority of this crap I was reading the mind-boggling and quite humorous antics of Mrs. Fuzz's "Calamity Jane," which proved yet again my theory of males in the work force. I read multiple comments about how some fellow LEO wives were so frustrated about the stories because some of the best cops they knew were females, but I just let those skim over my head since I had not seen anything like that myself, so therefore it must not exist.

Here's where I become a hypocrite. I live in a very traditional farming community that still has very traditional values. I grew up learning that women were meant to keep house while men were the providers, hence, anytime there's cooking to be done, tables to be set, etc... the female should do it.

Well, if there's a house full of females, I guess that works, especially according to my father. He has four living sisters, and is one of the babies of the family, so he was (and still is) doted on by his mother and sisters. Why would he want it changed?

I was labeled a feminist by my father in my early teens because I didn't dote and clean as a female properly should. I was "forward thinking" that males and females should have equal opportunities not only in the work place but in the home. I asked why the boys couldn't help out around the house, and was told to stop being a feminist.

Even now, when we go to visit, the boys are never in the kitchen unless it's to ask when dinner is going to be done or swipe some food. I ask them to help out (they're now all adults) and they go back to their games, napping, or shooting the breeze with Dad. I'm still considered a feminist.

Now, those that know me well know how stuffy I truly am in such a liberal society. I'm still very traditional, but I'm not a free maid service. I love to cook, but I'm not a short-order cook. I love having a clean house, but I don't like cleaning up after others, ESPECIALLY when it's not my house and they're fully capable.

In short, I agree that there are masculine roles and feminine roles in society, and certain jobs naturally fit in a masculine way and others in a feminine way. I'm a girly-girl, but I hated being labeled as "just a girl." My mother taught me to be a lady, but what exactly is the definition of one?

I get more kicks out of sporting cute shoes and accessories than shooting a gun or seeing something blow up. That's just who I am. Do all females think that? Uhhh....we all know the answer to THAT one! Does that mean that females that aren't into ribbons and lace aren't ladies as well?

I'm a hypocrite because I fell victim to this mentality of set masculine and feminine roles within the police force. It's natural to hear female voices on dispatch and see males round up the bad guys. After seeing a few unfit officers who also happened to be female fall short in their role, I labeled ALL female officers as unfit for police work.

Until I watched TLC's Police Women of Broward County.

Kimber mentioned how much she liked the show (she's always rooted for females as LEOs) so I thought I'd watch a bit to see what she was so excited about. I was made the hypocrite as I watched multiple females in multiple LEO roles handle their jobs in as professional manner as any male, sometimes besting all those around them.

Detective Andrea Penoyer

What surprised me the most was how much I could relate to the officers being documented. FH has tried to explain in the past about how obvious it is when someone's lying, dealing with crap while remaining calm, etc... but it wasn't until I watched this show with females that it all clicked into place. I never thought I would relate to an LEO except as a supportive housewife cooking a casserole while my man in blue comes home after fighting bad guys. By trying to fit what I thought an LEO wife was suppose to be, I became a superficial version of the 50's housewife and thought I would be happy.

I'm embarrassed that it took a TV show to let me know I'm wrong. There are still mediocre officers, just like every career, but they are most definitely not all females. There are amazing officers, both male AND female, that are keeping us safe and protected. I wonder what else I've been wrong about now?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A thank you goes a long way in a small town

Sometimes I get so caught up in the negatives to being a police family in a small town that I forget the great parts too.

Like this:

Someone just came over to our house this morning (remember, small town, police car parked out front... everyone knows where we live) and brought Big Daddy flowers and a note. Apparently he helped her teen son get into his car late at night the other day while he was on duty and she wanted to make sure he knew she appreciated it. So she and her son both wrote BD a note telling him they appreciated it.

That makes me so happy for him.

I am so grateful to her for taking the time to thank BD. It will make his day when he wakes up from night shift!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Too Close to Home

We were having a snuggly family moment watching a movie on the couch in the front room before putting the kids to bed, when through the shut blinds I noticed some colored lights flicking through.

I got up, peaked out, then stated that someone got pulled over right near our house. No big deal. But suddenly, an unfamiliar, slightly beat-up pickup truck pulled into our driveway with it's lights off and cut the engine. I told FH, he peaked out too then quickly said, "Get out of the way!"

