Kisses and hugs.

When Popeye was first deployed I was chuffed to bits that he had signed me up to receive Link Letters.

It was great, a good way to find out what was going on onboard during the deployment.

Each letter was written by the ships Executive Officer, Robert Williams, and was signed with his name at the bottom, and on the next line, “XO”.

“Why is he putting hugs and kisses at the end of the link letter? Is it all of them? Just me? A typo? What is going on?!”

After a few months had gone past I finally told Popeye.

“I love these Link Letters Popeye, but the ships Executive Officer seems a tad unprofessional, to the point that I think he might be flirting! The thing is, and, please, don’t get angry, but he keeps putting kisses and hugs at the end of each letter.”

After about ten minutes of laughing till the tears were falling, Popeye managed to choke back a guffaw long enough to tell me that, “dear Olive, those aren’t hugs and kisses, XO means EXecutive Officer“.

I have never been able to live this down and to this day we refer to all XO’s as the ” Kiss Hug Man”.

True story.

Lots of love,
Olive,

XO

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Pussers socks

I need to rant, a straight up rant.

Until very very recently I thought I was the only one who had a major hate problem towards an inanimate object, specifically clothing.

That was until I posted on a Facebook page for navy wives about my hatred towards said item of clothing.

I was amazed at the response. I am not alone in my hatred of pussers socks!!!! Other wives too have told me that they can’t stand them!

First of all, for those of you lucky enough to not have these items of clothing in your life/laundry bin, pussers socks are of the devil navy issued thick black socks.

“Olive, why all the negative nelly-ness? They’re only socks, how bad can they be?” I hear you cry.

Well they aren’t just any old socks, these socks may be self aware. Or at least up to no good. Let me elaborate.

They are basically made of something akin to Velcro, they attract ALL hair and ALL fluff that your husbands feet may encounter. And when you live with me (I’m a moulter) and a hairy Westie dog then the socks become a veritable lint roller for the floor.

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It doesn’t matter how many times you wash them, those hairs ain’t never coming out. Ever. Ever.

So then you end up storing all the socks up for when you’re doing a load of towels or, what is even more ridiculous, just doing a load of washing exclusively of pussers socks. Which obviously is a little bit bonkers because, well they’re socks for goodness sake.

Another strange quality these socks possess is that, once brought home from the issuing depot, and worn and taken off, they will never match again. Each sock is made of a slightly different weave/pattern/thickness and you will drive yourself crazy if you try to match them into pairs. Don’t even try. The different thickness would really annoy me, but if Popeye thinks I’m going to spend ages sorting out those beasts, he better get himself another wife!

And they seem to be able to move. One navy wife said that she swears they multiply in the drawer. I thought about this and it makes perfect sense. They separate from their pairs and then go in search of a mate that is biologically different from themselves, once found they disappear into the drawer, or, in my house (the reason for the original Facebook rant) under the bed, where they bump uglies (which is the whole sock I imagine) and make new, giant thick socks to annoy you. You will find nests of these socks only once your hubby has deployed and he is safely thousands of miles away.

All you can do is destroy the nests and return them to the sock drawer. We used to share an undies drawer but now, because of the socks, Popeye has a whole drawer basically just filled with them, bursting at the seams.

Another navy wife made an interesting point, that also applies to Popeye. Sailors, it’s seems love these socks. They think they’re comfy. And stylish, Popeye wears his even when not at work. And I can only assume, seductive, based on the reports of partners attempting to play footsie with the beasts on their feet. (Err no, I don’t think so, I’ve got a headache.)

In the interests of science I have worn them before, and I’ve just put on a pair now to evaluate their comfort level. Yes they are thick, and I imagine very nice and warm during winter. But these socks are issued year round, and below decks is usually a balmy mix of BO and farts, not exactly “snuggly socks” conditions. They are also scratchy and nylony. Ok I guess, but not anything I would get attached to.

I can only surmise that sailors get attached to these strange socks because they are navy issue, and therefore have almost a nostalgic place in their heart. They are reliable I guess, and they are practical. But they are still totally gross and far far too big for any normal footed sized man, they go past my knee.

