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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lie Back and Think of England

Wow. This is a little different from my usual blogging fare, but I couldn't not write about it when I saw it.

I will start by saying that I shamelessly read most Prince William/Kate Middleton articles I come across. Assuming Spike and I still don't have cable at the time of their wedding, I'll probably beg our neighbor to DVR the big event for me. But I still feel justified in saying that if you would buy this product, you are taking royal wedding mania too far.

Yes, these are "Heritage Condoms" manufactured by Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction. They "Combin[e] the strength of a Prince with the yielding sensitivity of a Princess-to-be," and they "promise a royal union of pleasure."

Yet, if you look at the bottom of the page, you'll see that "Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir Condoms are a novelty condom not suitable for contraception or protection against STDs."

Well, if they're not suitable for contraception purposes, why buy them? What a silly question! Because they're "Presented in a timeless souvenir heirloom collector's box," duh! That's right--you can will them to your kids. Truly an heirloom for the ages. Who cares if Mom and Dad squandered your inheritance as long as they left you a timeless box of condoms?

I really can't imagine anyone actually buying these condoms, unless it was for a practical joke. Maybe I'm missing something here, though. After all, according to the website, "England boasts some of the finest lovemaking in the world, with a tradition of coitus going back generations." Well yes...coitus is, in fact, how you produce new generations. As far as England boasting some of the finest lovemaking in the world...I guess that's why I want to write a dirty romance novel set in Regency London. Maybe I will anachronistically give one of my couples Crown Jewels' "heritage love sheaths." That would surely turn the book into an instant best-seller! I'm imagining the scene going something like this:

# # #
"No!" John gasped, tearing his mouth away from Jane's. "I can't...we can't...not yet."

"Wh..what's wrong?" she managed to ask, fumbling to find the correct words. All she wanted were John's lip's on hers again, his hands tangled in her hair, the hot, hard length of his body pressed against her. Exhaling deeply, John held up a peremtory hand.

"Nothing," he replied, his deep voice husky with desire. "Nothing at all."

"Then why did you stop?" Jane whispered, a flush creeping up her neck as she began to return to her senses. She looked around and felt a pang of shame constrict her chest. Here she was, alone in her aunt's library with one of London's most notorious rakes--a rake who was, at the moment, only partially clothed. She swallowed convulsively and tugged her crumpled bodice up, wishing suddenly that it wasn't so fashionably low-cut.

The movement jerked John out of his lustful trance. "Wait," he murmured, his hand reaching out to trap hers as it clutched her lacy neckline. "Don't go. I want you. I must have you!" Tonight, and every night hereafter, he thought to himself as he bent down and began rummaging in the pocket of his discarded breeches. His hand closed around the object he sought, and Jane's breath caught at the look that smoldered in his dark brown eyes as he looked up at her. "I can't risk ruining you...not until we're I need this." He straightened and held out his hand, revealing a small square purple packet. "A Crown Jewels Heritage Love Sheath!"

"Oh, John!" Jane's last vestiges of defense were swept away. As he lowered his mouth to hers once more, she surrendered to the wild new passion that coursed through her, secure in the knowledge that she was safe from unwanted consequences.

What neither of them knew was that this particular prophylactic was not suitable for contraception.
# # # 
I think that'll hold up under the most stringent of literary reviews, don't you? Now who wants to order some Will-and-Kate condoms? Personally, I think I'll save my money.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So THAT'S Why...

Okay, let me start by saying that I know that suicide is not a topic to callously joke about. My family has experienced it firsthand, so really, I know.

That said, I couldn't help but laugh yesterday when Spike texted me the following picture of the "notes" he took at an all-day training session. I'm guessing it wasn't that scintillating.

Maybe the Army should rethink the NETUSR program, whatever that is... (See? This is another example of me being a bad Army wife. I don't know what this acronym stands for, nor do I particularly care. Yep, I'm a rebel.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are Wii Fit?

I've noticed that my last few sporadic posts have been in the Debbie Downer category. If I were a stranger reading my blog, I'd probably worry about me. Please don't! Overall, everything's great. I'm really enjoying this new area, my neighbor (whom I'll call Kay) and I have become fast friends, and we've decided that our husbands also have no choice but to become cronies after his fast-approaching return from the sandbox.

