Deployment dreams

Ok *oversharing alert* family and friends click away now.

Popeye has just reminded me of something that has happened every deployment and I’m wondering if it happens to you too.

Thing is, it’s a tad embarrassing.

A smidge, a pinch, a wee bit cringe inducing.

Soooo….

When your partner deploys, companionship and wholesome friendship issues aside, it leaves a big gap in your sex life. There’s a *ahem* how do I put it- a romantic need that he just *ahem* can’t fulfill because he is several thousand miles away.

We all have our own “coping mechanisms” and this post is not about that. It’s about something else that happens after a “dry spell” spanning several months.

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had (occasional) rude dreams.

(This, so far, is pretty normal right? Stay with me. It gets weird)

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had rude dreams that are not starring Popeye.

(Ok ok we’re all grown ups here, we can admit that dreaming about someone other than your partner does happen and although totes cringey and not something you mention down the phone- not exactly something entering into the realms of bizarre.)

Here it is- 

Every time Popeye has deployed I have had rude dreams about low status TV personalities. 

Not even proper slebs! These fantasy dreams have starred such well known hotties as 

  • Alan Titchmarsh


    And

    • Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall 



    Each time I’ve woken up totally and utterly freaked out and emailed Popeye in a state of utter squeamishness. 


    I don’t know why my subconscious seeks out middle aged gardeners and organic chefs as prime X rated dream stars.

    But it does. And it scares me. I don’t get my brain. When I’m awake, they do nothing for me. Sorry Al and Hugh, no offence but you’re just not my type(s). 

    Tell me I’m not the only one?

    Seriously, you guys have had freaky weird sex dreams too, right guys? Right?!

    Muchos love

    Olive x 

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    Well Meaning People- Part 2

    I want to set the record straight once and for all about something that gets said to military wives frequently around homecoming time. It is usually said by our old pals Well Meaning people but can also be chucked around by randoms you meet out and about, who have all the quiet tact and discretion of HMS Queen Liz coming into Portsmouth.

    Heres the basic script:

    Military spouse: “OMGOMGOMG I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL POPEYE IS HOOOOOME!”

    Well meaning twat person: “Aww thats cute. Give it a few days and you’ll wish they were away again. Lolz”.

    Related image
    Excuse me? Wtf did you just say to me?

    Oh how we all laughed! These well meaning people, how spot on they are. How well they know what we go through. Its uncanny. Unsettling even.

    (Heavy sarcasm alert.)

    Why on gods green earth would we want them to bugger off again?

    Image result for 1950s woman pissed off
    “Im just going to file that comment under “B” for Bullshit.”

    This is what I want to say to these well meaning people (because you cant really say it to their faces, unless you’re a total cow/self confident superstar.)

    Statement of truth, from Olive, to all you Well Meaning People:

    “When the loves of our lives return to us from the sea, or the land, or the sky, from war torn countries, landscapes filled with unimaginable horrors, dangers and poor wifi, we are elated. 

    They are home safe. We can speak to them again, we can touch them again, we can smell them again (not in a creep way).

    After the initial dazzling, hazy period after homecoming fades, when all the friends and relatives have been visited, the family holiday completed, the special homecoming food and booze consumed; the return to real life commences.

    Its not glamorous, its not perfect, its not chocolates and flowers.

    Its remembering their annoying habits (leaving his toothbrush on the side of the sink), their idiosyncrasies (like letting rip with the hugest fart every morning when they wake), and their faults (cannot load the dishwasher correctly).

    Its them getting used to being at home with us again too. Its very much a two way street. We change when they’re away too. 

    We are stronger, we are more confident, we can top up the oil in the car, get two kids up and out by 8am and we can manage the family finances alone.

    It takes time to find the balance.

    Healthy, normal couples find the balance by communicating. Synonyms for this include bickering, nagging, sarcastically reminding, huffing and stropping and of course, the old classic, moaning.

    And here we come to the core of the issue-

    None of this means we want them to leave again!

    Yes they can do our heads in, and I’m sure I annoy the hell out of Popeye at times (infact I know I do, because he tells me).

    But understand, dearest Well Meaning Person, that this in NO way equates to us wanting them to leave, to having to go through a deployment again.

    What it does mean is that we, as a normal couple, are finding our way back to everyday life together, again.

    So please, when you think of your “hilarious” commentary on my relationship, kindly STFU.