I know it’s a really weird thing to be grossed out about, but they truely are massive, unmatching and seemingly never clean. The sheer volume of them is what really takes the mick. And the fact that I am sure they wait for hubster to deploy, before emerging into the light in their swarms.

The Phone Ninja

So this is my first blog, so I’m apologising in advance for possible rubbishness.

I would like to discuss a phenomenon close to my heart, one that occurs each deployment. I’ll try to be informative, supportive and witty, but really I just want to reassure myself that I am not completely insane for several months of the year.

Today’s blog is about how I morph from a (fairly) rational, calm, organised (yeahhh….) and generally Independent Woman into “The Phone Ninja”.

The transformation

Ahem…so let me paint a picture for you, the darling love of life sailor has finally left (see my other blog post- “Why doesn’t he just GO!” coming soon).

You’re at home, and if you’re clever (I have never done this), you will have several fantastically distracting activities planned for the next 48 hours.

For the rest of us (OK maybe just me)… you come home, phone your mum, cry, get annoyed by the “It’ll fly by pickle” type conversation, open a bottle of wine and watch Bridget Jones/Twilight/Ghost (delete as appropriate). After a while you put on Destiny’s Child or similar “I can do this” type music. This continues until you realise he really isn’t calling, upon which you pull yourself together and GO TO BED.

And this is where the Phone Ninja begins to emerge. You take all forms of possible communication to bed with you. Mobile phone, home phone, laptop (with facebook chat loaded up), carrier pigeon etc. Just in case they call.

This “just in case” way of thinking takes over whilst they’re deployed. Even if you are a sensible, well rounded and secure individual. Even if you cram every waking moment with wholesome projects- last time mine were: 1)Learn Italian                            2)Take up horse riding                   3)Lose 2 stone

(None of these happened.)

Quickly you find yourself morphing into “woman with phone”.

The phone is never more than 3 metres away from you. It’s on top of the wash basket when you carry a load downstairs. It’s on the side of the sink when you’re in the shower, precariously balanced between the carex and the electric toothbrush. When you leave it somewhere you have a nagging feeling you’ve forgotten something essential, like clothes, until you realise you’re not near it. You conduct experiments to see how far the wireless signal reaches around your cul de sac…..

You become…… “The Home Phone Ninja”.

Over the first few weeks of the deployment you amaze yourself with fantastic feats to get to that ringing phone. You can drop roll over the bed after vaulting up the stairs in 5 seconds flat. And you begin doing dummy runs to improve your best time. You can hear, locate and answer the ringing phone even when completely asleep at 3am…and learn that you shouldn’t answer the phone with “is that you R Pattz?” You can easily simultaneously pull off washing up gloves and hurdle your bemused dog. (Don’t worry they stop cowering after the first few times-when they realise you can clear them in one bound).

Some Navy SWAGs are able to do all the above with babies and children in tow. This is something I haven’t had to tackle yet. To those ladies I raise my hat and sincerely applaud you. You are most likely black belt Phone Ninjas. I want to hear about your Ninja Skills. Any tips for when I have a mini Popeye on hip would be gratefully appreciated.

Friends and family.

God help any friends or family if they are standing between you and your phone call. Thoughts of how quickly you can bring them down and answer the phone in less than 10 seconds flash through your head. My friends and family must see these thoughts in my eyes as they are remarkably quick at getting out of the way.

Several times when I’ve got guests the phone has rung and I’ve yelled like a banshee from the loo-“ANSWER THE PHONE IT MIGHT BE POPEYE!!!” Whilst simultaneously trying to pull up my knickers and wash my hands.

REALLY GOOD friends will answer the phone for you at inopportune moments like this after only once seeing you charge down the stairs like a rhino trying to do up your trousers in one hand whilst reaching out for the phone in the other.

Being a Phone Ninja is a useful test of who your friends really are. The friends that just ‘get it’ and understand your temporary loss of sanity when you hear the ringtone are worth their weight in gold. Those ‘friends’ who think you are silly, overreacting or just plain mental should politely be asked to sod off.

True friends understand that the sound of the phone ringing instantly makes your pulse race and your heart flutter.  It’s the call you may have been waiting weeks for. True friends understand and will embrace the Phone Ninja you have become.

Lots of love to you all, hope you enjoyed reading,

 

Olive Oyl x