Just for fun (and to see the oh-so-hilarious look on his face), I informed The Hubby (a.k.a. Mr. Thalassa and Daddy Man) that he was going to be on my blog. I figure if its amusing enough, I’ll bring him back from time to time…
And I needed to take some time off from Yule blogging. BTW, Happy Hanukkah!
Me: So babe, tell us about yourself…
Mr. Thalassa: Well, I like long walks on the beach, the wind blowing through my Fabio-like locks, sunrises that could make you cry…running with scissors, shiny things, and viciously large explosions. All of those can be made better with a big cup of coffee.
Me: You are such a dork. Just sayin’.
Mr. Thalassa: (laughs) And you love me for it…its not like you were specific!
Me: Yup, I definitely married you for your dork skills. Who the heck else would put up with my Star Trek Marathons? Okay…serious now. Put on your serious face.
Where are you from? What was your upbringing like?
Mr. Thalassa: I’m from the land of Cheese–from Wisconsin. I was born in a small town outside of Milwaukee and both my parents were police officers. My father passed away when I was six and my mom raised us. I had ADHD–oh look, something shiny!
Me: Dude…I said serious face.
Mr. Thalassa: Sorry, I wasn’t listening…there was a squirrel holding keys on the window sill.
Me: (snickering) What was it like to have a mom that was a cop?
Mr. Thalassa: Um…how truthful do you want me to be here? It was hard. She was gone a lot and Mom brought work home emotionally. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my mom–she was one of the first female police officers in our county, and the first female to make detective. But…it still sucked. It did keep me on the straight and narrow though, if I got in trouble with the cops, they were calling my mom, you know? Really, I just had a better idea of how not to get caught.
Me: I am putting this on the internet.
Mr. Thalassa: Good point. Let me go check on the squirrel with the keys.
Me: So, how did you end up moving from the land of Cheese to the Bay?
Mr. Thalassa: I joined the US Navy because I didn’t want to be a farmer, or a logger, or a factory worker. And school and I didn’t get along very well. The ADHD, you know. A lot of my friends had joined the Army, but my dad and my uncle were in the Navy, and I saw my cousin’s boot camp graduation. I decided to be a sailor instead…and the Navy sent me here.
Me: And the Navy thing? What did that do for you?
Mr. Thalassa: Well, it gave me my beautiful wife…
Me: Are you going for brownie points here?
Mr. Thalassa: Too obvious?
Me: Just a tad. Don’t get me wrong, I know you are serious and I love you too, but…over all, how did the Navy change things up in your life? Like…what you thought your life would be like, to where you are now?
Mr. Thalassa: Well, to start out with, I guess it really brought about my change in religious outlook and beliefs. I had started to questioning my religious upbringing* and indoctrination before that–the history that was wrong, the moral inconsistencies, and stuff. But I didn’t really have any exposure to other ideas and beliefs until I was in my ‘A’ school**, where there was an unofficial Pagan group.
Me: How did that go, being Pagan and in the Navy?
Mr. Thalassa: It was really never a problem. At first I kept it on the DL, then later I found there were more and more Pagans among us folks in uniform. I don’t think anyone realizes how many military members are actually Pagan. There are some problems–people that don’t understand who and what we believe, and those that don’t want to, that would rather keep their own negative stereotypes. But overall, those people are a minority, I didn’t have any major issues.
Me: How did being in the Navy affect your Pagan beliefs and vice versa?
Mr. Thalassa: It can be hard to practice in the Navy. Its not on purpose, its not religious oppression or anything…its just the environment. Like the physical environment. You can’t burn incense on a ship. Its a big gray boat in the middle of the sea…what about the green stuff? Steal a broccoli from the salad bar? Clean some algae from a tank?
It can be hard to find other Pagans sometimes…not everyone is as comfortable being open about their beliefs as you and I, so it can be hard to find people at your duty station. It can definitely be hard to participate in the wider Pagan community, just because you aren’t there. Deployments and all. And when you do go to places, a lot of people can’t relate. There’s some pretty big ignorance that borders on bigotry for people in the military in the Pagan community. That is changing a bit, but…heck–you were there, you remember that lady that called us baby killers at the drum circle at the festival we went to?
Me: Yeah, I remember that one. Probably the most blatant one I’ve run across.
Mr. Thalassa: And that one Druid writer…he wasn’t a fan of military Pagans at all.
Me: Isaac Bonewits?
Mr. Thalassa: Yeah-the one that said you can’t be in the military and be Pagan. I think he died a while back, so I’m not going to say anything bad, but… (sighs) He wrote some good shit, but that was…just dumb.
Me: Do you think that had something to do with us hitting it off? We had both the Navy thing and the Pagan thing in common? I know you dated Navy girls and Pagan girls before me, but never in the same fabulous package.
Mr. Thalassa: Ha! You are right there… At the very least, it made things easier. Being to relate and all. I mean, most of our real life friends were both. And even when you go to a festival or a ritual or something, those are the people you have stuff in common with first. Even before people with the same tradition or beliefs as you.
Me: Ah…Yeah, I’ve talked about this before. Do you think then, that there is more commonality between different sorts of Pagans from being in the military than there is between civilian Pagans?
Mr. Thalassa: Oh, heck yeah. I’m not saying that we have the same opinions and beliefs on anything…our perspectives run the gamut just as civilians. But we have something that binds us. We have necessity. We can get together and put aside our spiritual egos, if you will, to support one another, instead of bickering over who believes what and why. I mean, yeah–we can still disagree with that stuff, but at the end of the day, we don’t bitch about it the same way.
Me: What do you mean?
Mr. Thalassa: I’ve read some of those whiny blogs about whose really Pagan or not over your shoulder…I’d like to see them try to be Pagan on a ship. You can’t do it, do it well in a way that lets you grow…you can’t do that without support. And you don’t get to be picky about who that support comes from. Our Pagan discussion group on-board the ship was sponsored by a Catholic priest, and we had a ton of non-Pagans show up, just to learn what we believe. And when we had the occasional asshole show up, it was Chaps that kicked them out first.
And my chain of command was pretty cool about it too…they would rotate my watch schedule to attend the meeting. Even on the (ship name removed) the Chaplain was cool. The ship sucked, but the Chaplain was cool. He was actually pretty thrilled to find out there were Pagans aboard, as we both know they don’t really do that good of a job educating Chaplains about Pagans.
Me: You think that’s about it? I know you have to get ready to work and all…and it would be awesomesauce if I could talk you into vacuuming before you leave.
Mr. Thalassa: Yeah, I should start getting ready. Ugh, I really don’t want to work evenings this week. You know…this wasn’t as awkward as I expected. It was actually sort of fun.
Me: Lol, I love you too…
*The Hubby was raised in a very religious and very conservative Catholic family. He attended Catholic schools until his 10th grade year, including a year at an all boys boarding school.
**’A’ school is the Navy’s term for a training school after boot camp that offers job-specific training.