    Yours in frankness,

    Olive Oyl,

    Muchos Love xxxx”

    Image result for 1950s woman husband deploying
    “I could SO go for another 9 monther right now” said no Military Spouse ever.

     

     

    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 

    Popeye couldn’t handle it

    The other evening, I was speaking with beloved Popeye about the shocking possibility he might have to spend some time on his own. 

    On his own, in our house.

    Holy crapsticks.

    Now the weirdness of this will not be lost on you dear fellow navy wife or girlfriend or partners or fuck buddy  casual relationship person. 

    We are the ones who are alone in the house all the time. We are the ones who might as well have a bachelors degree in Americas Next Top Model or X Factor or whatever. 

    Popeye doesn’t know where anything is.

    Popeye has only just learnt when bin day is.

    Popeye has no idea where any paperwork is kept or filed. He may genuinely believe it all lives in the pile in the kitchen under the boiler, I don’t know.

    Anyway this conversation got me thinking. What would Popeye do if he was the navy wife and I was the deploying sailor?
    The short term answer (obviously) is that he would play a lot of Playstation, eat a ridiculous amount of dominoes and watch a gross amount of porn watch lots of TV.

    “But what would he do after that?” I wondered. 

    And then it hit me. And him. 

    He couldn’t handle it. It’s not that we aren’t strong enough, it’s that he wouldn’t be able to stand being the one out of control, hanging on my every phone call, waiting for each ping of his email inbox. 

    That makes him sound a bit controlling and fifty shades of grey-ish. Trust me, he’s reaaaalllllly  not. For truths.

    And he would get so fed up at having to make me parcels and he wouldn’t be able to think of interesting ideas. Accept maybe an entire box devoted to Arnie films. (Can you imagine my glee-not.) The idea of him writing me a letter is bizarre in the extreme. 

    He admits he would get v jealous knowing I was visiting all these exotic places whilst he would be stuck flicking through the TV guide with a can of diet coke in his hand. 

    (Actually I do get insanely jealous of where he goes but I just try to remind  myself of all the absolute sh*t holes he also has to go to too.)

    ( I also remind myself that he basically has seen the inside of a handful of pubs a ten minute walk from the dockyard in aforementioned magical exotic locations, and has not  had the spiritual and cultural experience that I am lusting after). 

    The dog would probably starve or run away, or have his own dominoes pizza order. 

    Our car would mostly like be towed or pulled over at some point. With Popeye looking all bemused when the police officer asks him why he hasn’t taxed/MOT’d/insured it. He has never really had to do these things, at least not without substantial nagging, and it would honestly not occur to him. We once paid no council tax for six months because it was the one bill we decided he would be in charge of. I got a letter saying when our court date was. For real. 

    The Royal Navy equips our loved ones with fantastic practical  skills; It picks them up by the earlobes gives them a good shake et voilá! They become a skilled engineer or chef or weapons firer thing. 

    In fact, I can say, hand on my heart, that if Popeye hadn’t joined up I would not have fancied him. He admits he used to be just a bit chavvy rough around the edges let’s say. Not Olives type at all.
    Instead the Navy took the gobby teen and taught him self discipline, motivation to succeed, how to work hard at a goal, and how to support a team.   It taught him self respect and self worth.

    However it did not teach him to sort the colours from whites nor prepared him for encounters with the DVLA. 

    It didn’t teach him to pop round to a neighbours on moving day to ask when the recycling and rubbish goes, or to always have a frozen emergency pint of milk in the freezer. Only “real life”, or civvie life let’s say, can teach you stuff like that.

    Navy life taught him a lot of things, things that I have literally no idea about (and let’s be honest here, no interest in either).

    Civvie life taught me the mundane crap to keep me (hopefully) out of court and with a roof over our heads. 


    He really would find it tricky to keep this little Oyl family running smoothly if I was deployed. And emotionally I don’t know how he would cope. Luckily, for him, he won’t have to find out how to. 

    Muchos love

    X

    P.s please if you haven’t voted for me in the Best Lifestyle Category of the MAD Blog awards yet please do just click right here. Huge massive thank you’s and a big snog. X 

    Friday night idiot or optimist

    Ok so the rational, sensible grown-up part of me, the one who does her car-tax and uses clubcard coupons knows that Popeye can’t come home this weekend.

