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


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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!

Brain farts

They say it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. That being said, it must also be a woman’s prerogative to drive herself loopy with contradictions.

Some of these brain farts I have already covered in other posts, such as when I don’t want Popeye anywhere near me, yet cling to his tear stained t-shirt like a limpet crossed with a banshee (see “why doesn’t he just go already”). Others include hating time with a passion, then loving time equally as much, all depending on one key factor, is he home or not .

All the time my brain is behaving in this contradictory manner, I am doing my own head in. I don’t understand why I am so backwards and mental and generally slightly unhinged. Moreover I don’t understand how or why Popeye copes with it. I don’t know if it’s happened since I became a navy wife, or is a consequence of being one. I.e do you have to be mad to love a sailor, or does marrying a sailor make you mad?

This debate goes round and round in my head many times during a deployment. I think it when I start to cry over finding a snotty tissue he’s left in his jeans pocket, I think it when I start laughing manically after I’ve packed away all the Xbox crap very important game paraphernalia. I think it when I find myself scowling at happy couples in the street, and I think it when I have a full on adrenaline rush when the phone starts ringing.

But the time when I seriously begin to doubt my sanity is when I have just received the holy grail of contact (as a couple we still have not mastered Skype, I know, I know, how do we cope etc). I’m talking about the much awaited, much anticipated phone call.

So you all know my response to the ringing phone, and my mad phone ninja skills. What I haven’t covered is the completely irrational response I have after ending the call.

This response has no bearing on the quality of the call, it can be long, short, detailed, sober, drunk, end with “I love yous” or end with being cut off. The point is, dear readers, is that there are many many times when after the phone call I have catapulted into complete and utter despair. Like, total meltdown depressed, crying, hugging the bemused dog who tries in vain to escape, eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys, despair.

A navy wife friend said to me that this is the reason she prefers emails, because at least then you can plan what to say, be excited to receive the next message, and revisit the conversation, I must say I’m beginning to agree with her, she writes a good blog, you can find a link to it here actually.

I have no real reason as to why the odd call makes me feel so crap. I have many theories, ranging from me being hormonal, to jealous that he is having fun without me, to possibly me simply not being a normal person.

Usually, for other people, wives and girlfriends, when their partner or loved one does something or gives them something that they have wanted for a long time, the response is happiness, gratitude and love.

Not for me! I get pissed off! And sad! And annoyed! And I wish he just hadn’t even bothered ringing because now I have to watch the second half of Downton Abbey feeling annoyed at Mrs Bates, because even if Mr Bates is in prison, at least she gets to bloody see him!!!

I can’t even finish this post with a heart warming summary, or an insightful commentary. Because I literally have no idea why I react like this after some phone calls. There’s no pattern, no way to predict it.

Stupid brain farts.