The stop date for overseas packages to T’s unit was October 15th. The military put that date in place to ensure that anything sent to the soldiers would arrive before they leave.
I should have been happy about this. It was a landmark date for the deployment. It means they’re getting close to coming home.
And I am happy. I’m ecstatically, wonderfully excited about it. But at the same time, I’m a little sad, too.
What is your problem, lady? you may be thinking. (It’s okay, I often think that myself.)
My problem is that there is now one less way that I can communicate and connect with my husband. Since the recreational internet is still down in the officers quarters, taking away care packages and letters limits us to two methods of communication:
1. Phone calls. I get these daily and am indescribably grateful that I get to talk to my husband on a regular basis. It’s part of what gets me through each day. But, truth be told, I’m looking forward to a time when I don’t have to stop what I’m doing in the middle of my day to have a conversation during which we may lose connection, run out of minutes or experience one or the other of us sounding like we’re talking into a pillow. I yearn for the day when I don’t have to constantly say, “What, baby? I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you said,” or, “Can you hear me now?” or, “It sounds like you’re standing in a wind tunnel.”
2. Email. T can access his personal email from the office, but can’t really do much else from there. Other folks work out of the office, of course, so there isn’t a lot of privacy either. This means I don’t get much in the way of in-depth, lengthy or intimate emails.
So, I felt a little sad. After all, it’s going to be a month or two before I see my husband and that’s still quite a stretch.
Fortunately for us, I am a genius.
(By the way I have a coffee mug that I keep at work with that picture and caption on it. I feel modesty is overrated.)
I, in all of my hyper-intelligent glory, came up with a game to help keep us connected. I call it “List of Fives”.
Pretty catchy, huh?
Here’s how it works: Taking it in turn, each day one of us comes up with a “List of Fives” topic. Say I start. I come up with the topic and email my five things to T. T then replies to the email with his five things. That’s it for that day.
The next day, T sends me a new topic and his five things. I reply with my five things and that’s it for that day. We continue to alternate coming up with topics until T is home, he no longer has internet, or we run out of topics.
Here are the rules: We can talk about the fives, but no negative comments about the other’s list. There is no ruling anything out, but nor is anything written in stone. For instance, if the topic is “Name five things to try for a date night”, and one of us wrote, “Skydiving,” the other couldn’t say, “I’d never do that,” but nor are we obligated to try it if we don’t want to.
We have been “playing” for just over a week and neither of us has gotten tired of it. It’s kind of fun to check for the email each day and wonder what the topic will be or what the other person’s response to your topic will be.
Here are some of the topics we’ve used:
- Five movies we’d like to watch when T gets home.
- Five games we’d like to play when T gets home.
- Five sensual things we’d like to try together.
- Five foods we’d like to eat when T gets home.
- Five restaurants we’d like to try when T gets home.
Then there are a few that I can’t tell you about. But those were fun, too.
It’s a way to stay connected, but it is also a good way to generate a list of ideas for those days when we’re like, “What do you want to do?” “Duh. I don’t know. What do you want to do?” I plan on printing out the emails and putting them in a binder so that we can access them whenever boredom or brain farts strike.
I’m pretty excited about it.
Did I mention that I’m a genius?