Faster than a prom date's dress coming off (FH's expression, which I HATE but actually fits in this scenario), he grabbed some clothes, had his gun in his pocket, then ran out the door.

So....what should I do? I ultimately pulled the rest of the blinds, locked the door, turned on the porch light than distracted the kiddies. After a few minutes I peaked out again since the lights were still flashing. No shots fired or raised voices, but also no FH to tell me that all was well.

I waited some more, getting more worried until I peaked out again and noticed a few familiar LEO faces around the patrol vehicle casually talking. Does that mean that the coast is clear? Call me stupid, but I had no clue what to do because hubs has never gone over family protocol with me.

I guess I should take it as a compliment that he thinks I'm intelligent enough to figure it out for myself, but it wasn't until FH came back in after nearly 1/2 an hour of shooting the breeze with his fellow brethren.

I asked what happened and he just said it was a potential DUI that an off-duty deputy noticed while driving his truck he'd been working on around and called it in to the PD.

The deputy pulled into our house so he could see if the officer needed any assistance, but didn't want to startle him, so turned off his headlights, then pulled his cell phone out to text the officer he was walking over. All FH saw was some person in the dark reach into his pocket while approaching an officer from behind. We have a reserve officer that lives right next to us, so she hurried out too, they realized it was all good, then chatted about this and that for a bit longer, the city officer forgetting to cut his lights while caught in conversation.

I'm the first to admit that though I'm married to an officer, I really don't know much about his scenario training and protocols. I'm a bookworm nerd that loved reading about history so much I became a teacher in it, so LEO doesn't come naturally too me. Because of that, even if I'm doing "proper protocol" by staying indoors, I was constantly questioning myself and couldn't get Hollywood's version of police work out of my head, as much as I knew it wasn't reality.

I asked him to let me know ASAP when the situation isn't a threat. He didn't even think about the family aspect of protocol. We then proceeded to put the kids to bed, and as we were getting ready ourselves, I repeated my plea that he let me know next which he got angry, stating that I was being a nag.

I'll spare the details, but after a clash of wills, the Grand Canyon could have been comfortably placed between us when we went to bed. The new morning brought cooled down tempers, but I want to know what went wrong when all I was doing was trying to let him know I care about his safety and want to know he's safe, while he thought I was being a harpy.

What's your family protocol? When do you know the coast is clear or to let things stew a bit longer?

Can I be a cop wife and a thief?

In the blogging world, yes!
I'm taking this from Nat, who stole from Cop's wife, who stole from Mrs. Fuzz. (Hope I got that right.)

Since January 21, 2004 When Big Daddy became a police officer, my life has changed in the following ways:

  • I no longer have to argue with Big Daddy over moving to BFE (Big Fields Everywhere) one day... he's more eager than I am.
  • I've learned to do everything from parenting to fixing appliances without a husband. But sometimes I call on some of his brothers to help me when I can't lift it, lol!
  • I've gained a family (and so had BD) that understands our lives better than the families that raised us.
  • I've learned that just because you go to church doesn't mean you aren't a crook (or perv or wife beater or general jerkwad...)
  • I don't flinch when BD tells me he pointed a gun at someone and sometimes I even drift off because I've heard a similar story before.
  • I've learned that the "No booty on duty" rule doesn't apply to lunch breaks... and you occasionally get a second child out of that (this moment was brought to you by the letters T M I)
  • I've learned to embrace my parenting style because, while it is off the beaten path, my kids are well behaved and cps only comes to my house when they want a snack.
Let me take this further.

Since January 21, 2004, Big Daddy's life has changed:

  • He has stopped smiling for id pictures. So they can id him more easily if he is killed (because corpses rarely smile).
  • He can talk about 2 week old dead naked people and eat a tuna sandwich.
  • He has found a whole new way to use his favorite swear words (and it actually does entertain me a ton... as long as the kids don't hear him).
  • He still sees the good in individuals, but in general he doesn't trust people.
  • He has learned that while his big scary cop voice can stop a 7 foot perp, it doesn't even phase a 2 year old.

Since January 21, 2004, my childrens lives have changed:

  • They can't go to people's houses if Daddy has been there "on business".
  • They know what a domestic is and have since they were about 3.
  • They call each other "perps" and "dirtbags" way more than they should.
  • They know all the speed limits in town.
  • They know the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.
  • They know how to help a cop put on a duty belt and a bulletproof vest.
  • They know how to quickly reevaluate a plan for only a mommy and they don't take it personally when daddy can't come.
  • They aquired a whole set of uncles, aunts and cousins that they know better than the ones they are biologically related too.

