Do you ever wonder what happens at home the day your ship goes underway? How does your spouse handle it? What do they do to cope with the sadness of your absence? What do they do with their free time? Do they go through your stuff? In this letter to my husband, I answer those questions. While he was out to sea, I tackled the very intimidating (for me) task of replacing a key household item. I went through my husband’s tools. I might have said some curse words. Still, I got it done. But just in case your significant other is not telling you what goes down while you are gone, feel free to take a quick glance to see what goes on over at my house.
From the Dining Table of Cyndia Rios-Myers
Jack of All Trades, and Master of Some
June 16, 2014
Resident of Our Home, but Currently Underway on the Ship that is NOT Home
Day number one of your underway times are always the most painful, yet interesting. Painful, because we are just starting our military-scheduled separations, and interesting because the events of that first day can greatly shape the tempo and energy of our time apart.
You left us today. For just one week, but still, boo. I’ll have to take the trash out myself, shower the boy, cook meals for two versus three, and sleep in a big old bed without you. However, we’ve been doing this for 13+ years, so I’ll be okay.
It was a normal day one until the cleaning bug bit me. I nuked some vinegar in the microwave, added Dawn dishwashing soap to that and then sprayed our tub. I had to let that soak for an hour and a half, so I used that time to clean the rest of the bathroom. But then, that was done and I still had energy; you know – that kind of “my husband is out to sea again and I can conquer any problem that comes my way” sort of energy? Well, maybe you don’t. Still, I had the juice, so I was going to use it. So, I set my sights on the other bathroom. There was work beyond cleaning (I know, it could use that too, but it really isn’t that far gone yet) that I could get done in there.
The decision was made. I would replace the toilet seat.
But you know what sucks? Wrenches suck. I read the installation instructions on the box and saw that I would need a 1/2″ wrench or socket one for the job. I didn’t like that. However, I went to the garage and perused your tool selection. Did you know that your wrenches are labeled in millimeters and not inches?! This is America, darnit! You fight for this country. Shouldn’t we have the tools that match it? Still, I carried on because that is what I do.
After I removed the bulky item I was replacing, I pulled out the adjustable wrench I’d dug out from the recesses of your blue tool bag (sorry if that’s a bit disorganized now) and went to work. After a few choice curse words (under my breath so the boy wouldn’t hear them), I got it set to the right size to hold the nut-thing I had to remove. But then, something occurred to me. What if the instructions included with the replacement item noted the wrench size in millimeters and not just inches? I checked it! Guess what I found? The millimeter size was on there, too! The boy and I nearly jumped in glee over that discovery. But upon my review of your wrench set, my spirits sunk. The 13 millimeter wrench was missing from your set. If our open-eared and never-forgetful boy had not been standing next to me, I might have dropped some F bombs. But I didn’t. I decided that I would have to make do with the adjustable wrench.
While completing my tasks, I stumbled on some interesting facts. Did you know that our toilet is in an especially crowded spot in our bathroom? Did you know that there is a reason why plumbers don’t have long hair? Yes to both.
Anyway, I tried to sit daintily on the toilet as I tightened the nuts on the new seat. It didn’t work. So, I had to kneel. Then, I had to lay my belly down on the toilet while my rear stuck out just so. I made a silent promise to never make fun of plumbers or their cracks ever again. I then had to lay in a way that compromised a couple of my female accoutrements in a very uncomfortable manner. I mentally dispatched some pity to the plumbers of my gender.
But then…I was DONE! I did it! I installed the new toilet seat on our toilet. I sat down on it (clothed) to try it out. It feels swankier than our old plastic sliding one! I can’t wait to watch you try it out. On second thought, maybe I can.
Still, I just wanted you to know that we miss you, but are making it through this time apart just fine. Also, in a few days’ time, you’ll be giving the fruits of my labor a test run of your own. Or maybe just a “try” with no “runs” involved.
Anyway, we love you and can’t wait for you to come home!