    But his ship is alongside somewhere in the UK. 

    Hmm… The U.K.  you say… Interesting because that’s where I am too…

    Suddenly, buried deeply underneath the realistic brain comes a beaming shaft of optimism. Or stupidity. 

    Maybe he’s going to come home on weekend leave and surprise me!”

    The split second my traitorous brain thinks this I slam shut the mental door on the escapee thought.

    But it’s too late. 

    It’s too late, I’ve thought it now and it’s in my head. Wiggling and dancing across all my other thoughts for the rest of the day.

      
    Maybe, just maybe, he will be coming home.

    Tick tock, tick tock.

    I wonder if the ship is alongside yet? *checks Google and Twitter and Facebook*

    Tick tock, tick tock.

    I wonder how long it takes to get from X to our house? *checks AA route planner*

    Tick tock, tick tock.

    I wonder what times a train would get in from where he is? *checks the trainline.com for an early/middle and late train*

    I get on with the evening routine. Making dinner and trying my very best not to look at the door over and over whenever the dog makes a noise or a car door slams. 

      
    Trying my very grown-up-sensible-brain best not to do time maths to work out “omg omg if he got that train he’d be back any moment now!”

    But of course I do because my treacherous brain let the thought come flying out before I could stop it. Stupid brain.

     

    This pic has nothing to do with the post but i think its fucking hilarious
     
    Finally I decide to just give him a quick ring, you know, for a chat. Because he’s not coming home (except maybe he is- squeeee!) and it would be nice for a catch up even if he’s not coming home (unless he is and he’s coming to surprise me any second now!!! Double squeeee!) .

    Tossing my hair over my shoulder with a blasé shrug, I dial the number… 

    …And I crumple as it does straight to voicemail. 

    …………

    Ah, I see. He’s still below deck. On board. With no signal. Hence the voicemail. 

    So he’s really really not coming home. Just like he said. Just like I knew.

    Crapsticks I am such an idiot. 

    And all I can think is thank god I’ve never ever told anyone I do this. No-one apart from me and my traitor brain know how crazy I get the second that optimistic thought gets out. Just don’t tell anyone and then the secrets safe Olive. 

    People would think I’m totally mad, wouldn’t they? 

    Bedtime leave revolution 

    You wait weeks, months sometimes for them to come home.

    You swap emails and have long (but never long enough) phone calls musing about what you will do when you are reunited.

    He says things like “I miss you so much, I can’t wait to see you, to hold you, to kiss you.”

    Aww.

    Why is it then that after about five flipping seconds back at home out comes the Xbox or PlayStation from the BBKB and you don’t see beloved Popeye again for hours.

      

    Once more you are going to bed by yourself. Ears ringing with empty promises of “I’ll be up in a minute babe, just let me finish this level/check out this vault/this round”. 

    You know it’s not true and that they will creep up to bed at 4am and fall asleep with their mouth wide open and snore all night until a well aimed elbow stops them.

    But still, optimistically, you peck them on the cheek and climb the stairs to your cold bed. 

    It’s either that they are lying or that they have forgotten how much they missed you.

    Or they literally lose all sense of time and place as soon that bloody loading screen lights up.

    To be honest it takes the piss a bit. 

    I’m declaring we all do the same and start playing Spyro the Dragon or The Sims with slack jaws, one hand down our pants and a packet of share size crisps open on the coffee table. 

    All. Night. Long.

    Who’s with me?!?! 

      

    The rank elephant in the room

    There are tens if not hundreds of blog posts and articles and memes saying categorically, without a doubt, that your partners rank has no relation to the importance of you, his partner.

    They stress that there is no connection  between his rank and your importance. 

      
    We are told time and again how it doesn’t matter if he’s the lowliest AB or the kiss hug man! Written articles reassure you over and over that you two gals (as partners of said AB and XO) can get along and soon become best buds. Swapping hilarious stories and confiding in each other over Facebook chat. 

    Even if one of your hubby’s spends his days ironing the others blues. 

    Even if your hubby is responsible for cleaning out the COs bath. It shouldn’t be awkward at all for you all to sit around and have a good giggle about it over a moderately priced bottle of wine.

    You can all be friends!” Spout such blogs. “Their ranks don’t matter!” They quip. Dripping in positivity and all American wholesomeness. 

    Well how come, in reality, it does seem to matter?