So, I dare all of you to add onto your lists!
Take that!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, I CAN'T turn down a dare!

Thanks to copswife, I have answered the dare wholeheartedly and am continuing the thoughts from LEO wives on how FH's career choice has changed my life. Mrs. Fuzz put together a list first, so make sure you check both of them out!

Whew, where to start?! Well, in 2007 FH started to reserve for the city PD after informing me that the class gave him college credit. He was a full-time student struggling with making end's meet, working full-time, and trying to provide for a small family, so I was a bit worried that this additional class would send him over the edge.

Which it did, but into the realm of police work. As soon as he'd come home, he'd practice take-down techniques on me or my brothers (they handled it a lot better than I did) and struggled over the inhumanity of rape victims and ugliness in the world. I could see a small change in him then, but it didn't really affect the rest of us.

Then, he heard about an opening position, asked me what I thought about it, and I simply said, "I've never seen you so happy to go off to a job when I see you put on your reserve uniform."

So, he put in his application and during all the background checks, testing, PT and whatever else they needed from him, we found out we were expecting our second child, found a starter home, and moved in right before a big Christmas trip with extended family to a mountain lodge preparing for POST at the beginning of the new year.

Yeah, rapid changes started happening then:

  • I realized that at times, I become a single parent.

  • Swerving vehicles have multiple probabilities as to why they're driving recklessly (stupid females on cell phones...)

  • I've gained new "family members" in the form of other LEO families and their wives.

  • I've never been more excited to spot a police-oriented toy whenever we go down the toy aisles in the store.

  • I catch myself looking for expired license plates and potential weirdies in public areas, even when FH isn't with me.

  • I've seen different (perhaps truer) sides of people that I've known all my life once whether they were ticketed or FH was called to a domestic. Made for a few awkward moments in grocery stores and social functions...

  • I'm not as carefree about letting my kiddies run around when we go to parks anymore.

  • People stop and stare at FH in public (more often than usual...I married a pretty handsome guy!) wondering why he's wearing a gun.

  • I get random phonecalls about police issues from near-strangers, friends, and family. I'm a teacher, not a cop!

I could probably go on, but some of the changes are such a natural part of my life now that I don't think I even recognize them as changes anymore. They're just a state of who the family is!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My small town story Part 2!

Ok so I had my long lost high school somewhat friend incident a few nights ago. Now yesterday we needed to get new tires for our car. So there we are strolling into the tire store, pick out our tires, and say we'll be back later. Then just as we leave out strolls an OLD neighbor..............
An old neighbor that was in high school at the time. He thought it was cool to have his car radio blasting at ALL hours of the day, which was parked right outside our bedroom window. I can understand a teenager wanting to listen to music, I'm cool with that. But one day Fish was on nights and this kid had it blasting. Fish calmly went out and asked him to turn it down. The kid did, for about 10 mins. So Fish had to go out again. This time not so calmly. Needless to say, this happened many times along with other incidents with our lovely old neighbors. So when he walked out of the shop at the tire place, my first thought was, " Really? Does he really have to be the one putting OUR tires on??" I was a little freaking out! He could easily do something to make our tires fall off and we crash and catch on fire and die or something really dramatic like that right????? Well I hope not! Because he did put our tires on. And actually our car drives really nicely! So I am crossing my fingers that this kid grew up and didn't hold a grudge against a cranky, night-shifting cop!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My small town story

Lately I have realized Kimber and Nat have posted a lot about living in a small community and the percusions of it. I haven't really experienced it much since my hubby, aka Fish, (there Kimber, he has a name! Lol!) works for the county instead of the city. Anyway, I just got a call from an old friend from high school that I haven't talked to for about 8 or 9 yrs. I didn't recognize the number so I screened it, cause I'm the world's best screener! She left a message and this is what she said:

"Hey Lynne, this is ********. I know it's late, but Fish just arrested my dad and I need to talk to him. He called me from my dad's house so I don't have his number to call him back. Could you please call me back and give it to me?"

