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My lonely Valentines

Military spouses are no strangers to being alone on important holidays and I can understand why they would dread spending today alone. After all, you are surrounded by pink and red colors, the word “love” splashed everywhere, and happy couples while you only have Netflix to depend on.

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Yes.

Where did this sappy holiday come from?
Lemme school you on where this joyous holiday came from. St. Valentine was a Christian priest who literally died for love. He found it unfair for Emperor Claudius II to ban engagements and weddings for the sake of having more soldiers. Claudius was pretty much a dick because he got into so many wars that he was running out of soldiers and lovers did not want to leave their families to fight Claudius’ battles. On top of being a fan of war, he didn’t really treat his people fairly so it is understandable why no one wanted to fight for him anymore. St. Valentine was not having any of Claudius’ shit and believed love should never be banned or prohibited (are you listening, you Judgey Judies?), so, he secretly began marrying couples. When he was outed, he was sent to prison and was put to death but not before confessing his love to a blind girl. How did he do this? No, not with a pen, but with ink squeezed from violets. That’s right, he wrote her a sonnet composed of ink squeezed from violets. Sadly, he was still put to death the next day. Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14 because it is believed lovebirds, doves, and owls began to mate that day after the Catholic Church granted him Sainthood.

Now that you know the history of why we celebrate this day, I can admit that I’ve never been one to celebrate this holiday. After learning about the saint, I can absolutely respect the day and the man but I just don’t expect my husband to give me gifts because it’s just another day. Plus it has become sooo commercialized, I mean, c’mon, before you read this, did you know who Saint Valentine was and why he is honored? No, because HE isn’t honored, per se, the action of love, what he died for, is celebrated. With that being said, does it change your perspective on today?

Still a V-day Grinch? Celebrate the other “holidays” that are on February 14!
This love and sex filled date is also shared with Library Lovers’ Day (Australia), International Book Giving day, National Cream Filled Chocolate day, and Quirkyalone Day. No one said you couldn’t acknowledge any other event going on in the world so here are a few things you can try and do today besides wallow in your emotions.

  1. Be a fun parent if your spouse is deployed. Have the kids make some sort of arts and craft gift for their parent so when they do come back, they’ll have piles of cards and gifts. Plus, it’ll keep the kids busy and your mind occupied.
  2. Love isn’t just for marriages and relationships. Go visit a children’s hospital, bring them Valentine Cards or even little snacks. They can always use new visitors and it’ll be a nice feeling for them to be acknowledged by someone besides their parents.
  3. Pamper yourself. This doesn’t just go for women, I’m sure there are “Me” things husbands can do to make themselves feel good. Ladies, get dolled up for yourselves, make yourselves a HAPPY dinner, not a sad, woo is me, dinner-for-one meals.
  4. While you’re all sexified, take a few pictures or even videos for your boo thing and send them to their phone or have a photo shoot printed out so when they return home, they have an extra goodie.
  5. Buy cream filled chocolates! You don’t have to share with ANYONE!
  6. Don’t be bitter. Just because your spouse is away absolutely does not give you a free bitter card. Don’t be jealous or say the famous “Must be nice…” phrase to other couples. You don’t know how many other meaningful days they had to spend away from each other nor do you know their struggles. Don’t rain on their parade.

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    Don’t be shitty.
  7. If you’re a military spouse, invite some other spouses whose S/O are away. Bring out the board games, snacks, PJ’s, or dress up! Something lively so you don’t end the night on a sad, tearful note.
  8. Do what YOU want to do. Reread an amazing book or watch trashy TV. Dive into something you love to indulge in that you normally wouldn’t be able to do with your spouse around (*ahem* KUWTK).

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The familiar butterflies

I have lost count the times I’ve gone to see my husband – to pick him up after a deployment or to see him at a port call. What I can always, always count on is the gut feeling I get. I get these butterflies. These butterflies are strong enough to pick my stomach up and flip it over but they are somehow light enough to flutter around their paper wings and give me a tickle that sends my breakfast on a fast track up my esophagus. My heart begins to pound as every second that passes while I’m behind the wheel knowing I am about to see my brave coastie. I’m checking my make up at any reflection just to recheck it 5 minutes later. You’d think I’d be one of those annoying high school girls who thrive on their looks.