    Why are these dynamics getting written about, again and again? Surely if it was such a non-issue then they’d be writing about other burning military spouse problems like….

     Erm, like…. I dunno, “10 homecoming haircut tips” or “20 ways to get him to notice the new deployment you” or how about “get a leg gap in just 100 thigh crunching  steps”or “101 ways to sob down the phone without snotting into the receiver”. Or “phone card sex: how to get him off before you’re cut off”. 

    (Btw that’s why I don’t ever attempt serious blog posts- they would suck).

    Why  do women, wives, girlfriends and parents having the same old cat fights and arguments and name calling and bitching over and over again- the world over?! 

    Why? When we are told over and over rank doesn’t matter?

    I have a theory. 

    Bear with me.

    1. We all know it’s completely batshit crazy to think for a second that our Popeyes rank somehow elevates or lowers us in the eyes of other military wives. It’s ludicrous.

    And yet we are so. Freaking. PROUD of our sailors. We are proud when they get on the signal and then pass one of those god awful promotion courses. (Those evil promotion courses that turn even the most placid, loving sailor into a complete and utter selfish, tunnel visioned, uncaring twat-yes you know the ones). 

    2. We are so proud of ourselves that we didn’t dump them or kick them out (or we’re proud that we let them back into our lives after going on the course- toma(y)to/tomato) .

    So somewhere in the back of our mind we want a little tiny speck of recognition. Just a bit. Just a little pat on the back to say “jeez well done. You’ve survived FOUR promotion courses and a boarding party course.” Hardcore wifeydom right there.

    3. It makes sense that at some point some peoples wires get crossed. And they start to feel entitled to the respect their sailor gets onboard from us- regular scummy civvies. Doesn’t make it right but it seems foolish to deny that it happens. 

    We shouldn’t give women respect based on their hubby’s rank because- well let’s be honest we all have to survive horrible courses. And we all have to do deployments. And we all have to listen to our sailors bitch about the navy over and over but do nothing about it. We all do it. And we all have our own lives to lead. 

                  
    So what I’m suggesting is that instead of insisting (like other blogs or articles tell you to) that we must all be happy clappy wives and girlfriends holding hands across rank, race and creed- we all just step back for a moment and get along with the other wives and girlfriends that we actually like.

    Shocking I know. 

    The idea we may genuinely not like the wife of our hubbys boss. 

    Or we may really get along with the ships doctors missus. 

    Or we may have a blood-feud-vendetta with the girlfriend of the matelot in charge of the gangway. 

    Or think one of the engineers wives is so dull you want to poke your eyes out every time you speak to her just so you don’t fall asleep. 

    Whatever. We are all grown women who can form our own opinions of these other women. We can judge and think for ourselves based on these women’s actions. Not the actions of their husbands.

    I do not think we all should forget about rank. We should be aware it does mean some women may go a bit psycho with assumed power. 

    It does effect some (not all!!!) relationships. It makes some women go weird. 

    I think less of the women who feel a sense of entitlement or superiority due to their husbands rank. But this is more about their personality than their husbands rank or job. 

    To suggest we should all get along is quite patronising and simplistic. And it simply does not happen! 

    Argh! 

    Navy wife MOT

    Now I’m not saying I let myself go during a deployment, but I do “relax” into what can only be described as a asexual state.

    Because navy wives are a strange hybrid during deployments, we’re not single we are “taken” in the sense that we have got a partner, but they are just not here at the minute. When I do go out, dont get me wrong, I like to look good and feel good. I’m not paired up in the traditional marriage sense, but I AM spoken for. I dont flirt nor do I want to, but you dont fit into the “single” category, nor do I feel that I can 100% fit in with the married gals I’m out with either.

    I still feel single in the sense that I have only got me to depend on, there’s no lift home from hubby, no one to swap stories with when I come stumbling in, he’s not there for me to catch his eye in the universal sign of “help! weirdo alert” when some creepy guy at the bar starts chatting to me. I have to pay the whole taxi fare. There’s no one to hold my hair back etc.

    To compensate for the strange dynamic of being in a relationship, yet for all intents, purposes and for practical reasons, hoofing it alone, when they’re away you can totally get away with things that you can’t when they’re home.

    I don’t shave my legs when hubby is gone, unless it is a very special occasion or Im getting worried the hairs have started to stick through my leggings and the static may cause a spark at the petrol station.