It's 10:30 at night, which to me is somewhat late! It just bothered me that she did this. I have never given the girl my number! So I'm guessing she had to get if from a mutual friend or get it off facebook. And yes I have deleted it off of there now! But what really irks me is if she did get it from a certain friend of ours, Fish is upset that the friend would give it to her!!!!!! And he wants to call her and chew her out now!! I can understand his side, he's just protecting us and our family. But I don't even know if that is how she actually got my number!

Uhhhh, the joys of LEO families and small communities all combined!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And that is why I refuse to buy deadbolts for my doors

I thought of this the other day and wanted to blog it for posterity.

Many many moons ago when my middle child was only about 6 months old, Big Daddy was working night shifts.

That wasn't really a big deal, but THIS was: For the first time since my little guy had been born, he was sleeping through the night NOT ON TOP OF ME BUT IN THE BASSINET RIGHT BY ME! We don't typically put the kids in bassinets, so this was a bigger deal because I had the bed entirely to myself and was looking forward to some serious wonderful sleep.

It was about 11pm and I went straight to slumberland.

I wake up at 1 am with BD screaming in my face.

Here is what happened while I was sleeping:

Big Daddy forgot to take his house keys with him. So he came home around 12:30am and knocked on the door, and I didn't answer. According to him (though I never saw the caller id listings to prove it) he called the house several times and knocked on our bedroom window.
I'm not sure I buy it as I have ears like a bat and I don't sleep THAT heavily ever, but I was exhausted from not sleeping for 6 months, so perhaps.

Anyhow, it is winter time and he had just pulled some people out of their home the other day with carbon monoxide poisoning so he is convinced that we are all inside dying or dead. So he radios dispatch that he's going to kick his door in case the neighbors call. (Awesome)

Then he kicks in our door.


Then he busts a move into our room, scares the crap outta me by waking me up with the yelling, gets mad at me for NOT being dead, just being dead tired, grumbles some curse words and leaves.

(Here is a segment of the conversation I remember:
BD: Are you dead?!
Me: Huh?
BD: Are you dead?! Why the Hell aren't you answering the door or the phone?!
Me: Because I was unconcious. And I liked it?
BD: I kicked the door in.
Me: What?!
Then the swearing and grumbling on his half began because he was relieved/mad that I was okay--- does that make sense?--- and prolly because he knew I was going to kill him when I saw the door.
I started swearing shortly after he left and I went to the living room and saw the carnage that once was my door.)

He forgets the keys again.

The baby sleeps through this.

The door is completely broken in the middle of the night in the winter.

I am mega pissed.

I spend the next hour trying to monkey with the door. Then I give up and shove the couch against it so it is at least closed for the night. By the time I am done with that and the adrenaline from being woken up in such an original manner... you guessed it.

The baby wakes up. And stays awake until Big Daddy gets home at 6am. Then my daughter wakes up about 30 minutes after that. Which meant my night was over.

For the record, the baby didn't sleep beautifully like that again until he was 2.

And the door was a nightmare to fix as the deadbolt had just ripped everything apart. Apparently though it was impressive that he kicked it in 2 kicks with the deadbolt in. Whatever.

And THAT is why I refuse to buy deadbolts for my doors at our house here. I want to make it easier and less expensive if BD ever decides to kick one of our doors again. Just trying to think ahead.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

treading water in a sea of criminals

I am trying to learn to cope with living/schooling/shopping/churching among the people BD arrests or investigates on a regular basis.

Case in point: Today I was volunteering at a local school and within 20 minutes of each other I had to assist 3 different individuals that BD had arrested at least once. All 3 knew who I was and it was pretty obvious that all 3 were not fans of me. To be honest I wasn't tickled about helping them either, but whats a gal to do?

Then tonight one of our good friends and neighbors comes over because they are being harassed by their neighbor (our neighbor too of course) because HE did something bad and they are protecting their family by reporting him! They are frustrated and want some ideas for how to cope and honestly, I don't have many because I am struggling with the same thing!

I am worried about my dd going to school with some of these kids. She won't be riding the bus this year and BD and I are both really happy about that, but we still worry about her being bullied because of some of the cases BD has had to work with. We have talked about transferring her out of the district many times, but haven't done it yet and we aren't sure we have made the right choice.

I just sometimes feel surrounded by the people BD is putting in jail (you know, since there is one, no two across the street and one on either side of us. Plus at least 1 on each street surrounding us...)

Anyone deal with this? At all?