You really don’t have to be a cool military wife

You really don’t.

There’s no rule saying you have to suck it up and smile sweetly when they tell you they are missing your anniversary.

You can be annoyed, and rightly so,  you can be hurt, you can be miffed and vexed and whatever-the-hell-you-need-to-feel when they “forget” to tell you they are duty weekend until 4pm on a Friday. 

Sometimes we military wives need a little reality check.


It is fine to be pissed off when your partner cancels plans. Even if the reason for this cancelled plans is some MOD top priority mission. It’s fine.

It’s normal to be slightly vexed at having to switch Friday night plans from romantic dinner then bars then casino to dominoes and a bottle of red for one in your pjs at 45 minutes notice.

It’s understandable to not be cheerful and jolly ho and well wishing, when calling up the travel agent and praying with crossed fingers, that you can rebook the holiday you’ve saved a whole year for.

It is healthy to feel the rage at these times. It would be bizarre if you didn’t. And if it didn’t you might start doing weird passive aggressive things like deliberately putting gone off milk in his tea before he leaves, or “accidentally”‘deleting all the game of thrones on the sky planner. Or you might take it out on the BBKB  (Big Black Kit Bag) in a barely contained fit of rage.

Although it might make you feel better in the short term it won’t for long.

So please please ladies, don’t try to hold it together. When you feel pissed off, be pissed off

Get vocal, get sweary, hang up on them if you need to. Cry if you need to.

Just don’t for Petes sake, bottle it all up. 

Because at the end of the day, whether you lose the plot and let him have it both barrels, or you suppress it with your best stepford wife smile, the shits still going to hit you just the same. 

At least this way you will deal with it in a way that it healthy for you. Because sadly the shits going to hit that military  relationship fan again and again. And yes as time goes on you will get used to it in a way- but that doesn’t mean the shit doesn’t still stink. 

Shout it loud and shout it proud ladies- but only if you want to.

Muchos love,

Olive x 

Alternative “open when” letters. For the realistic military wife.

I’ve been thinking I might have a go at writing some “open when” letters for Popeye. I’m sure you’ve all heard of them. Maybe some of you have even sent them, if you have I’m a teeny but in awe/jelly.

“Open when” letters are letters you write before they deploy that they can open when they’ve deployed at various pre stipulated points. 

For example they might say “open when…

  • You’re missing me
  • It’s your birthday
  • It’s our anniversary
  • You’ve had a bad day
  • You’ve reached the halfway point of the deployment.

Etc etc.


They are a really lovely idea and I’m sure they bring a lot of satisfaction and happiness to many of you. 

But (you knew there would be a but didn’t you!) they just ain’t my style. 

If me and Popeye were to do this, there would be some serious reality checks involved.

First of all I don’t know when the fuck I would find the time to write a dozen or so poignant declarations of love and reassurance. I barely have time to wash myself or go for a wee in private. Also I’d much rather spend those last few days actually hanging out with Popeye.

Secondly I’m 95%sure Popeye would either read them all in one sitting or forget about them until I mentioned them on the phone and/or the night before homecoming. Kind of ruins the magic a tad.

Thirdly I would be so tempted to put joke answers inside. I don’t think I can be trusted not to be a complete cow and do something like this-

“Open when… you feel like crying” *Popeye, with a sniff, opens letter*

“….ha ha ha ….tit…”

Or “open when…. you are homesick”

*opens letter, maybe a bit more guarded this time*

“….man up or hand in your notice… p.s it’s horrible here anyway…”.

Yeah maybe that’s not the best way to go.

I know!

Got it. I’m going to write him “Open when” letters, for a real (as in boring and normal) military relationship, my ideas so far include:

  • Open when…you’ve spent £200-500 on a night out, phone me from the dockside at 3am slurring, have fallen over and can’t figure out how to hold your phone and stand up at the same time
  • Open when… you forgot to top up your phone card and we get cut off mid conversation. Even though I reminded you yesterday.
  • Open when… you haven’t emailed me for days because you’re “so busy” at work but there are Facebook photos of you by the pool and/or selfie with a monkey in gib.
  • Open when… you realise I’ve spent hours buying, packing and posting out parcels to you and you moan I forgot to put in jelly beans.
  • Open when… you think it’s a sane idea to give me parenting suggestions from hundreds of miles away
  • Open when… you’re on a beach sipping cocktails and seriously say that you’d rather be here in rainy old Blighty than a tropical beach paradise luxury resort 
  • Open when… you casually mention on the phone you’ve been doing the T25 work out for the last two months and how it’s going really well knowing full well I’m halfway down a bottle of rosé and have eaten an entire Terry’s chocolate orange since you rang.

