The Week of a Navy Wife

by Samantha Paducha

Share:   

Wake up on Monday at the ass crack of dawn. Drive your husband to work, because owning a second car is out of the question, at least on his pay check. Make it to base and almost hit a group of sailors that are crossing the road because they’re dressed in that ridiculous new blue and black camouflage. Say goodbye to dear husband (DH). Proudly tell him today is the day you will look for a job. Smile at each other all googly eyed, partly because you can’t open your eyes it’s so damn early, before he plants a big wet one on you. Now he’s gone for the next 10 hours.

Hurry home. Now you are finally free to dance around the house listening to Mariah Carey in your underwear and do everything else that pisses your husband off. Look around and realize the house is a mess, but you have ten hours before picking Hubby up.  Catch up on shows you missed while your husband was watching football yesterday. Peruse through the 500 channels that you had to have. The only thing that will catch your interest is I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant. After that episode finishes, realize there’s a marathon on. Let four hours pass by.

Think, oh shit!

Spring up and brush off the crumbs from breakfast. You really don’t feel like looking for a job, but you promised.

Instead of going out in the real world, open the laptop and look at every job posting within a 50 mile radius. Two more hours pass by and nothing looks promising.

Dammit.

Find a reason to disregard every ad. Some have horrible hours, some make you work weekends, and you want your weekends off, some you need a degree, and you decided to quit school when you got married at 19 to be with the one you love. Finally decide a job isn’t for you, because you would rather take up hobbies or volunteer. Plus there’s the whole one car deal which would be a pain in the ass.

There’s only four hours left before you have to pick up DH, and you have yet to shower or start cleaning the apartment. The apartment cannot be dirty when the man comes home. You just can’t stand that look he gives you. The one where he looks around the apartment and looks at you, your hair all a mess, crumbs on your shirt, and pajamas from the past three days still adhered to your body, and disappointment flashes across his face. He of course won’t tell you, but he will drop subtle hints about getting off your lazy ass to do something, anything. That post-it note to-do list didn’t post itself on your mirror.

Four hours seems like a long time to clean the apartment, but you realize the junk drawer needs to be cleaned out. Then you decide to reorganize the kitchen cupboards, and you notice coupons that are unclipped; soon you only have enough time to hop in the shower. Get out of the shower. Rush around folding blankets and taking Clorox wipes to anything and everything that can be disinfected.

Whew.

Time sure does fly when you do nothing all day.

As you approach base, start to fidget and become anxious.

What if they search the car? Do I have anything remotely illegal in here?

Show the guard your ID and get the all clear to drive on through. You hate driving on base, 10 MPH speed limits and signs telling you not to turn this way or that way. Now play the waiting game. Five minutes go by, ten minutes go by, fifteen minutes go by, twenty minutes go by.

Where the hell is he?

You don’t think you changed the pick up location; you never discussed a new spot to pick him up. Then the frustration sets in.

I could be doing something else with my time. I could be starting dinner. I could be on Facebook. I could be watching TV.

Just then he walks up to the car, opens the door, and kisses you hello.

“Hi, Sweetheart, any luck finding a job?”

Dammit, he must have been thinking about that all freaking day.

“Nope, no luck. No one seems to be hiring,” you say. Nothing like a white lie to start off the evening!

“Well just keep looking; I’m sure you’ll find something.”

“Thanks, Hun. How was your day?” you ask, although you already know the answer. It was shitty, long, alright, or stupid.

“It actually wasn’t too bad.”

Arrive at home, look in the freezer, and take out fish sticks. Get stuck in the kitchen while honey is stuck on the couch. Spice it up by turning them into fish tacos. Make a plate for your dearest. Make a plate for yourself. After dinner gaze at the plate on the coffee table. Hope it will walk itself to the trash. DH actually takes his plate and yours to the trash. Praise him when he comes back, like a dog, sad but true. Spend the rest of the night snuggling and watching all the latest episodes of “American Pickers.” Listen to the drawn out snores of Honey, and take him to bed. You’re not getting lucky tonight.

