Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Welcome to Kansas

We made it to Kansas!

Spike's graduation ceremony was Friday morning (yay Spike!), and then with the help of his parents, we finished packing up and wiping down the house, and hit the road. Spike's parents had generously offered to drive one of our vehicles, so we all caravaned north. Things were going well until we called the Army hotel. They'd told us the day before that they were booked, but that we could stay anywhere else in town, and they'd give us a statement of nonavailability so that we could still pay the government rate. Well, on Friday they informed us that not only were they full, but that every other hotel in town was full as well. Not good. We made some calls on our own, and sure enough--it was Kansas State's homecoming. Gah! Every hotel we could find within a half-hour drive was "No Vacancy!" we ended up driving an extra hour to Topeka so we'd have a place to sleep.

Lesson learned: Book ahead of time no matter what the hotel folks tell you to do.

I don't have a ton of time right now (might not post too many updates this and next week till we get settled...we'll see), but briefly, I REALLY like what I have seen of the area so far. Post is beautiful, and the commissary, PX, etc. are all new. The town of Manhattan is nice too--very clean and "safe"-feeling. There's a Target. (yay!) Also a grocery store called Hy-Vee that I've never encountered, but that made Spike react in much the same way I did to Target.

Okay, in closing, I have a question. Military spouses/significant others, how do you make it clear to your better half that you're frustrated with the system, not with him? You see, two things have happened:

1) We found out after the fact that one of the homes we turned down has amenities we weren't informed of (which might have influenced our choice), and
2) Our stuff won't be delivered to the new house until next Monday.

I was mad about not having all the info up front on the housing situation (makes me feel taken advantage of), and I was frustrated that we'll be living in an empty house for a week. Yes, I know, this is par for the course. But I'm new to the course. And I honest-to-goodness had a meltdown yesterday. As in, I was pouting and whining like a five year old, with a few errant tears leaking out. In the cold light of morning, I'm not terribly upset that we didn't get the house we turned down, and I know I can live with an air mattress for a week. Honestly, I think what pushed me over the edge was the complete lack of agency I have here. I'm not used to being so totally at the mercy of a larger institution, and (even though I'm excited about our life when we get settled) I feel powerless and unimportant as that settling process is unfolding.

None of that has to do with Spike, of course. I know he's trying as hard as he can to make things go smoothly as possible. And instead of thanking him, I lost it. I know he thought I was upset with him, as though he wasn't doing good enough. And that's not it at all. So: how can I better control myself/respond in the future? Any tips or tricks?


  1. I TOTALLY understand how you feel. Really. You're married, and you want a good home for your husband. Just be honest.. even through the tears, tell him it's not him but the system, and that he needs to be patient while you learn how little control you have.
    Then give you wine and chocolate. ;)

  2. Sure. Just tell him exactly what you wrote here. I'm sure he'll understand. Acceptance is a skill that needs practice and he's had longer to practice, that's all.

  3. I'm just going to "ditto" what the two previous commenters wrote. It's totally okay to say, "I'm so angry, but it's not at you, it's at the Army!"

    I would also just choose to look at all of this as a learning opportunity. Sometimes, I feel that's all you can do with the Army. It (occasionally) helps me to think about what I would do differently next time rather than focusing my energy on what went wrong.

  4. I have a hard time conveying the distinction. I have a bad habit of taking things out on my husband when it is the Army or other people that mess with us. I guess it is natural to "shoot the messenger." I also think it is hard because you want to yell and be angry at someone, but you can't do that, so the next best thing is to vent frustrations at your husband.

  5. Thanks everyone! It's great to know that I'm not the only one who has reacted this way! Once frustration and disappointment (rational or not) bubble up, they've got to go *somewhere.*

    Funnily enough, several people told Spike today that the home we didn't choose (one of the historic buildings here on post) is reported to be haunted, and that's why it was still available. Maybe that worked out for the best after all! Moving to a new area is stressful enough without dealing with the possibility of a resident ghost.

  6. Yep, I second what everyone else has said.

    Also, congrats on getting there and I hope you're getting settled in. If you get a few minutes, check this out:

    I promise, it's worth it! ;o)

  7. One of the things you'll learns (and it totally is just one of those things that comes with time) is to hope for the best but expect the worst... in EVERY situation that deals with the Military. Whether that's housing, pay issues, doctors, getting ID's, whatever. I dont care how simple the task may seem--ALWAYS hope for the best but expect the worse.

    I also will say, "Today I hate the Navy"--because I dont hate it every day and I certainly dont hate Christopher for being in the navy or want to take it out on him, so I state that I hate the Navy that day that they're doing something stupid. It makes ME feel better to vent and Christopher feel better that he's not getting yelled at..the Navy

  8. I agree with everyone on here. Being a newlywed military wife myself, I totally understand you being frustrated with the system. With Bubba (and more than likely Spike) they've been around the system long enough to kinda over-look how stressful it can be. Just hang in there and know that we Army wives have to stick together! On another note, congrats on making a safe trip and I look forward to reading about all of you're adventures in Kansas!

  9. Congrats on making it there in one piece and without killing each other!! Is Manhattan the town with the Wizard of Oz museum? <---totally off topic

  10. I left you a little award over at my blog! Hope things are going great.