Every navy wife has them, and they are as essential to a deployment as cereal, chocolate, phone card minutes, Whitney Houston and wine, I’m talking about, of course, a navy wife BFF, or, best friend forever.
A navy wife BFF, or as I shall dub them, for ease of typing, NWBFF, is one of the most essential supports for surviving the madness that is having a relationship with a serving member of the armed forces.
These friendships are essential, but also, unconventional. Let me be blunt. Do you really have any civvy friends left that you can text at anytime, anywhere, just to have a moan about your partners latest deployment exploits?
Do you really have any civvy friends that don’t try to make you feel sorry for how hard your sailor is working/remind you that “it’s not long now” or how “strong” you are?!?
Do you really have civvy friends that don’t say how “I could never do it” and that “the time will just fly by/has flown by”.
I think not, and this is exactly why you need a NWBFF. They should be standard issue upon embarking on a relationship with a sailor.
Civvy friends are great, they’re a laugh, they are understanding, they are sympathetic. But they will never really get it. I don’t blame them for that, and I need my civvy friends in other ways. But, when it comes to military crap, you need friends that can understand what you’re going through and don’t do the sideways head tilt, dodging the shit rebounding out of the of the fan towards your post-homecoming head. You need a friend standing there with a poo shield saying, “yeah, that sucks, don’t it?” And holding out a tea towel.
A NWBFF is usually acquired through slightly odd friendship means. It can be through a brief chat on a Facebook group, a random barbecue whilst the ships deployed, or during a one night meet up characterised by cocktails and karaoke.
And that’s all you need. Not even a face to face meeting in some cases, and you’re set for life.
Sometimes the reality of your relationship with a sailor is so bloody crap that you don’t want a laugh. You don’t want to be understood, you don’t want sympathy.
What you want, what you need, is rage. Pure rage.
For example (ahem): How dare the navy screw you over again.
How dare Popeye go out when he promised he’d call. How dare the woman at work say that she understands because her hubby works away on business, and finally, how dare someone say how a friend of theirs is super duper tired from looking after their baby alone for the last week whilst their husband works away. For five days. So they totally know what you’re going through. Yeah.
This is when you pick up the phone, or tablet, or jungle drum, you text or you email, you forum, you Facebook, you smoke signal, you do whatever it takes to get that feeling out to your NWBFF.
And you moan. Oh my god you moan. Then they moan, and you both bitch. And then that turns into a joke. Usually about willys. Then the jokes get ruder. Then you start swapping rude stories about sex things and then you’re both pissing youself laughing and the rage is gone. you end the phone call, or email, or text chat or whatever it is and you feel so much better.
What were you even angry about?! Oh yeah. It’s funny now. Stupid Navy.
When/if you meet up, it’s like you’ve known each other for years, even if you’ve never seen them, aside from their Facebook profile pic. Once you’ve stealthily checked it is your NWBFF, cos you’re not sure, you make it that evenings mission to party as hard as the lads are, wherever they are. And you do. And you wake up with your head pounding, realising you’ve left their front door open all night (sorry Ju).
Even when sober your chatting may get so out of hand you feed someone’s child a dog biscuit by accident (sorry Ang). Or come up with elaborate parcel theme ideas (not sorry at all Em).
Put it this way. The last time I went on a navy wife night out, I went into labour. Seriously. Thanks gals!
So this blog post is dedicated to NWBFFs everywhere. You may not speak for months or years on end, but you’ve been through it all together. And you’ll probably have to do it all again. But, swapping dits, knowing that you’re not alone in this madness,makes it feel like you’re sharing a mess, chatting whilst staring at the bottom of the pit above you whilst counting down the days, even when, in reality, you might be opposite sides of the globe, trying to keep it together in a civvy-wife world.
The phrase “we’re all in the same boat” has never been so apt.
This post is dedicated to my NWBFFs, Julia, Angie, Emma.
Love you ladies