Just about every evening for the past few weeks, some combination of Spike, Kay, and myself have played the Wii that my in-laws got us for Christmas. So. Much. Fun. (Though I suspect the dog thinks we're insane). Btw, if anyone has a Wii game recommendation, pass it along.

Anyway, I've been breaking in the Wii Fit for the past few nights. Although it's pretty much "my" toy, I convinced Spike to give Fit a try the other night. Hilarity ensued. First of all, the Wii weighs you, asks your height, and has you do a few balance exercises. Then it gives you your BMI and your "Wii" age. I blithely breezed through this; I apparently have a "normal" BMI, though my initial Wii age was 3 years older than my actual one. (I took the test again and got 5 years younger; go figure.)

Spike, on the other hand, didn't fare so well. He's not overweight by any means (he considers it part of his job description to stay in shape because "I'm an Army officer and I'm not supposed to look sloppy or be weak, etc. etc.), but he does have a good bit of muscle mass. So, as I snickered uncontrollably in the background, the Wii told him that based on his height/weight ratio he was overweight. Then it added a spare tire to his avatar. If the Wii could hear and understand insults, its electronic ears would now be blistered. It then added twisted the knife by telling Spike that his Wii age was 12 years older than the actual one. I found this to be much funnier than Spike did. Supportive spouse award goes to me, obviously!

Next, I picked a yoga exercise for my miffed husband. I chose the half-moon pose, since it doesn't involve balancing on one foot or contorting oneself into an awkward position. Basically, you just put your hands together over your head and lean to one side, then the other. (If, unlike me, you're actually proficient at yoga, please ignore my horrifically simplified description.) Anyway, here are Spike's reactions:


"Wow, this hurts."

"I feel like my ribs are being ripped apart."

"I give up."

So...he's going to stick to his early-morning tough guy workouts, and I'm going to improve my posture and balance with the help of my Wii trainer. As Spike would no doubt point out if he were reading this post, "You don't need to be flexible to jump out of an airplane or to march 12 miles."

...on another note, I saw on my Facebook newsfeed (courtesy of Fort Bragg's page, this time), that Oprah's topic tomorrow will be military families. I've only watched one or two full Oprah shows in my life, and don't have cable now, but I might have to watch some video clips on her website after the fact. I'm curious to see what she focuses on and how she presents military life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Worth Watching

Okay, this time I've been absent because Spike and I adopted a furry little buddy of the canine variety, and I've been preoccupied with her. (I've also spent literally hours outside trying to get her to, well, go...but that's another story. And I'll probably post about her later.)

As I suspect is the case for most military spouses, I'm a fan of Spike's branch of service on Facebook. And today, the Army posted the video below. The description (a mother reads a letter to her daughter, assuming that the daughter grows up to marry a soldier) sounded kind of cheesy, and I almost didn't watch it. I'm very glad I did. Sarah Hertig perfectly articulates a lot of the things I've felt and struggled with in the relatively short time I've known Spike. Just as reading other blogs does, watching this video made me feel a little stronger because it showed me that I'm not crazy to feel what I do.

I especially liked what Mrs. Hertig had to say from the 11-minute mark on. She really captures what it's like to be so proud of your spouse that you think you'll burst, yet feel that you'd give anything to keep him out of harm's way forever. It was also refreshing to hear her acknowledge that sometimes a loved one's willingness (even eagerness) to deploy and fight for America can make you wonder whether he loves his job and country more than you (even though you know instinctively that such a question is ludicrous). As she says, sometimes you just won't understand, and sometimes the Army won't take into account that your spouse has a family, and you'll be mightily tempted to walk away from it all--but the pride you feel will give you the strength to keep going. After all, you love your husband (or wife) as much as you do because of his honor and commitment, and because he does what he does to give you a secure world. That doesn't mean it's easy. But he's worth it.

I suppose I've been preoccupied with these types of topics recently because Spike's one year of dwell time after his last deployment is pretty much over. I'm very fortunate, I know, because he doesn't have orders to deploy in the foreseeable future. Which means he's here with me for the foreseeable future. But due to the nature of his current position (without going into detail), it's also possible that he could be pulled to plug a hole for a unit that's going downrange. In some ways, I think that's worse--it would be better to have a concrete date for the next deployment. Because now, even though it's not very likely, I worry: will he be here two months from now? Three? He doesn't know for sure, and neither do I. I guess that's the military.

