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?

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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!