And the best thing about this is that I can save time and effort in the contents of the letters! A one-word-fits-all “open when” letter system! 

Simply

“….prick…”

I’ll let you know how I get on,

Muchos love,

Olive

P.s the choc orange was totally worth it.

X

Phonecalls post kids

Pre motherhood phonecalls were excellent. Really top notch. Beautiful examples of clear adult communication.

I mean, we got cut off every five minutes or there would be some jarring darlek- like announcement from time to time but looking back, I can say, hand on my heart they were bloody lovely. 

Since being blessed with two delightful toddling sprogs with only an 18 month age gap I can safely say phonecalls are shite.

Now, not only do I have to compete with the signal cutting whims of Mother Nature, and the urgently announced need for WO Pugwash to hot foot it to X deck for tea and crumpets with El Captaino, I also have to compete with two screaming small people.


They are happily smacked up on CBeebies, or whatever the latest offering from the iPad is, when the phone rings. 

I spring into action, drop the latest pile of plastic tat I’m tidying, or clothes I’m about to wash, or the cloth that’s wiping rice crispies laced with fucking mastic off of the high chair and get to that phone.

The very split second I answer, the nano moment I depress the talk button with my thumb, the very instant I reach my goal- it happens. 

My two little contented angels morph into the spawn of the kraken.

They simultaneously start screaming and shouting at me, whilst making a beeline for my calves. I don’t know why they do it, I don’t know how they do it. To be honest with you I don’t really care. The point is they bloody do do it.

So that’s the beginning of the phonecall buggered then. 


The rest of it is usually a disjointed conversation, half me trying (and failing) to tell Popeye about my day. The other half is a disjointed running commentary, of what Popeye must only be able to imagine is some kind of scaled down humanitarian crisis. It goes a little bit like this:

“…yeah so I’m really hoping that I can get X done at work tomorrow. Sweetpea put that down, no now, mummy is getting cross, … otherwise it will really mess up the deadline, what is that? No, mummy will take that, it can hurt you, you will cry and need to go to the doctor. Yes the doctor will make your owies all better, but that’s not the point! …that I’ve got on Monday.

I spoke to my sister the other day, yeah she’s fine, she’s moving house and- oh shit Sproglets got a sippy cup full of squash, hang on, (cue wrestling-a-ten-month-old-over-a-cup noises) –give it to mummy, good girl, it’s ok don’t cry. Sproglet  here, look! How about this toy ooh look it’s got lights WOW!…so they haven’t set a date for completion but it should be exchanging in the next- Sweetpea give it back to your sister, no, she had it first, give it back now please. Show mummy your BEST sharing!

So how are things with you? Really? Cool. Oh hang on  Sweetpeas just come over. What’s the matter? You need a poo. Of course you do. Ok yes mummy will come with you and help. 

What’s that Popeye? You need to go? You’re tired. Of course you are. I know how hard you work. No it’s fine. NO! DO NOT TRY TO WIPE IT YOURSELF! I’ve got to go too, love you, bye *click*.

And all of a sudden I’m standing there in the bathroom staring at a toddlers poo-ey bum wondering what the hell we just spoke about.

And realising how bloody excellent pre kids phonecalls were. 

Muchos love, 

Olive

*Guest post* -Familygram

Here we have a guest blog post all about the Silent Service, her Popeye is a submariner and jeez Louise- we think we have it bad! Hats off to Beckie! She writes her own successful blog too- www.thesussexgirl.co.uk

Over to you Beckie!

Familygram:
140 characters in a tweet, 120 words in a Familygram. 

Or 60 words if you split it and send two a week instead of one.

 The only way you can communicate with your submariner. 60 words, twice a week. Read by about 5 different people before it reaches him (or her, nowadays!), stripped of its punctuation, put into capital letters and printed on a one long thin strip of paper.


 Usually it has words missing, or misspelt – literally lost in translation as it gets encoded, decoded and transmitted a gazillion times.

