Category Archives: Military Reintegration

What We Do in Bed

This is a view of my husband’s nightstand:

Amazon Kindle

When we first snuggle into bed, we both read.

What did you think I was going to say, gutterheads?

I read good old-fashioned paperback books. T reads from his Kindle, usually. We each have a small light on our nightstand.

It generally takes about five minutes before I’m dropping off to sleep. I shut my light and pull the covers over my head. This is in part to block out T’s light and in part to keep the vampires from biting my neck.

Residual childhood issues. The ear must be covered.

T used to read on for a few more minutes, then shut his light. Lately, and despite multiple polite requests from me, he has taken to reading for a half-hour to an hour longer, or more. Invariably, after about twenty minutes, the still-blazing light wakes me up.

I am not pleasant when I get woken up.

Actually, I’m almost never pleaseant. But especially not when I get woken up.

The other night I was so angry that I couldn’t fall back to sleep for what seemed like ages and when I finally did, I tossed and turned and slept as if I had not just a pea, but an entire vegetable crop under my mattress. A rotting, bumpy, lumpy, smelly, slimy vegetable crop.

Because I’m such a rational person, I decided that I would approach this conflict in a mature manner.

No, I did not take his Kindle outside and run it over with my car. That would in no way be satisfying.

If I were going to do something like that, I would first smash the shit out of it with a ball peen hammer, then tie it to my rear bumper with fishing line so that it could bounce and drag along behind me on my way to work. And I would make darn sure I was driving in front of my husband.

But, no. Instead I left him a little note inside of his Kindle.

Kindle Love Note 

If you want to read this book,

At the clock you must look.

A full five minutes is the max

Before you have to put me back.

Any longer, you must leave

And take the light where you will read.

Your wife is tired, so please be nice,

And in five minutes SHUT THE LIGHTS!!!

I briefly contemplated making the last two lines:

If more than five you read in bed,

You effing wife will kill you dead.

But, I didn’t.

I’m nice that way.

Does your spouse read in bed? Do you read, too? Or does it drive you crazy?

Speaking of spouses driving you crazy, time is running out to vote in the latest “Tell Me” poll. So far all 11 of my readers have voted (thank you, peeps!), but if you know anyone else who might like to vote, please pass the word!

An Exciting Announcement

We interrupt your (ir)regularly scheduled programming to bring you this exciting announcement:

I’m guest blogging over at The Annoyed Army Wife today!

The Annoyed Army Wife

I was so thrilled – not to mention flattered – that Michelle asked me to write a post for her. I admire the stark honesty and down-to-Earth realism of her blog, not to mention the way she engages her readers.

Her husband, OccDoc, recently returned from a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, so while the two of them are making up for lost time, Michelle asked me to write about my own reintegration experiences and offer up some advice for the newly reunited.

I did it the way I do everything: with a bit of sarcasm. Here’s a preview of :

A Cynic’s Guide to Reintegration

Buh-Bye Abs

Remember all that work you did over the past six, three or even just one month to look and feel fantastic when you greeted your soldier? We all do it. It’s as good an excuse as any other – better even – to lose some weight and get in shape.

Well, say buh-bye to your new body, because it only takes about two weeks of celebrating, eating out and vacationing before your pants start to get tight again. Not to mention the other people (I’m looking at you, Mom) who want to feed your returning hero as a way of welcoming him back.

Because clearly everyone needs three desserts at one sitting.

I love Italians.

Now get on over to The Annoyed Army Wife and check out the rest. Go on!

March 6th

March 6, 2006: I stood in a cold, dark parking lot and watched my boyfriend of four months walk away from me and towards war in a place called Iraq.  I wouldn’t see him again for almost six months.

Ft Dix Bowling Alley

March 2006 - Before the good-bye at Ft Dix

March 6, 2007: My boyfriend of one year and four months was back at Fort Dix for demobilization. I had seen him for only two weeks during the past year. Three days later we would reunite.

HolidayFest 2007

March 2007 - HolidayFest in full swing!

March 6, 2009: The two of us stood before God and Mount Washington and pledged our love and devotion to each other.

Wedding Picture #1

March 6, 2009 - Our wedding day

 When the pastor pronounced us man and wife, my new husband took me in his arms and gave me the most gentle and yet passionate kiss I have ever received. The two of us radiated a joy that was almost tangible. We couldn’t stop smiling.

Wedding Picture #2

Husband and Wife - and best friends

March 6, 2010: I woke up to a quiet emptiness. I lay in bed for a few minutes, while my heart throbbed a few painful beats. I missed my husband. I was afraid for him. I wanted him back.

But I was determined to make it a good day, for both our sakes. I mustered my courage and rolled out of bed. In celebration of our first wedding anniversary, I took a hike with our dog.

During that hike, my husband called me from Afghanistan. He was one day away from arriving at his outpost where he would spend the next eight and a half months. Our conversation was almost as sweet and loving as that first kiss we shared as husband and wife.

Later that day, my friend K stopped by and brought me flowers. Her husband was only a few days behind mine and would be gone just as long. She’s a MilSpouse, too. She knows. We chatted for a while and played a little RockBand.

When she left, I went upstairs and started a blog. I called it Mowenackie.

It was my anniversary gift to my husband – another way to help us stay connected in the coming months. “Virtual paper” I call it. Paper is the traditional one-year anniversary gift. Since nothing about us is traditional, I thought this fit. He was thinking along the same lines, apparently. He got me the Rosetta Stone for the Italian language, Levels 1-3. Virtual paper.

I just love him.

The story I told in my first post is still the most accurate illustration of our relationship that I can think of. I am so grateful to have this man in my life, who loves me without reservation, accepts me and keeps me grounded. It doesn’t sound like much on (virtual) paper, but it is everything to know I have that one constant in my life of inconsistencies. He is the one I turn to for solace, for soothing, for laughter, for logic.

He was worth waiting for…again and again and again. And he still is.

March 6, 2011: I’m sitting in a hotel room, typing a blog post and waiting. I’m waiting for the military to release my husband back to me, like I’ve done so many times before. But on this March 6th, I woke up next to my husband and at the end of the day I’ll be with him again.

Me & T at the EconoLodge!

March 2011

In the meantime, I’d like to thank you, my darlings – friends, family and fellow MilSpouses – for accompanying me on this journey. This is our anniversary, too. A year ago I found a community that I never dreamed existed, yet today couldn’t imagine being without. Thank you for your support, your help and your advice. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.

Thank you for reading.

Happy Anniversary!