 

Tuesday, get up before the sun. Remember that you love your husband, and you are doing this for him. Drive him to work, kiss him goodbye, and return to your humble abode. Turn the music up loud, but not too loud. No need to wake the neighbors. Start scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, and washing every thing you own. Think you got a lot done and realize only two hours have passed by, and you’ve only cleaned the bedroom. Immediately become exhausted and take a break. Sit on the couch for less than an hour as to not lose motivation. Get up and begin the cleaning process for the bathroom, spare room, living room, and eventually the kitchen. The kitchen is the killer. Clean out the refrigerator and find moldy grapes.

Gross.

Take out the trash, start the dishwasher, mop the floor, and feel like a housewife.

Check your Facebook and get a message from another Navy wife who is having a get together for lunch. She would be thrilled for you to join. Ponder this for a moment. Text your other Navy wife friend; see if she is going and decide to drive together. Showing up together will be less awkward.

Look up enticing new recipes for dinner; determine some sort of fancy chicken will do. You have more energy than you thought. Go to the gym and hit the treadmill for a solid ten minutes.

That’s enough exercise for today.

Get back home from your ten minute jog to get ready for your outing. Pick up your friend and go meet the other wives for lunch. Walk in with a smile; walk into an already heated discussion. Introduce yourself to people you have never met and some you have already previously met.

“My husband made chief last time around,” Snotty Wife says.
“Oh wow, my husband hasn’t even advanced to E-3 yet,” Newbie Wife says.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure he will make it next advancement round,” Snotty Wife says.
“Yeah I hope so. We could really use the pay raise,” Newbie Wife says.

What are they talking about?

“You sure have a lot to learn about the Navy!” Snotty Wife says.
Realize you can never escape talking about the Navy. Be polite and try to change the subject.
“Is this everyone’s first duty station?” you say.
“Ugh where are you from? You have such a nasally accent,” Snotty Wife says.

Watch the mouths of everyone within an earshot drop. Simply shrug your shoulders and reply, “Midwest.” Feel self conscious about speaking now.

“Would anyone like another open-face ricotta and hazelnut butter sandwich?” Snotty Wife asks.

Show off.

Get out of there as soon as possible. Remember to be polite, and make up the excuse that you have to go make dinner. Bitch about Snotty Wife until you drop your friend off. Get back to base to pick up DH.

“Hi, Sweetheart, how was your day?”
“Decent. Went to a wife’s house for lunch.”
“Good for you! How did that go?”

Bitches, all of them were bitches.

“I think I’ll stick with the two friends I do have.”
“Whatever you say, Dear, but I’m happy you got out of the house today.”

Turn up the radio and drive in silence. Make it home and forget about the fancy dinner. Who are you kidding, you’re no Martha Stewart. Hubby’s eyes light up when he sees how clean the house is. Maybe you’ll get lucky tonight.

Have spaghetti for dinner. Hubby even helps cook. Make it a romantic evening; break out the ceramic dinner plates and Texas toast. Get in a kiss between stirring the noodles and stirring the sauce. Enjoy a passionate kiss while the oven is pre-heating. Eat dinner, and then get lucky. Dry the dishes after Hubby washes them. Feel mushy inside. Go to bed early. Snuggle up close to Hubby.

 

Hump day, halfway through this monotonous week and a duty day to boot. Drive extra slow. You won’t see or speak to your husband until Thursday. The mood is somber in the car, but for no apparent reason. Drop off husband, this time with a less than innocent kiss. You will miss him. Feel nostalgic. Think about all the TV you can watch today. Feel better. Watch every chick flick in your collection. Feel sappy. Go through old letters from husband while he was in boot camp. Tear up. Call every relative in your phone book. Have a heart-to-heart with your best friend from back home. Go on a walk to get some fresh air. Pick flowers.