Ooops,'s the video!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ditz in the Kitchen; Heroes on the Screen

You know how there are some flavor combination that just don't mesh? Well, yesterday I found one of them. Newsflash: ginger and peanut butter taste kinda weird together.

After I finished work I decided to make some cookies since the Butters household was running low on dessert-y items. I chose a ginger cookie recipe since I am, apparently, still trying to hold on to the holiday vibe. Yay. Great. Ginger cookies! Anyway, I'd barely gotten started when Spike made his "Honey, I'm home!" entrance. He started telling me some stories about what had happened at work that day, and (apparently) I got engrossed. So engrossed that Spike stopped his story, looked at me with a perplexed expression, and asked me, "I thought you were making ginger cookies."

"I am."

"Then why did  you just put peanut butter in the mixing bowl?"

Because I'd been paying so much attention to his story that I'd unwittingly shifted my gaze to the peanut butter cookie recipe next to the ginger cookie one. Oy vey. It was too late to take corrective measures, so I went stoically forward with my mixing and baking. I will say, the cookies smell weirder than they taste. But still. Not one of those classic "I discovered it completely by accident!" recipes.

On another note, I'm sure we all have things we'd never have encountered if not for a spouse, significant other, wacky friend, etc. Here's one of those things for me:

Shockingly, I had never heard of this one before Spike introduced it to me.

We watched it the other night. Yes, the characters are actually named Harley Davidson and Marlboro Man. And in all honesty, I have seen worse.

You're right!

You know what? You're all right! Nothing terrible is going to happen if I only connect with the "official" unit spouses' community on an occasional, more formal basis. Spike's career will march on regardless, and my happiness will be much greater if I don't have to suppress my weirdness. (And yes, I consider my weirdness to be a good thing.) Lastly, even if I don't become bosom buddies with these folks, it doesn't mean we're enemies either. I can still be in the need-to-know loop, and ask for support if I need it.

Since the spouses' coffee was my first experience with the community here at Fort Riley, I panicked because I didn't seem to fit. The nearly instantaneous reassurance and encouragement via comments was just what I needed. (Sadly, my self-esteem and self-confidence have yet to reach Xena Warrior Princess status.) The bottom line is, I am a nerd with a gigantic map of medieval England hanging prominently in her office. I can't do the social butterfly thing. My not-so-secret goal is to write and publish a dirty romance novel. My latest music obsession is Appalachian bluegrass and folk. And that's the person I'm going to be as I meet new people and become involved in new things here in Kansas!

So--onward and upward! I've found an intriguing friend in my neighbor, who is also a (fairly) newlywed and is uninitiated into many things military. I think that's a great place to start. And I probably will give the next coffee a shot...after all, they're promising that margaritas will be prominently featured. Who am I to say no to "that frozen concoction that helps me hang on"?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Awkward Coffee

(First of all, I have to say that I was really, honestly touched by the fact that people noticed my absence in the blogosphere. Thanks, virtual friends!)

One of the comments on yesterday's post asked what I thought about the spouses' coffee (which, if you're not familiar with military-speak, is a regular, semi-structured meeting that spouses have. In this case, it meets monthly). Well, dear readers, I think I may have gotten off on the wrong foot.

For starters, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I knew that I wanted to attend the event in order to start connecting with "the community." I'm honestly pretty happy with my miniscule social circle right now (i.e., my husband and our very cool neighbor), but what if a high-up pointed a finger at Spike and said, "Congratulations! Unit X needs to plug a staff officer hole for their upcoming deployment, and you're it! Enjoy your year-long vacation in the fabulous desert!"? Probably (hopefully) unlikely, but it could happen. And then I'd need some help from other spouses. So. The introvert decided to attend the coffee.

I asked Spike if he had any idea what I should wear. He told me that the spouses' coffees he'd heard about at his old unit were pretty casual, so I shot for the classy, nice end of casual. I wore dark skinny jeans, a flattering-but-not-maternity-looking tunic top, and black boots. I accessorized. I curled my hair. I was feeling pretty good. That is, until I saw that everyone else was dressed on a Sunday-morning-church-goin' scale. Strike one for me.

