Saturday, March 2, 2013

I dance in my kitchen

I dance in my kitchen a lot.  After I put the kids to bed, I turn up my rockin' out tunes, and while I'm sweeping the never quite clean floor, and taking part in that circle of life that is dishwashing (they're never all clean, it's just a rotating circle of sink, to dishwasher, to cupboards, repeat!) I dance.  Not well, of course.  I'm no dancer.  I took 1 tap/ballet class for a month or so when I was 6, and then my DH took me to a ballroom dance class one time during the early stages of dating, when he wasn't yet sure if he should admit he hates dancing.  So I'm no good.  But I love it anyway.  I'm like Baloo the Bear, from Disney's The Jungle Book.  I hear the groove, and I have to move.  It slows down my kitchen cleanup a bit, but it's a nice stress reliever too.  I twist, I shake, I bounce, and I lose myself in the beat for a few minutes.

I realized the other day, that I don't do this all the time.  It's a deployment thing.  I don't know if it's because I'm too self-conscious to completely let loose like that in front of my husband, or maybe I'm worried he'll be annoyed with the loud music.  I've never given it enough thought to know why.  But it got me thinking.  Are there other things I'll miss when he comes home?  Am I even allowed to miss anything about this temporary husbandless existence of mine?

It's strange trying to think about that.  My inner-self splits into two personalities.  One is the loving wife, do-anything-for-your-marriage-and-life-is-miserable-without-him side, and the other is my feminist, you-don't-need-a-man-to-complete-you (add a snap and body roll to that) side.  The feminist tries to think of things I've enjoyed while he was gone, and the loving wife side jumps in and stops those thoughts saying, "It doesn't matter!!!" or "You just did that to pass the time while he was away!!"

It's an odd conflict, and I'm not sure either side ever wins.  Probably because they both are a part of me.  However, I think I will let the feminist have her day, and make my list.  But to pacify the loving wife, I'll add the disclosure that I'd trade the entire list right now for even just snuggling on the couch with my husband, watching football that I'm sort of paying attention to.  Wait- make that college basketball.  Football season is over.  I forgot.  Obviously he's been gone awhile. and Cougarboard aren't even on our google chrome most visited pages list anymore!!!  They have been replaced with Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon, and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines page.  

1.  Online shopping.  I do, of course, still buy things when he's home, but when he's gone I have the "I'm lonely so I'm sending myself a package" excuse.  It's a fabulous excuse, even if half the wearable things get returned because it turns out I don't look as much like the model as I thought I did.

2.  Fast Food.  I cook well when I have a husband to eat it.  Otherwise, I'm not ashamed to admit fast food happens a lot.  Enough for my 4 year old to sigh with happiness and say, "I love drive-thru's!"  It's too frustrating cooking for myself and 3 minis.  Unless it's pancakes, waffles, one of the many forms of hot dogs (hot dogs, corn dogs, pigs in a blanket, chili dogs, hot dogs cut up with beans) or frozen chicken nuggets, someone wont eat it.  Healthy meals I either have to eat myself for a week (because I don't know how to cut my family recipes down) or end up throwing it out.  Both are not ideal.  So fast food and pizza have been our friends.  Don't judge 'till you've walked the 4 month mile.  Or the two month mile, times 7.  

3.  The sewing bug.  I've caught it a few times this deployment, and have made several satisfying projects that make me want to smile, snap a picture, post it somewhere and proclaim, "Yeah, I made that!".  It's not so satisfying however staying up late trying to finish something, while my husband is in bed wondering when sewing became more attractive than him.  When he's gone however, I can stay up 'till 2 am guilt free, finishing up something adorable.

4.  Chick Flicks.  They replace the 4 games of football/basketball/baseball going on simultaneously on the iPad, computer, TV, and phone.  I cry at the good parts, without making anyone concerned for my emotional stability, and don't have to tune out the teasing banter about the obvious lacking in masculinity of the male heroes in my beloved favorite films.  Edward, Mr. Darcy, Tad Hamilton, and the others are safe.