 No bad news can be sent, no updates that might be a drain on moral and definitely no comments about dates that they may (or may not!) return. Even mentioning a dead pet can get you a phone call to demand you explain who ‘Freddie’ is and how he is related to your submariner (Goldfish, for the record).

 60 words, one-way. No replies, no interaction…no arguments!

 No emails, no phone calls and no social media. No bedtime FaceTime, no Whatsapp, not even a satellite phone call.

 Writing one can take far longer than you’d expect as you agonise over each word, wondering whether you can delete a few conjunctions in order to cram a bit more information in. Squeezing in a joke and finishing on ‘Miss you, Love you’ every single time. Because that’s the only way you can tell him.

 It’s certainly a different experience to the usual expectations of modern life. Conversations with friends usually go something frustratingly like…

‘How is he doing?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Where is he?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘I know you said you can’t talk, but he MUST have emailed you’

‘No, no! Really, NO communication.’

‘Oh, that’s…SO old-fashioned…Gosh, that must be peaceful, I’d love to not have to hear from *insert name of other half here* for a few days.’

‘….’

 Everyone has their reality and in the Forces world, we all face separation together. For some, reality is getting a couple of phone calls a week and maybe even, sometimes, regular emails. Some might get to see their sailor during R and R, for others separation is more regularly planned duties. For each of us, we have our own reality to face. Our own communication trials and limitations. Despite occasionally, mid-patrol, gritting my teeth when a civvie friend whinges about her partner’s single night away from home, it’s important to remember that we each have our own routine, our own reality and differentiation from that can be hard to deal with.

 Even those friends who are Navy themselves, or in a relationship with someone who is, forget that the Silent Service really is, well, that. Silent. They forget that our very limited, one-way communication is all there is. They forget that you can’t just call to find out where the house insurance paperwork is. They forget that bad news has to be dealt with entirely in the absence of the submariner. They forget that babies get born…and, sadly, people get buried, without the submariner. Once they’re away, once they’re underwater. That’s it. They’ll be back, when they’re back, and not before.

 But you know? It’s not all that bad. At least I know my phone isn’t going to ring. I don’t need to be glued to my mobile ‘just in case’, I don’t endure broken conversation on a dodgy satellite phone link and I don’t suddenly get a bleak gap in communication when they go ‘silent ship’. You just get on with it, knowing that in a few months that magic letter will arrive that says they’ll be back soon.

 But it does end.

 Then the pre-end of patrol preps begin (you know what I mean ladies, speedy hair removal required!) and you know that soon, he’ll be back. You’ll get to hear his voice again and once more you’ll be able to say goodnight in person instead of just whispering it to a photo.

 60 words isn’t much. But this is our reality and knowing that receiving it becomes the most important part of his week means that sending it is the most important part of mine.

Little bit about me: I live in Southsea with my boyfriend who happens to be a Submariner (based in Faslane, he commutes down at weekends when he can so I suppose saying ‘we live together’ needs to be used in the loosest terms possible currently – we’re on the same electoral roll, how about that?!). I work full time for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as being a Royal Navy Reservist, keen netballer and over-enthusiastic illustrator.

www.thesussexgirl.co.uk

 

Goodbyes and doing “It”.

Let’s talk about sex baby.

More specifically “Goodbye Sex”.

Aka ta ta shagging, au revoir ménage, bon voyage bonking, see you later 69ing, or just farewell fucking. 

Whatever you call it, it sucks (no pun intended). There’s a sense of “shit, time is running out and we won’t be getting to DO IT for ages so we’d better make this round count.”

So there’s a fair amount of pressure to be a super awesome, bendy, fluttery eyelashes, up for anything minx. Even when all you want to do is the standard sideways cuddle position, check your phone for Brexit updates and then fall asleep. 


Then there’s the emotional side of it. Sometimes, just before they deploy you don’t want them near you like that at all. Because even if they don’t mean to, they are hurting you by leaving. It’s not rational. It’s not logical but you hurt at the thought of the impending aloneness and their role in it.

No amount of Barry White or wining and dining will shake that feeling.

But you want to be close to them.

You feel vulnerable and angry and sad and scared and downright unsettled. So the natural reaction, the normal reaction when feeling threatened is to seek reassurance from the one person you feel closest to. Sexy reassurance. 

