Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Geo Bachelorette

As I was standing in the kitchen (yes, standing) eating soup (because it only dirties one dish) and crackers (out of the box, see dish comment), I realized I have been slowly changing these past months and my standards are now down to a fraction of their former selves... I am in survival mode, but worse, I am in single mode.

"Geo Bachelors" are sailors who live in a different place than their spouse. One spouse has a career in one town and chose not to move with the sailor, or the family decided to keep the kids at the same school... whatever the reason, the married couple lives separately.

 Since Dominic and I have only spent three weeks together post-nuptials, I think I qualify for the title of "Geo Bachelorette." That, or Lazy-ass Wife.... but I prefer the GB title.

I have developed some very interesting habits since becoming a GB.

For example, my hair and makeup products have taken over the entire bathroom counter (see photo).

I also decided that it is pointless to shave my legs every day as the only guy to get physically close to me in the last 6 months (minus hugs from my dad and brother at Christmas) was a 60 year old man I was partnered with during Adult CPR/AED certification class at the Red Cross. Clearly, I can afford to save some time in the morning and forgo the razor for a few days.

Before I go to bed I, very OCD-like, check to make sure the doors are locked. The routine goes like this: Lock the door, turn off kitchen light, turn off hall light, brush teeth, wash face, turn on hall light, check door, walk back to room, get pjs on, look down hallway at door to make sure it is locked, turn off hall light. When Dominic is home, I simply ask him if we locked the door. He says yes and then I am over it. But because I do not have anyone but myself reassuring me that I locked the door, I check and check and check until my brain is convinced.

I also tend to base my meals around what will dirty the least amount of dishes because, lets face it, its exhausting to cook for "one," then clean the kitchen afterward.

I eat breakfast/drink coffee in the car because I value ten more minutes of sleep over making breakfast and coffee, yet, it probably takes more time for me to stand in line at Starbucks to order my quad-grande-one-pump-vanilla-light-room-americano and oatmeal (hold the dried fruit) each and every morning.

 These behaviors are a coping mechanism I use for being alone, being stressed, having a one-hour commute, working (in general), planning our move and internally freaking out about leaving my friends, church and job. But, from an outsider's view, I am just a single 20-something with no time.

There are a few daily things that my brain does to hold onto the presence of Dominic and reminds me that I am married and not alone. I can't sleep on his side of the bed. If I manage to move my head over to his pillow in the middle of the night, I wake up and have to move back over to my pillow. His one little drawer in the bathroom remains empty. His keys are on his nightstand. And our wedding photo is in my wallet.

Sometimes I wonder if I will even recognize him on the pier in a mass of uniforms and "welcome home" signs. I look at our wedding photos all the time and wonder how married life will be because I am stuck in this limbo where I am alone, have a new last name and wear a beautiful ring, but have an invisible placeholder in our apartment, and in my heart, for my husband.

And sometimes I have to guard against other things sneaking in and filling that space. We all want to fill the spaces in our lives but us GBs have to remember: just because there is a space, doesn't mean it is vacant. I need to start clearing out the things that are creeping into the space...maybe I'll start with the bathroom counter.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Last Month of Sea Duty

Dominic has been on sea duty for the last three years. After looking back at old calendars, I realized that we have been apart roughly 24 of the last 36 months due to two deployments, several work-ups and an unfortunate T.A.D. during dry dock in Bremerton. I also realized that a lot has happened during that time.

I graduated college in Florida, moved to Washington and managed to find a job in my field. Dominic completed a tour of duty in 2008, spent a better part of a year T.A.D. to the mess decks in Bremerton and is in the process of completing his second tour of duty on the USS Abraham Lincoln. As a couple,  we moved in together, got engaged, planned a wedding and were married (still waiting for that honeymoon).

I think it is safe to say that we are exhausted. I am tired of saying "goodbye," sick of cooking for "one" and completely over being alone. I am sure Dominic is sick of boat food, trying to talk to me via email and wind-tunnel-like phone calls and spending holidays away from family.

So, there are many good things about March: St. Patrick's Day, First day of Spring, my birthday... but the best thing about it will be the day it ends, because when that happens, my husband and I will not have to say "goodbye" for another three years... the question is "How do you live with your spouse?"