5.  Reading without stopping.  I don't have it in me to give up reading when my DH comes home, but I do try a little harder not to get so lost in my books, that I don't notice he went to bed 3 hours ago.  It's happened, I'm ashamed to say.  But when he's gone, I don't need to use any caution.  No reason to rush off to a cold, lonely bed.  It's not going anywhere, unlike the plot of my book!

6.  Girl Time.  It's much easier planning in girl time, because I can do it pretty much 24-7.  My schedule is wide open.  Virtually.  The kids do have a few things.  But for the most part, when a girlfriend wants to hang out, the answer is most emphatically, "yes!"

7.  Spaghetti, Shepherd's Pie, Chili, Taco Soup.  When I do get around to cooking, I make what I like, and don't need to compromise two sets of tastes.

Seven is a lucky number, so I'll stop there.  I can't think of anything else major at the moment anyway.

To my amazing husband when his internet works long enough to read this, I miss you like a dieter misses doughnuts, like pot roast misses salt, like a city night misses stars, like a Virginia girl living in the desert would miss trees.  Lots and lots.  But, I am a trained resilient girl, and am learning to look for the good things in any situation.  I've found a few, that keep me happy and busy when I'm missing you.  But sleep well knowing none of them come close to spending time with the most important person in my world.

Funny Thinking of You Ecard: Dance like no one is watching and laugh like everyone is watching you dance.


  1. I enjoyed this. I bet you're a pretty good dancer. Although my husband is not gone anywhere as much as yours I know the feeling. When he says he will be gone for a TDY I can't help but think of the little things I enjoy. But then I feel guilty for having things I enjoy specifically while he is gone. Some of mine are the same, reading until all hours, without the guilt. If I feel like watching a movie it can be anything I please. Food, while I don't eat out a lot I do eat out more (and I would never judge you for eating out and feeding those cute kids in the least stressful way possible!) and when I do cook it's more of what I want. But its also kind of nice not worrying if Dinner is served at 5:00 or 7:30. And not worrying as much if the meal is simpler, Toast and eggs happen a lot. So does stir fry. And I don't have to worry that my hard working husband is being shorted. :) When Jeb and I came back together after his 16 month training away from us, there was a lot of adjustments in that end. More on his side because I had become so used to doing things my way and he wasn't used to the newly more independent wife. I had gotten out of the habit of asking for his help, I wasn't in the habit of asking him what he wanted to do. We adjusted and it was all great. Now whenever he leaves I find myself slipping into that different frame of mind very quickly. Self Defense survival I guess. But I hope you know when I watch you with your kids I think so highly of you. You handle it with grace and confidence. Your kids are wonderful and it really reflects their steadfast Mom. :)

    1. Good for you, Salinda!!! And I think our men like their independent women. I like to think it's a turn on for them to know their wives can use the toolbox to fix something, and manage everything at home while they're away. They married women who rise to the occasion, and I can't imagine they'd want it any other way. Tonight I danced with the kids to Kelly's Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill you Makes You Stronger!" song as we cleaned up the kitchen together. They loved it!! They weren't all that helpful with the cleaning, but they sure did boogie, and caught the meaning of the song, flexing their little arms on the word "stronger" every time. It was a fun memory in the making.

  2. YOu rock liz! When my brother-in-law is deployed she uses disposable plates, utensils etc... I think she's smart for doing that- but she is missing out on the great kitchen dance parties you are having :)

    1. You know, I don't think it's ever occurred to me to go disposable, but that's a fabulous idea. I might just have to try that next time. I can always save the dancing for sweeping the floor!!

  3. I loved this and I agree 100%! And I'm glad I'm not the only mom whose deployment meals are Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, waffles, pizza and drive thrus!

  4. Liz, I love reading your posts. You are a great writer.

    1. Thank you, Christy!! I'm glad to know someone other than my mom reads them. :)