Receive a call from the mother-in-law. Go through a magazine while she is rambling. Blah blah blah. The conversation takes an inappropriate turn when she discusses her latest gynecological exam with you- in detail. Then she discusses her latest dating conquests. She admits she is lonely and wants companionship. She even suggests you keep your eyes open for a man for her.

Awkward.

Daze off. Politely excuse yourself and say you have a lot to get done.

Look up soldier homecoming videos on Youtube. Children running to see their daddies for the first time in months melts your heart. The first kiss between a wife and husband after months cuts a little too close to home. Bawl your eyes out.

Make popcorn with garlic salt. Hubby hates it with garlic salt. Realize duty days aren’t so bad. Start experimenting in the kitchen; burn three batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of zucchini bread.  Clean up the kitchen. Go to bed with a baseball bat, because you freak out at every creak and rattle. Make note that you hate sleeping alone.

 

Thursday, sleep in. Finally wake up after the sun rises. Dawdle around the house. Turn on some music and start busting moves. Hear the door handle shimmy. Honey is home early to surprise you. Pretend you’re happy but wish you had more alone time. Start fooling around but resist him. You read in Cosmo this drives men crazy. He tries again; let him go all the way. Make sandwiches for lunch. You can’t ruin a sandwich. Decide to take a walk down to the library; hubby stays behind. Go straight to the magazine section since you can’t afford to subscribe to any of your favorite gossip magazines. Pick up a newspaper instead. Go straight to the classifieds; still find no appealing jobs. At least you tried. Spot an old guy staring at you. Get creeped out. Realize he isn’t doing it on purpose; he fell asleep in the corner with his eyes open.

Take a walk downtown and do lots of window shopping. Go into a baby clothing store You aren’t pregnant, but in five years you might be. Pick out the most adorable shoes. Purchase them.

Just in case.

Walk back home and find DH playing video games. Remain calm. Take a deep breath. You hate when he’s playing video games. Ask if you can give it a shot. He turns you down, because he doesn’t want his kill ratio going down. Jerk. Get lost in a book instead and pay no attention to anything hubby does.

It’s almost dinner time. See if Hubby will take the reins on dinner tonight. Instead he wants to take you out on the town. Get dolled up. Go to the nicest restaurant in town and realize you are too dressed up. Hubby orders a beer, and you order a cocktail. The waitress checks your IDs, and you both hand her your military IDs.

“Thank you for your service,” the waitress says.

“Oh no problem,” you kindly reply.

The waitress smirks and walks away. Hubby just laughs. Get confused. Comprehend that the waitress meant Hubby’s service to the country, not service to the restaurant. Blush of embarrassment. Enjoy the dinner that will sit on your credit card bill for two months before getting paid off. Make it home and doze off on the couch.
On Friday Hubby takes the car in to work. Wake up to a love note on the counter.

Had a great night last night, and I will be thinking of you all day, Babe. Can’t wait to come home and spend the weekend with you. Love always, DH.

Gush over the note. Put it in the box with all the other love letters he has written you. Come down from cloud 9 and realize you never thought you could be so bored. Nothing good on T.V. Nothing good on Facebook. Decide to join an online support groups for military wives. Browse through the hundreds of blog sites, websites, and Facebook groups with amusement. One group catches your attention, because you see that the women are overenthusiastic about their soldiers. Watch one wife’s Youtube video she produced of her favorite long distance songs to send to her hubby. Read about another wife as she discusses how she is having a meltdown because her hubby is on deployment, and she hasn’t heard from him in three hours. Roll your eyes.

Puh-lease. Last time my hubby was on deployment, I was lucky to hear from him once every other day.

A girlfriend talks about how she divorced a marine, started dating a sailor, and is now with another marine.

Tag chaser.

Some other wife alludes to the fact her hubby allows her to have relations with other women while he is gone.  Find a different site, one that includes mothers who have children in the services. Things get interesting. Read mothers’ stories badmouthing girlfriends and wives of their sons. One in particular catches your attention.