But the emotions are running so high and you’re trying to get yours whilst making sure it’s a session they won’t forget in a hurry and at the same time you’re trying to make sure your mummy tummy isn’t showing and it’s too much pressure.

Goodbye sex is almost as exhausting emotionally as homecoming sex.

Except you don’t get to have another shot in the foreseeable future.

And no pun intended (again) but that’s hard. Really hard.

I’m a Finalist! 1 of 2

So I’m now a FINALIST for a MAD blog award. 

(I’m supposed to do clever hashtaggy  things now btw so here goes- #MADblogawards -done). 

I literally don’t believe it!  The timeline from when I found out basically went like this:

0-1 mins:”omgomgomg no WAY!”

2-3mins: Silent screaming, heart thumping and jumping up and down doing  Rocky Balboa arms in my kitchen v quietly so as not to wake the terrible twosome. 

3-4 mins: checked I hadn’t made a mistake by looking at the nomination page a gazillion times.

5 mins- called Popeye. No signal. No answer. Straight to voicemail. Standard, he’s below deck. Be cool Olive, be cool. 

5-30 mins calling my mum (“oh darling I am so proud of you! This is amazing! Is it in London? (Yes) Out of how many blogs?(8 freakin thousand mum) oh wow! Wait hang on *tells everyone on the ward where she works*”.

At some point: – called Popeye. No signal. No answer. Straight to voicemail. Standard, he’s below deck. Be cool Olive, be cool. Seriously BE COOL.

And called my sister “AHHH THAT IS SO COOL! Whaaat are you going to wear???? Will the press be there? You are basically famous now sis- hey wait I get to be your plus one right? RIGHT???”

Tried (again) and called Popeye. No signal. Again. No answer. Again. Straight to voicemail. Again. Standard, he’s below deck. Again. Just breathe, Olive it’s not his fault.

And my little bro: “Wow that’s really cool. I don’t really read your blogs but the ones I’ve seen are quite funny. I’m off out to a Uni Party right now so can’t really talk but yeah totally whatsapp me the link to the nominations page “.

Ok ok, let’s just try again-  called Popeye. No fucking signal. No bloody answer. Straight to twatting voicemail. Standard, he’s below the stupid deck on the bloody arsehole ship. 


So I may have left a slightly shitty, slightly cryptic voicemail for Popeye and then poured myself another glass of Pinot Grigot Blush from Lidl, and posted a HUGE EXCITED post on my Facebook Page to all of my lovely, gorgeous and fantastic followers. 

Then I basically kept pressing refresh on the finalist nominations page in a state of slightly tipsy disbelief, until I realised it was way past bedtime.

Rock and Roll! 

I realised the irony of not being able to contact Popeye as I walked up the stairs with Sproglet on my hip (we have no bedtime routine for her btw- mum fail).

The whole reason I started this blog was because of stupid navy crap like not being able to get in touch with the love of your life when you need to. 

And that’s (maybe) one of the reasons it got nominated in the first place. 

So really I owe Popeye, my dear un-contactable sailor, and by extension, the annoying, heart breaking, heart racing, plan ruining, day making Royal Navy, a bit of a THANK YOU really. 

For messing with my head (and my life) so much I wrote this blog in the first place. 

Tots100
P.s you can totally vote for me as Best Lifestyle Blog by clicking on this link right here 
Muchos love, Olive X 

Professional Phonecall Extender

I’ve got a secret hidden talent. 

I can spin out a phonecall exponentially if I know Popeye has to go to bed/back to work/emergency fire drill.

It’s not a particularly useful talent unless you’re a communication-starved-military-significant-other. And I am.

And this talent, for stringing out conversations, doesn’t show itself at other times, when other people call me. When they have to go I just say something like “ok was great catching up, take care, bye!”

But with Popeye I’m a Professional Phonecall Extender. I suddenly remember essential information I just have  pass on. 

  
 Hilarious anecdotes about the kids I have to share ASAP. 

Important household management stuff like garden waste collection dates or what the go compare bloke has told me about car insurance. Information that just can’t wait. 

This easily buys me between 5-10 extra minutes of conversation. (Meh heh heh.) It creates side conversations to explore and new topics to bring up and chat about.

These “new shoots” of discussion can get me anything from 1-15 minutes of precious communication. 

