And dont forget to read Part Four!
I left Part Four with me wedged between two business men. Again. Men can be such oinkers sometimes, but as I said, I had just finished an extensive 8 week exercise program, and had a decent farmer's tan. Sitting there 18 and firm, and in my dress blues... well, boys will be boys.
I arrived 3 hours late, just after midnight, and was considered AWOL (absent without leave, leave being approved vacation). My company-mate standing next to me had also missed our flight, but for different reasons. It would seem that she had managed to find the bar in the airport, and spent the next 4 hours getting schnockered. On top of that, she managed to barf all over herself on the hour long bus ride from the airport to the base. All over her dress blue uniform, which you probably know is one of a soldier's proudest possessions.
The chips had once again fallen in my favor, and because my shipmate was barfy and a disgrace to her uniform, the Officer On Deck focused all of her wrath on her. All of the AWOL'ees were off the hook.
Since I was late getting to the base and the class that I was supposed to be in had already filled up, I would be in the next class. The class that a very handsome "butter wouldn't melt in his mouth" John the Future MISU was in.
I would meet my husband for the love of shopping, a point which I argue on occasion.
Our Company Commanders would consist of a First Class and Chief Petty Officers, and a Lieutenant Commander. While waiting for our class to fill up, they had assigned jobs for us to pass the time. Since my family had been a small cleaning business for an advertising agency in DC, I was put in charge of the cleaning supply closet and was in charge of making sure that certain areas were cleaned properly. John was named adjutant of the class and would come by the cleaning supply locker to check up on me. Three or four times a day. Which really annoyed me because I sat In a closet all day for the most part, and I figured there wasn't too much that I could screw up. And he was always interrupting my naps. So, I made sure to tell him that.
He would try to small talk me, after telling me he was just doing his rounds.
"Why are you always coming in here? You're annoying me, leave me alone."
Later he would come back a few times more, only to be stonewalled. It didn't take much more for him to get the picture that I was a self sufficient gal, and I didn't need someone to look over my shoulder while I handed out mops and buckets. I was so young and dumb, I hadn't realized that he didn't have to come down, he wanted to. Pretty soon though, he didn't want to anymore. I had bared my teeth a few times more, and he had slowly backed away, out of danger.
After our class had reached it's saturation point, and after being seated up two rows and to the right of him... I could feel someone staring at me. I turned, and he stared at me unabashedly, then gave me a smirk of a smile. That smile told me everything I had been too dumb and sleepy to notice before. I felt fluttering in places I didn't know existed. I folded that knowledge up as if it were a note he had just passed to me, and put it in my hip pocket.
The weeks went on, involving a lot of partying with and without my very concerned roommates. Many times I would fall asleep in the middle of taking notes, and would snort myself awake to find that I had scribbled right off the edge of my paper, and desk. Eventually, my chief busted me and I was to blame for having to stand in the back of the class. It was either that or get caught sleeping again and suffer some menial task as punishment.
John couldn't stare at the back of my head until my scalp tingled anymore, which would then cause me to turn around and get the "Yeah baby, I'm lookin' attchu" look. This would mean that his shy self would actually have to talk to me. I talked to him, but I was too busy speed dating to notice much more... still looking for love in all the wrong places, usually a guy who thought he was the *you know what*. Sometimes though, I would use my new found hotness to get even with the male race. I would sleep with them, then never call them. My roommates continued to worry about me, and would scold me lovingly.
We went on outings as a class, and eventually broke off into our own little groups. John happened to be in the group of my friends, and I was getting to know him a little better every day. One night we went bowling, and after our group dispersed John offered to walk me to the girl's barracks. On the way John and I took turns giving each other piggy back rides. He was impressed, I could tell. Since my room was on the first floor, and unbeknownst to me, my roommates watched us with great interest. John and I argued about something, I don't remembered what. He got in my face, so I got in his, and we continued to playfully argue. I said good night and came inside. Meanwhile, from their vantage point, my roommates just assumed that we were kissing. My roommates proceeded to tease me for kissing the "adj". I denied it, but they wouldn't listen, they were certain that they had seen me lay one on him.
Soon after, me and my roommates were dubbed the Golden Girls, me being Rhu McClanahan- the slutty Blanche Devereaux character. Fantastic! One day in class, my roommates were giving me a hard time about my so called love life. John was close enough to hear our shouted whispers, and I could see that he wasn't too happy with what he was hearing. I pretended not to notice. As a joke my roommates started naming the guys in our class, then giving them a number according to where I had left off in my speed dating. My roommates giggled, while I squirmed. Those *not nice people*s.
They got to John and I heard from behind me, "I'm not waiting to be #X." (I say X for modesty's sake, but I'm sure at this point you can imagine... it's not good) The giggling stopped.
A startled me says, "Wha?" I turned to face him.
"I'm not going to wait to be #X," he says glaring at me.
