Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Say you're somebody. Somebody with roots. Somebody with flair. Somebody who needs people to know her personally the way a back-alley hooker needs crack cocaine. 

I've traveled a fair bit and lived abroad. Never have I ever felt comfortable in any place I've lived until I have located three major things- "my" coffee shop (preferably with that barrista who knows me by name and whose life aspirations we discuss at length), good Asian restaurants, and a girlfriend. Think about your grandmother saying the word. This ain't your "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" girlfriend...I'm talking about a grrrlfriend. A soul-sister. 

My four best friends live in different cities, respectively: 1,172 miles, 548 miles, 698 miles- oh, and one lives in a different 3,000 miles away from me. It's hard. Being in a solid relationship with tickle fights, back-rubs, and regular hot, steamy eye-contact is fantastic. And I'd rather be sleeping here next to him than in 3/4 locations alluded to above. But as a woman, I can't live on eros alone. 

Enter the friend-crush. And this totally can apply to guys too- I'm a gal-gal with good guy friends but I know you guy-gals are out there too. Gal-gal means that I live in woman-land. Most of my solid lifer friends are women;I excel at single-sex education; I am beyond comfortable in women-dominated professional and social activities. I *need* gal pals. Particularly in the face of This Man's Army and the men-everywhere phenomenon in this Army town. Seriously, this undisclosed location has a shocking predominance of (tall) dudes. Potentially coincidentally most of the local guys here seem to really work hard to be physically attractive. I can only speculate that there is a perception of competition when one is faced daily with what regular PT does to the average 18-24 year old male body. 

My first friend-crush didn't work out. She was cool, a professional connection that didn't balk when I called my male fiance my "partner", but alas she lived too far away to stay in touch. As luck would have it a random group turned up my first progressive Army-wifey friend- we bonded over shared activism- and she was the also the first person since I moved here to mention the LGBT community in passing conversation. It's a small world after all because my second Army-wifey friend is a north-easterner with family-friend connections who was my penpal before she moved here and we met in person. Bonus- she has excellent taste in bourbon. Now we all three of us write a blog together, and make cocktails together, and bitch about this ungodly awful right of passage (aka wedding planning) that we are also coincidentally embarking upon together...

And I'm happy. Philia- Ancient Greek φιλία, meaning friendship- reigns supreme.
photo credit SweetPerversion Etsy shop

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Home Stretch

My dude is in a phase of Special Forces training where he is doing Secret Things In the Woods, and he's been basically incommunicado for over a month.  I've received some letters, but evidently he hasn't received any of mine.  It's easier than deployment in some ways-- namely, I know he's not going to come under attack, and he'll be home relatively soon-- but not being able to so much as hear his voice for this length of time is just as hard.  I recently spent a few days with a cousin whose husband is in Bahrain with the Navy, and they're able to text several times a day.  He's gone for six months instead of six weeks, but at least they can stay in touch.  I found myself feeling jealous of her, though I'm sure the grass seems greener from where she's standing, too.

I spent some time with family and friends while he was gone, and although for the most part it was great to enjoy my own interests and relationships, there were times when I missed him really acutely.  I am marrying this man because I want to share a life with him, and yet our experiences are frequently not shared.  I spent a weekend with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, and I felt deeply sad and a little bitter that my dude wasn't there, too.  I went to a cousin's wedding and felt similarly bereft, despite the beauty of the occasion.  I know this won't always be our life, and I know that I would rather have him some of the time than none of the time... but when I envisioned myself choosing a life partner, I always imagined a lot more companionship than I'm getting these days.  That said-- I also get a lot more laughter, adventure, and joy than I ever imagined.  Life is full of trade-offs.

I've also done a good bit of wedding planning since he's been gone.  We set the date-- December 28th, now just over four months away-- before he left and narrowed down our venue options, so it's not like he's totally out of the loop, but it's been at various points both funny and hard to move ahead on plans for such an important event in our lives without his ongoing input.  I chose one of the reception venues we discussed, but I also selected a Unitarian church (we're agnostic/atheist but we like the Unitarian community, and the sanctuary at this place is gorgeous) for our ceremony, which was not something we'd talked about, the the layout of the reception space isn't really conducive to a ceremony.  The other things that I moved ahead on-- asking my bridesmaids to be in the wedding, buying my dress ($97 from ModCloth.  HUGE win.) and shoes, selecting dates for my bridal shower and bachelorette ladies' night out back home-- don't really concern Duder, anyway.  I Pinterested the hell out of invitation and wedding website designs, centerpieces, suits for him, etc., so hopefully we can make some final decisions about that business soon after he's back. 

Oh, and did I mention that he's going back out for three weeks again pretty soon after this?  Yeah.  Next phase of the course.  They split the class in half, so some of them will go out just two days after they come home, while others will get two weeks before they go back.  Even though I would love to have a couple of weeks with him, I think I'd prefer he go back out with the first group.  That way, the away phases of training will be mostly over with (he has a month away at the end, but four months on post before that)... and he'll be back in time to come with me to a very close friend's wedding.  I know the wedding will still be awesome even if I go alone-- the people getting married are some of my most party time fun friends, and I'll know a lot of other people there-- but for the love of all that is holy, I want him to be with me for at least some of these milestone events or I am going to scream.

So.  Not much longer to go.  I have plenty to keep me busy between now and then-- and, if he's lucky, maybe I'll even make him something delicious (like this, perhaps?) as a surprise.

xo- K.