By now though, he’s beginning to rumble me. And he’s worrying he will get in trouble/be exhausted for rounds tomorrow. 

So I bring out my final card.

Pretending to give a crap. 

  

“Tell me more about this Materials and Safety check you have soon. It sounds absolutely fascinating!

“So how exactly do you do a Store Ship? Mmm hmm, yes, oh right…”

Wow Popeye it’s soooo interesting, of course I want to hear about your weekend leave rotation plans, I can’t get enough of this stuff!”

Etc, etc. 

Pretending to give a crap buys you a few more minutes of hearing your sailors voice. Big drawback is that you are then expected to remember all the stuff they tell you. Big plus point is whilst the are chatting on about duties and inspections you can be thinking of other things to tell them to create more new shoots of conversations!

Et voila! 

Practise your skills and soon a ten minute phonecall will be a twenty. “Right I’ve really got to go now” won’t fill you with dread but rather, excitement of a new challenge; and you will get to have a few more minutes of contact plus getting wife/girlfriend points for listening and stuff.

Score.

(FYI My personal best is 35 extra minutes after the initial “I’ve got to go now babe” btw- can you beat it?!)

Muchos love,

Olive X 


Always phone

It doesn’t matter if it’s 3am or 6am or lunchtime and I’m at work. If you have the opportunity to phone me take it.

  

Even if you’re worried you will wake me up, or wake the baby up, or if you’re drunk, or if the signal is crappy or there are announcements on the speakers that sound like daleks.

Always ring me.

I will wake up. The baby will wake up. I will swear. Sometimes I have rolled over and hung up on you and gone back to sleep. 

Being woken up to hear your voice from hundreds or thousands of miles away is worth it. Sleep is overrated anyway.

I don’t care about your level of sobriety. Or lack of.

 In fact it is damn funny to hear you slur “I love you soo mush you knoo, no, no you daan understaan, I rally rally love you Olive” whilst your ship mates sing or fight or puke in the background. 

  
I won’t mind if we get cut off after 1 or 5 or 15 minutes. Well, actually I will, but it’s not as bad as not getting that phone call at all. 

(Plus then when the other WAGs are talking on our Facebook group I will be in the know that “No comms aren’t down! I had a phone call!” And I can feel a leetle bit smug. Instead of panicking/ feeling bummed out that you haven’t rung me when you had the opportunity. ) 

It’s okay that we have to pause for ages whilst some bloke waffles on on the speaker about fire exercises or rounds or other navy crap. I will wait, do my best dalek impression whilst he’s talking, or eavesdrop and hope I hear some uber cool secret titbit of information. Then when the dalek shuts up we can carry on.

Any call is better than no call. 

Just to know you’re alright. You’re safe. I haven’t imagined you, you do still give a hoot about me and want to see how I’m doing. 

All of this is conveyed just by having the phone ring. Even if the actual conversation is broken and nonsensical and sometimes downright impossible. Because you made the effort I know you’re thinking about me and loving me from wherever you are.

It’s quite straight forward really. If you can phone me then do it. 

If I find out you had the chance and didnt take it, well that avenue is really not worth exploring darling. Those daleks have nothing on me. 

Muchos love 

Olive x


The hype of Skype.

Ahh Skype! I heard so many wonderous tales from other navy wives about you. How seeing their Sailor was amazing. And I have suffered the aghast looks and “oh Olive you haven’t ever Skyped? How do you cope? Why not? you simply must! it’s the best!”

So this deployment, mostly so Popeye could see his Daughter, Sweet Pea, (who is turning into a right chunker by the way, SO cuuuuuute!) we attempted to get with the decade and Skype.

so, being the super modern Royal Navy couple that we are, we downloaded, (during paternity leave), we practised, then when he was back on deployment and alongside, we text each other, to arrange a time, Popeye scouted bars in Dubai with free wifi (a real chore I’m sure!) to find a place to do it.

I actually made sure I had makeup on! My top only had one bit of sick on it! I had tidied the living room! I had brushed my hair! Sweet Pea was wearing her best baby outfit! The clock ticked to the allotted time, adrenaline and excitement coursing in my veins, after two months we get to see each other!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaand…….nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Cue desperate texts costing a squillion pounds each- “I’m doing everything right here Popeye, it must be you, at your end”.