    I do shave my armpits, but not with the finesse or attention to detail that arises when Popeye is home or it is summer. I have been known to wear a t shirt in lieu of a vest top because of my relaxed attitude to underarm fuzz during deployment.

    I let my eyebrows have a race to the centre of my forehead (not really, but they do get quite bad at points).

    Skin care routine? What skin care routine? (Unless you count leaving makeup on overnight and using shower gel to get it off the next day).

    Of course hubby never knows about this, when on the phone I can pretend that I’m up and am having an oh-so-productive day when really I have spent two hours playing candy crush and looking at cats doing stupid things on YouTube, I’m still in my dressing gown and the dog has buried a chew toy under the duvet next to me. In the same vein if we ever Skype I will make sure my face and upper body look great, in some stylish top, and he will never know that my bottom half is wearing primark pyjamas with jams stains on them.

    I only send him the pictures of me that I like, so I get to filter out all those that make me look a tad bizarre. It’s not a lie as such, more like giving Popeye a more favourable angle to miss when he’s away.

    “Ah hah! clever me!” I think. “It’s the perfect ruse! I can totally relax my already fairly lax beauty regime and he will never know! Am a genius, this way he is still in love with me and I don’t have to worry about trivial things like haircuts or nice nails! nice one Olive, you’re doing swell girl.”

    This state of happy self contentment/blissful unawareness continues until…

    “Oh CRAP. It’s three weeks till he’s home! Three weeks! how did this happen?
    Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod”.

    When you’ve stopped staring blankly at the calendar agog that the time has actually past you come to the scary realisation that, he’s really coming home AND (no matter how many times you speed change, turn off the light and dive bomb under the covers) he’s going to have to see you naked at some point. SHIT.

    And I’ve just realised my mother in law reads this blog. Hi…*waves*…

    Anyway…

    Once the initial surge of panic fades, you make the navy wife MOT list:

    1. Haircut
    2. Stop biting nails then get manicure.
    3. Sort out feet.
    4. Shave legs (if I start now I should be finished by the time he’s home)
    5. Wax everything.
    6. Exfoliate six months of dead skin cells off of your body.
    7. Put a face mask on, maybe play some Enya or other plinky plonky music, to try and convince yourself this is pampering and relaxing, and not at all stressful or painful.

    (Oh yes and the house list:
    1. Clean the crap out of everything in a style of nervous desperation because you can’t sit still until the house is gleaming and you’re scared to move anything anywhere.)

    I’ve suggested at my local salon that they should have a package called the Navy Wife MOT and include a haircut, bikini wax and eyebrow shape in it. I think they though I was joking but I was totally serious! All my navy wife friends do this, or a variation of this, depending (in my case) just how bad they’ve let themselves get during the deployment. Some girls probably look like they’ve bathed in milk and honey and had their makeup licked on by kittens every day (like my personal self image nemesis at 6.30am in the morning, – Charlotte from Sky News no one should look that good at that time of the morning, it’s unnatural and unrealistic and makes me want to cry into my bowl of Special K red berries).

    Sorry, got carried away.

    I am not one of those girls. I forget to take my makeup off at night, and wake up looking like ive been punched in both eyes (sexy), I would rather have an extra five minutes snooze than spend ages on my makeup in the morning, I frequently button up my cardigans (see, I wear cardigans!) the wrong way and don’t notice, all day. And I have gone out SO many times with not just wet hair, but wet hair with conditioner still completely in it, for that “barely dry, yet totally greasy” look.

    The annoying thing is that this homecoming level of personal preening lasts for about a month after Popeye is home, after that I relax again, not quite to deployment level, but not as OCD as when MOT time comes around. That’s because it’s just not me. I mean, I’m clean and I make sure I’m de-fuzzed, but I don’t let it take over my life. My skin may not have been treated to a facial, my eyebrows may have just left the starting blocks, but an MOT level beautification isn’t needed, as lame as it sounds I feel confident just being myself.

    A navy wife MOT is that extra reassurance when I feel what (I hope) are quite natural homecoming body image insecurities. Realising that hey I’m not asexual, I’m a woman, an ok looking woman at that, and he loves me. Sometimes it just takes a little extra scrubbing to make me realise that I could show up wearing a bin bag and Popeyes eyes would still light up like its Christmas.