Things I think about when doing laundry

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.

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Confession

All right, Post #2 and I’m already making this blog my personal confessional booth!  (Of course, not being Catholic, my knowledge of actual confessional booths is cobbled together from movies and off-color jokes, but that’s neither here nor there.)  Before anyone gets all excited, this isn’t an earth-shattering revelation.

This is not my first blog.  Nor is it the only blog I currently keep.

It is the first one I have consciously devoted to a single subject.  My other ventures into the wonderful world of blogging (dating back to before the turn of the millennium, which makes me feel positively ancient) have been aimed primarily at keeping in touch with friends and family.  My intended audience was comprised largely of people I already knew in real life

My plans for To the Nth are deliberately tailored toward joining the “milblogging” community while retaining sufficient anonymity to let me feel comfortable writing for anyone in the world who cares to look.  I wonder, at this early stage, how successful I will be in maintaining that comfy distance without compromising the inherently personal nature of a blog whose content will be drawn from my own life as a Navy wife.  That is sort of the point: to share what it’s like being married to a Naval Aviator and living the Navy life.

The trouble is, I’m not married to “a” Naval Aviator, an archetype interchangeable with some set of generic squadronmates.  Do you think every Navy pilot would use the phrase “minty urgency” to describe a new lotion?  My husband just did.  I suspect that, being married to my particular Naval Aviator, my idea of “living the Navy life” will be significantly different than that of a friend married to her particular Naval Aviator.

Sometimes, civilians have an image in their heads of a monolithic military made up of cookie-cutter people.  Those of us close to the military are well aware that sharing a uniform doesn’t enforce mental conformity by any stretch of the imagination.  Even within the same community — same job, same aircraft, same squadron — people have different experiences.  I haven’t the foggiest what it’s like for SWO families, or the loved ones of those crazy submarine guys, or heck, even for the families of the enlisted aircrew my husband will be working with every day.

All I can write about is my own version of Navy life.  The trick will be not allowing myself to mistake my individual circumstances — even when others might be able to relate — for some imaginary Universal Truth of Navy Spousehood.

Hello World

This is a real “Hello World” post, not the one WordPress automatically generated for me; I promptly deleted that.  I can’t even count the number of “Hello World” programs I’ve written when learning new programming languages, so it doesn’t feel quite right to use that particular phrase in a WYSIWYG editor like this.  Oh well, I guess I can go to the HTML editor when I’m feeling hardcore.

Scratch that.  When I’m feeling hardcore, I’m going to rock out command line style on a Linux box.  I haven’t had the chance to do that in a while.  Ah, the glamorous life of an unemployed programmer… I mean, a stay-at-home Navy wife.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I don’t have to work, but I am looking forward to reaching a point where I wouldn’t feel disingenuous applying for a job when we could easily be moving in a few months.  I can’t wait until we will be staying put for three years instead of moving three times in about fifteen months.  We’ve been at our current duty station for over a year, and it already feels like a long time.  That could be due to the fact that we were expecting to know where we’ll be next, oh, right about now, but the current estimate is that we won’t find out about staying vs. going for at least another five months.  Good thing this isn’t a bad place to spend our time in limbo!