September was the first time I got those butterflies. I was going to see him graduate bootcamp and he never looked more handsome. His jaw line never looked so squared but his 5 o’clock shadow at 11:00am never scratched more. I was intoxicated with pride. Then, before I knew it, I was picking him up from deployments every few months or catching him at a port call. I was drunk with fear. Almost a year later and those butterflies still work their magic and they have now become part of my routine of getting ready. When I’m done styling my hair, applying my winged eye liner, checking my constant low tire pressure, I take one deep breath in and I inhale the butterflies.

Maybe we still are in the “honeymoon” stage, maybe the distance does make the heart grow fonder, or maybe we are lucky. Whatever it is, both of us are happy to be in this bliss of love. I don’t know if he feels it (maybe he does, but that may just be the sea waves pushing and pulling him back and forth. Some people call it being “sea sick”!) but it’s a feeling I both love and hate. The only thing that makes these pesky butterflies go away is when he is finally in my sight. Once I see him the butterflies all gather around my heart and paper mache it. Every step he makes towards me, my heart grows and pounds harder. Then, when we finally embrace, my heart explodes with joy, sending those butterflies out like shards from a grenade.I can finally breathe knowing Christian is “Safe & Sound”. I can breathe without choking on air knowing he is back with me. I can breathe because I have my air back.

Listen to each other like it’s the last time you can hear. Laugh with each other like it’s the last time you’ll breathe. Love each other like they’ll be gone tomorrow.

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courtesy of PageCovers.com

When You Come Home

Most people know I am now a military wife. I literally married into that lifestyle because I married my husband right when he graduated bootcamp. I have no idea what it’s like to be a normal wife with a husband who comes home every day around the same time. I don’t know what it’s like to plan vacations. I probably will never know when it’s a good time to start having babies because I will become similar to a single mom – with a dog in the mix as well. I don’t know what it’s like to CHOOSE to ignore my husband’s phone calls or texts because he’s pissed me off for saying the “wrong thing”. On one hand, it’s an exciting life while on the other, it can be lonely. Stress is something that will always be there, especially if you were raised like I was: having everythin done for you. You learn to grow up fast and become an adult – whether you like it or not because bills will never stop.

A few nights ago I was on YouTube looking for something to listen to before I sleep. With my husband away, I wanted to soothe my emotions. I found one song called “When You Come Home” and it seems to be pretty popular since there are so many versions of it. I have no idea which is the original version. Holy hell, I just bawled my eyes out and it didn’t help that my Menzies is here so my hormones are running a RAMPAGE. I really enjoy the beginning because it’s a cadence and I love cadences. They actually really calm me down and, in fact, I make my husband sing me my favorite one “I Wonder” when I can’t sleep. They will always and instantly remind me of him. The chorus is honest and just so sad because it’s what every MILSO feels. When they come home, we’ll get our shit together, hide the fact we are just falling apart, remain calm despite money issues, and we become happy again when we see them.

The verses are a different story. Being a Coastie’s wife, I can happily say that I am luckier than most wives in the military life. For now, I don’t have to worry about him having being over seas. He mainly stays around U.S. waters but like others, he does have to go away for a couple of months, again, for now. I’m not sure what will be the longest trip. Regardless, he can be gone for a while, thankfully, not as long as other soldiers. The verses are rough to listen to because it’s a story from the wife’s point of view. She’s basically drowning. What I don’t like is that she sounds like she’s giving up, almost as if she blames him for the lifestyle. Maybe I’m still new to this or maybe I’m naive but I would never blame my husband for our changes and I try to keep my troubles away from our communication through texts, e-mails, phones, and Skype. Again, I may just be new at this and I’ll some day reach that feeling of giving up and then realize why I am still here when he comes home and washes all my doubts away. I hope I never reach that point.

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