Strike two was simply the fact that I'm not an extrovert. At all. I hate being the "new kid," and I hate meeting new people, especially in semi-large quantities. I don't even like it when strangers talk to me on planes. Thanks to my former job as a college admissions counselor, I can schmooze for a limited period of time, but it's very draining. (I must say, though, the rum punch helped.) For 3.5 hours I talked to a few people, but I mostly stayed quiet, and tried to unobtrusively hide my pants with my napkin when an innocent comment was made about the questionable nature of skinny jeans. (Gulp.) Honestly, I was pretty lost for most of the night. I don't think I understood fully 1/4 of what was said, thanks to my kindergarten-level knowledge of the military community, and the fact that I also don't know anyone here yet.

Strike three (although I hasten to inform you that I'm not yet "out") is that I'm not sure I really fit into the military spouse mold. As the military spouse of Spike specifically, I'm fine. We're fine as a couple. Great, even. But I'm not sure I'm the type of person the military community expects me to be. I definitely did not get an accurate picture of the spouses' community back at Fort Sill, probably because Spike was in a class for a 6-month period, and not in a "real" working unit. At the coffee, I was shocked by how all-consuming the military is to families who have been "in" for while. For instance, the other attendees introduced themselves by telling me their names and their spouses' jobs. I still have no idea what many of them do (whether that's a job or homemaking or raising kids or volunteering, etc.) after a whole evening of conversation. And conversely, they were more interested in Spike's function than in what I do. Only one person was truly curious when I mentioned that I work from home. Now, I'm not knocking the spouses. It makes sense; assimilate or die, unless you LIKE being a hermit. (Which I do.) I just felt like a square peg in a round hole since I haven't felt compelled to learn about the unit in detail and since I have an outside job instead of one here on post or in town. For me, the military is my husband's job, and I'm proud to support him and to get involved with the other spouses. But I don't see it as MY life. At least not yet. I'm sensing that might change with a deployment.

Okay, well, now I think I just sound like a whiny kid who got shunned from the popular kids' table. I'll stop. The fact is, I already knew that semi-structured group gatherings weren't my thing (I quit my sorority halfway through college, for example), and that hasn't changed. I'm going to try to stick it out a bit longer, though, in hopes of making some individual connections and learning the military way of life.

One thing's for sure: If I do continue with the coffee group long-term, I'm going to have to step my hostessing skills waaaaay up! A bag of chips and a soda is not going to cut it with this crowd.

*Addendum: Please know that this assessment of the coffee isn't meant to be offensive in any way to the "typical" military spouse. I fully admit that I'm a bit of a nonconformist loner!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Emerging from the Tunnel

Well, it appears I haven't blogged in awhile. (No, duh! You say.) I haven't been staying away from my little home on the World Wide Web on purpose, it just sort of...happened. In my defense, though, I've gotten a lot of things done in the meantime! For example, since I last blogged:

  • I have been on 10 airplanes. I think.
  • I have set foot in 11 states. I think.
  • Spike and I drove a moving truck from North Carolina to Kansas, towing my car behind.
  • I sold my first home, a townhouse in NC.
  • I have finally been able to furnish and decorate this house!
  • Spike and I saw our families and many of our dearest friends.
  • We also took a short belated honeymoon to Las Vegas.
  • I chopped six inches or so off of my hair.
  • I met my four-month-old nephew for the first time.
  • I experienced my first White Christmas.
  • I made my first Kansas friend.
  • I attended my first Army "Spouses' Coffee."

Yeah, I suppose we all had to deal with some amount of holiday travel and such. The real holdup here has been the house: I found myself simply incapable of doing anything fun (e.g. reading, blogging, walking, biking) until it was settled to my satisfaction. And that took a lot longer than anticipated after hauling my things here from NC, probably because I've worked during the days and been gone most weekends. We're pretty much out of the cardboard-box-and-unassembled-furniture woods now, though I have pretty much given the bedroom up as a lost cause. It just exists. It might never look inviting. Oh well! 

So, my New Year's Resolution (the only one I will make as I am something of a Resolution Grinch) is not to stay away again for so long. And also to produce posts more interesting than this one!