“No Olive, it’s not my end, it must be you”

“No Popeye, I must disagree, darling, surely it is you who is technologically challenged, not I”.

“Nope it’s you, I can’t be bothered now”.

“For God sake Popeye keep trying or I will LOSE it. It has taken me HOURS to get ready for this flipping Skype call!!!!”

Eventually… it connects.

Relief and anticipation flood my body as I peer into the iPad screen.

And I can see him! But wait…he’s pixilated like some Mine Craft character!

And his movements are all lagged and robotic.

Aaaaaand I can only hear every other word.

Oh.

Is this what everyone’s been raving about?

IMG_1210.PNG

After about fifteen minutes of Minecraft Robo Hubby making vowel sounds like a monkey, and me shouting “I can’t hear you, what?” Whilst trying to hold the (now screaming) baby up for him to look at, I am actually relieved when the connection cuts out for the last time and we go back to old fashioned texting.

After all that effort I am exhausted, Sweet Pea is freaking out about everything and Popeye is pissed off at the whole exercise.

Skype I’m sure is amazing when you’ve got a stellar connection and angel child and all the time in the world. However when one half of the conversation is either broken and disjointed, or has the background noise of the Queen Vic, it’s not the magical wonderous experience I was expecting!!!

Long distance arguments.

Arguing is a healthy component of any successful relationship. Let me be clear before I start this post, It does not mean I enjoy it. It does not make it fun or a competition. I prefer to think of it as a necessary evil for when Popeye is being an idiot.

I want to address one crucial difference between civvy versus forces arguments:

Forces girlfriends and wives don’t have the luxury of time.

When Im annoyed with Popeye, a situation that may arise that deserves the ‘not answering your phone for a day and ignoring texts’ standard operating procedure.

  
If you’re like me and have navy wife friends, you call up a trusted lady and first, check that you are not overreacting (even if you are they will say you’re not because they are awesome like that). Then you will vow loudly and clearly that:

I will NOT answer the phone if he calls, not matter what, I’m just too angry. Nope. No way. Nada.”

(Your trusted navy wife friend or, occasionally, excellent civvy friend will say something like “you go girl!” “Girl power!”, or, my personal fave recently, a simple text saying “VOTES FOR WOMEN!!!”)

You get on with your day, heart hammering and adrenaline flowing, repeatedly telling yourself if he calls “No way, I’m not answering it. He needs to know I’m properly upset. And just because he’s away doesn’t change that. Good one olive. This is very strong and Beyoncé-esque of you. This is horrible but necessary.”

You managed to not reply to his emails by washing up, cleaning the windows, ironing your pants and/or shampooing the carpets and re-reading that last shitty email on your phone repeatedly.

Until…

Ring ring! Ring ring!

You let it ring, your blood pressure soars, your stomach drops, your palms start to sweat. For some reason you go into the room where the phone is, and stare at it, hands clasped together.

Before you know what your doing you’ve crossed the room and grabbed the ringing phone. With shaking hands that just know voicemail will cut in if you let it ring once more, you answer, cursing yourself to the deepest depths of hades for being such a weakling.

“Hello? Popeye??? I’m sorry I got mad, I love you! I miss you!!!!”

Duuuuuude. What happened? You were doing SO well!

See. We don’t have time to stay angry.

(Also, they often don’t realise you’re not talking to them as comms are down. This is especially irritating, because then you have to tell them they were being ignored, and now they’re not. And this, apparently is hilarious to a deployed husband. Humpf.)

I often don’t bother arguing with Popeye because using paradigm minutes saying stuff like “fine then, be like that” *silence* fills me with irrational horror.

Any kind of silence when we could be communicating be it via email or phone, or Skype, makes me want to combust because usually at least two of the following are true:

A) we haven’t spoken in ages
B) we won’t speak again for ages
C) we don’t have long to speak until he has to go back to work

Sometimes arguing with a sailor is just a waste of time.

Muchos love,

Olive.
X

P.s

Also, just because I need to vent, why is it that:

They always work harder than us.
They are always more tired than us.
Tropical beach paradises are rubbish and we should understand and give never ending sympathy.
We are always (apparently) asking them to leave the navy even when we have never, ever, mentioned that at all. And this would solve every problem, ever.

I feel SO much better now. I think I will answer that phone after all!