Well, that shut them up! I turned back around, my face on fire. I just wanted to die. I realized that I actually cared what he thought of me. And he thought so much of me that numbers didn't matter to him, he still wanted to be with me. Why couldn't he just ask me out already?
The weather would warm up in the Great Lakes area just in time for a class picnic on the edge of Lake Michigan. Still, it was April, and a bit chilly. John did what any school kid would do, which was torment the girl he liked. A few of us rolled up our pants and splashed each other. John splashed me, I splashed back. He picked me up and threw me in the lake.
As you can imagine, a mascara streaming, hair ruined, sputtering and steaming mad me came to the surface.
"Expect it when you least expect it." That's all I could say, and walked away.
A few weeks later, one of my roommates, Denise- who always borrowed my clothes and ruined them, or wore them so much that the color had faded, then would give them back and go buy herself the same clothes... had ultimately known that despite being thrown in a lake, I had a crush on him- was sitting on John's lap at the club on base. She knew better! Honestly, I was a bit peeved with him too. If really liked me, her fat-ish butt shouldn't have remained parked on his lap. I became very angry and got up from the table we were all sitting at. I went around them, acting like I was going to the bar to get another drink. I snuck up on him and dumped my ice filled drink down his back. I got great satisfaction out of watching his expression as he stood, and her expression as he dumped her fat-ish butt on the floor.
"Hah! I told you I'd get... you back." the words died in my mouth.
This would be the first time he would give me The Look. Stepping over my roommate, I walked over to him and pleaded with a very angry he to dance with a very nervous me. Grudgingly, he relented. The DJ put on a slow song, and I slowly felt the anger go out of him. When I knew it was safe, I put my head on his shoulder and we danced the next 5 slow songs without words.
The club gave its last call and we hit the streets, not sure what we were doing next. There were my roommates and their "boyfriends", and Denise- the crush stealer, plus a few others. All of us were a bit tipsy and suddenly I was inspired...
I yelled,"Hey guys, you want to see a real kiss?" I grabbed him buy the collar then gave him a spine tingler and a knee knocker of a kiss. The kiss of his life. The drunken nervousness faded, and my roommates cheered us on.
We did much more than kiss that night. I had never had someone love me like that before. He and I were completely gone over each other. Later, I would find out that every single day he would tell his roommates that he was going to ask me out, that today was the day. It never happened, he was just too shy. Apparently, I was not. :O)
We still giggle about all the places we "christened" on base at Great Lakes, being young and completely besotted with one another... We just didn't care if we got caught. Like the one time we were so broke that we couldn't afford a hotel room, so we ended up nekkid on a golf course in John's sleeping bag. That is, until we saw a smallish dark shape scamper our way. As it got closer, I was pretty sure that I saw a white stripe. We ran to John's car... and the poop unlocked his side of the car first! Can you believe that? After managing to get at least our over-wear on, in the tiny Toyota Corolla hatch back, I noticed that I had managed to have lost my bra and underwear during our run to the car. We slept in the car, at the golf course, neither of us brave enough to find my underwear. The next morning, the grounds keeper tapped on the window. Startled, we jolted awake just in time to see him pointing in the general direction of the 4th hole, the place that had been our bed that night... we screamed with nervous giggling and speed off knowing he was probably pointing at my undies.
By the way- NO, I do not ever intend to let my girls know that we "knocked boots" on our first date. Or the fact that I have on a few occasions enjoyed one of those special, freshly rolled ciggies that all the hippies rave about. Yes, I fully intend to lie. I am guessing that these stories wont ever be shared with them. I'm jut worried that one day, when I'm old and gray(er), that in my confusion I will spill the beans. John says he plans to say it's just the drugs talking.
So much has happened over the years, a lot of good, a lot of bad. A ruptured tubal pregnancy during our engagement, lots of fights- most of them about my crazy mother, concerning our wedding and other general craziness, then none of my family coming to our wedding (except for you, Aunt Yvonne)...
A Persian Gulf War- me on a ship, and him in the desert- and getting arrested for making out with my husband(when he came for a surprise visit on my ship), then both of us facing Captain's Mast (court marshals) then making the news back home for all of that, and almost getting a divorce when we got back...
Craziness from my mother, almost calling it quits more times than I can count, 10 years of infertility...
I can honestly say that meeting my husband saved my life, I was on a path of self destruction and ho'edness, still searching for someone to love and want me. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be here right now, and if I was- I would barely be existing. My crudeness and roughness didn't faze him at all, he saw the gem that lie beneath. It's never been easy, and if there is one thing I have learned is that you have to fight for what you want. Everyday I feel grateful to have found The One and to have his love no matter what.
We're still here 18 years later, being goofy and making each other laugh. After all of that, I know that he still loves me.
Life is good.
If you are interested in reading a little ditty I wrote, almost a year ago... on my husbands birthday, you can read Once upon a time... :O)