Im going to write about a bit of a taboo subject among us navy wives. If im wrong then I am a complete cow and I really hope hubster doesnt read this. (But if Im right then I can pretend to hear all you ladies go- “thankyou finally someones saying what we’ve been thinking, hurrah!”). Let me know. If not then maybe marriage counselling is the way forward.
I know my other two posts have been about during the deployment, but what one part no-one seems to talk about or give a flying rats arse about is the build up to the deployment. (And by “no-one” I mean many of Olive Oyls nearest and dearest, not you my lovely readers of course).
I think the build up is one of the most intense times of the year. If like me, darling sailor is sodding off again for 6 months to save to world, after pretty much every 9 months at home, then yes, it does seem to be every year. During this time I go through what can only be described as a regression. Let me describe it for you…
I will stare at Popeye with giant Bambi eyes at various times throughout the day and night. I know Im doing it. But I cant stop it. I find myself trying to memorise his eyes, toes, knees and filtrum (thats the dippy bit under your nose, get your minds out of the gutter!).
Sometimes I make this into a game/challenge when he’s sleeping. How much can I remember in 30 seconds then put a blanket over him and test myself. Sooner or later he will notice though (read:wake up) and ask/yell at me to stop as I look creepy (apparently). In this same vein I will also take secret photos on the ipad when hes not looking/asleep.
I call this mini stalking as its stalking but on a small, non threatening scale. I guess I could have called it “drifting” or “shadowing”. Because no matter WHERE he is in the house I will somehow gravitate to just behind one of his shoulders. Or next to him on the sofa. Or infront of him when hes standing and shouting at the football on TV. Or when hes shaving (dangerous).
Ditto as staring (see above).
Now, I am a very “huggy” type person. I love hugs, I love giving them and recieving them. But when a deployment is looming im like ants over a picnic in summer. Its like im a junkie who knows her supply is gonna run out. I ambush poor husband with hugs. When hes trying (and failing-because of the above, and below) to eat his breakfast. When hes trying to put the shopping in the car, as he starts off for a jog, etc. Not cool Olive. Not cool.
Bursting into tears.
Basically what it says on the tin. All the time. Everywhere. With no prediction.
Wanting to create “Special” memories.
“Lets go for a walk and feed the ducks”. “Why dont we watch [insert romcom film hubby hates here] and snuggle on the sofa?”. “Lets go to the Zoo”. “Lets go back to the bar where we first met and re-create it”. “Lets make customised recordable talking bears for each other to have”. “Ive written you a poem, why dont you write me one too?”. “I want this evening to be special, lets have a romantic dinner”. “Let go ice skating and hold hands as we skate”. “Lets get each others names tattoed over our hearts its so romantic.”
And then my fellow navy wives, the last few days before D Day…
Bitch from Hell.
Basically, all the above happens and really starts pissing off Popeye (giant suprise). So he gets grumpy, and I get snappy. Make that REALLY snappy. To the point that every tiny thing he does (clears his throat, makes a sandwich and leaves the marj out, puts all his washing in to get it clean before he leaves and not mine, he breathes too loudly, etc) starts to wind me up.
I begin to make little “tsk, tsk” noises, that he pretends not to hear. I make them louder. I kick the bag he’s packing off the bed by “accident”. I start to slam doors and hide his ID badge. I stamp my foot and cross my arms. I mutter under my breath whilst tidying up. I crash in and out of rooms and I smoke. A lot.
I get so irked and stressed and annoyed by his very presence, EVERYTHING he does annoys me.
Im not sure but I think steam starts to fizz out of my ears. Im a kettle thats about to start whistling.
And then, then I think the “bad” thought…The one I darent speak aloud, and I feel pretty bad-ass just typing it here.
“Why wont he just hurry up and GO????”
Something completely insignificant will start it off, like him asking me to pass him some socks. Or him leaving the cap off the toothpaste again. I start screaming at him and dont want to talk to him or look at him. And then I start getting really really annoyed at myself because I know that in just a few short hours I wont have that luxury. I wont see him for ages.
Then comes the second wave of anger:
“I cant even be annoyed with you because youre leaving and ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!”
Cue crying, feeling like a truely horrible person and generally chastising myself for being such an idiot. Of course its so completely not his fault. The good thing about Popeye is that he totally gets it. Or if he doesnt he does a pretty great job of acting like he does. Which at the time just makes me feel WORSE.
Usually we have a hug. All the while im half pulling away because I am, obviously, the spawn of the devil, and half hugging him closer. Knowing that every second is precious.
You see its not HIM I want gone. Its that feeling of dread, of nauseau, of unreality and (after the first time) deja vue, that accompanies the build up to a deployment that I want gone. And the catch 22 is that the only way that it going to stop is when HE has to go. They’re two horrible feelings that are completely entwined and enmeshed together and at some point I and other people like me (I hope ahem), just lose it.
The build up to deployment is a very intense time, but I hope that the fact that me and Popeye know what we’re both like helps us to laugh at each other, once Ive finished slamming cupboard doors.
Olive Oyl xxxx