A complete stranger could take one glance at our dirty clothes hamper and know we were a Navy family. I’m not even talking uniform items, though the flightsuits are a giveaway in their own right — I’m talking T-shirts. Piles of ’em. It’s an impressive array of colors and designs, with four and five copies of a few notable ones. Put them together and you have a washable, wearable timeline of my husband’s Navy career to date, from his plebe year at the Naval Academy to the USNA blue rims he wore throughout his time there to acting as a detailer himself to Aviation Preflight Indoctrination to the VTs (flight training squadrons) to his recent LT wetting down. I swear the things must reproduce in the hamper, because there is just… no… end… to the Navy T-shirt parade.
I occasionally want to throw up my hands and cry uncle, usually on a day like today, when I feel like I’ve fed a huge chunk of my waking hours to washing, drying, and folding Navy T-shirts in the specially prescribed fashion for which my husband acquired a taste at Boat School (and then passed on to me — hey, don’t knock it; it’s efficient). It’s enough to make a girl seriously consider the merits of a dry-clean-only wardrobe.
Okay, okay, not seriously. But there is a certain momentary appeal to hiring someone else to do the washing!
Really, though? If I’m being totally honest with myself, I love those dang shirts. I’ve even appropriated a couple of them for my personal pajama use. Who wouldn’t want to drift off to dreamland clad in a Jewish Midshipman Club shirt with “OYRAH!” blazoned across the back? They make me think of my husband and the circumstances under which each shirt was added to his wardrobe. I can already tell that I’m going to be one of those wives who obsesses over her husband’s shirts when he’s away on det. There’s a lot to be said for a physical reminder like that, especially one you can wear.
I have to wrap this up now, as the dryer just stopped so as to provide me with a further bounty of Navy shirts. Luckily, their owner just got back home from the shooting range, so I can recruit some help for this round of folding. Bwahahaha.