The girls who marry sailors usually marry young. They are naïve and stupid, they quit school, do nothing with their lives, mooch off of their husbands, become homesick, and eventually hate their lives.

Re-read her post. Join the group just so you can make an argument against her.

Who does that lady think she is?

Write a reply but realize you have no real information to back it up.

I did marry young. I do mooch off my husband. The only thing she got wrong was I don’t hate my life.

Refrain from making a reply. Ponder, contemplate, and reflect on your life. Start a journal.

Get ready to start dinner. Pork chops and apple sauce, a home favorite. Catch up on emails with relatives. Receive four chain emails about the military from your mother-in-law. Delete.

Honey gets home and is in a tolerable mood. He cooks dinner while you watch TV.

Now that’s love.

He brings up the job situation over dinner. He struggles to see your side. Change the subject. Ask if he’s spoken to his mother lately; she misses him. He calls his mom. Crisis averted.  Find some way to keep him distracted. Shower together; feel like you’re doing something wrong.

Would mother approve?

Pick out the latest action flick. Share a bowl of ice cream. Ice cream gives hubby gas. Sit on the other couch. Hear DH snore and take him to bed. Stay up late to watch infomercials.

 

Saturday you both sleep in. Make a huge breakfast: eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Hubby doesn’t eat it all. You forgot he isn’t a breakfast lover. Plan for the day. Scratch the plan and be spontaneous; get matching tattoos. Go grocery shopping. Buy too much because you were hungry. What a housewife rookie mistake.

His single sailor friends start to flood his cell phone inbox. Tell Hubby to invite them over; you are feeling sociable. Set out a bowl of chips and dip. They come over. Don’t feel sociable anymore. They act twelve. Listen to them talk about work. Listen to them talk about guns and hunting. Listen to them talk about girls they’ve been with, girls they wish they could be with, and girls they will probably hook-up with tonight. Seem interested. Try to be the cool wife. Chime in occasionally with an impressive movie quote. Suggest ordering pizzas, and call them ‘zzas; it’s cooler lingo. Choke down a brewski while you watch everyone else chug.

I hate beer.

Walk the half mile hike downhill to the bar.

This will be a bitch coming home.

Try to keep up with everyone. Order a round of shots. Drink one too many. Drag Hubby out on the dance floor. Do a dance that resembles some sort of mating ritual. Stumble back home. At least you have your husband to lean on. Devour most of the groceries you bought today. Pass out. Wake up in the middle of the night because of dehydration. Drink four glasses of water. Pass back out.

 

Sunday. The best morning of the week; cinnamon rolls. Five come in a package. You devour three. Have trouble getting in and out of bed. Swear off alcohol for at least two weeks. Water becomes your best friend today; carry your cup everywhere you go. Half the day has already been wasted sleeping off your hangover. You glue yourself to the couch while Hubby is still immobile in the bed. No Sunday fun day in this house. Hubby emerges from the bedroom only to make sure football is on.

“I’d like to spend today with you, not football.”
“Well we can watch football and still spend time together.”
“Can we at least get some fresh air today?”
“Only if it’s during halftime.”
“Really?”
“Yes, really!”

Take what you can get. Don’t pick a fight, especially with such a massive headache. After all, he does work hard all week. He deserves to have a little downtime. Just because you’re watching football doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Grunt, groan, snuggle close, and roll your eyes every chance you get. Plead Hubby to change the channel during commercials. There is a special on Animal Planet you’ve been dying to watch about bizarre pets. He agrees, perfect time for a reward smooch.

Time seems to slip by. Cheeseburgers for dinner. Leave the dishes in the sink. Instead take a walk around the neighborhood. Make up stories for all the neighbors you see. It’s a fun game you and Hubby enjoy playing. Come in from the brisk evening. The fresh air did you some good. Snuggle up close on the couch. Hubby kisses your forehead. Feel a little sentimental; tell Hubby you have never been happier. Go to bed; get lucky. Dread Monday.