I'm sitting here listening to the country station on my TV, and they're playing some older songs that I haven't heard in a while.
Right now, Dixie Chicks's Travelin' Soldier is playing.
Ok I should probably clear something up, now that I think of it. I have what some have called a defect... I have a thing for military men. It goes a bit above and beyond the usual "ooo uniform" bit, really, but I have come to terms with that fact and have, to a certain extent, reined myself in.
My first really serious boyfriend was in the Navy. I was nineteen and he looked so nummy in his dress whites... It's such a cheesy story.
We met at the County Pageant dance, he was the escort for one of my best friends, who happened to be competing for the county beauty queen that year. She introduced us, and to this day I maintain that she just wanted another "Navy girlfriend" to hang out with. Her boyfriend (now her husband) is a Navy man too. Anyway, she had to go change her clothes and she told me to entertain him while she was gone.
That night the three of us crashed out on my parents couch watching movies in a big people pile. The next night he and I crashed out on my parents couch watching movies in a small pile. And the next night.
We spent a week together, and when his leave was up and he had to go back to Norfolk, we emailed every day. By the time he got leave again seven months later and came home to surprise his parents for their anniversary we were signing the emails "I Love You" and I was sure he was Mr. Right.
I lost my virginity in a hotel room in Denver the night I picked him up from the airport. Yes, I was still a virgin at 19. You'd understand if you met the guys I grew up around.
Anyway, things kept on progressing, and he got out of the Navy a couple of months later. A week before his discharge I flew to Virginia to drive back with him, and I had a blast hanging with his buddies. We went to Paramount's King's Dominion on Mother's day, and I called Farmmom from a payphone while he and his buddy Boozer were going on a ride that I wasn't interested in.
Of course, Virginia is also where it all started to unravel. I was working construction by then and I had told him about a lot of the close calls I had, just blowing off steam mostly. Well, we were sitting down to dinner with one of his friends one night and the friend asked me what I did. When I told him, my boyfriend simply stated "But she'll be getting a different job, that one is too dangerous."
On another occasion, while we were bsing with his friends, they got on the subject of the nuclear ships and how the Navy had done a study that showed that men who served on nuclear powered ships were more likely to have girl babies than boys. He looked at me and said "So we're probably going to have girls, honey." I choked on my drink and said "I wasn't aware that kids were on the table!"
Well we had a big fight on the way back over something stupid, and when we got home he decided that he'd rather spend his time hanging out with my friend (who I introduced to him as my "Other Brother, B") with another girl.
I found out and B begged me not to kill him because he was hoping that I'd just give up on the boyfriend and he wouldn't have to be the one tell me. Well, the boyfriend had brought me a jewelery set from Dubai, and I wore the ring that came with it all the time. That is, I wore it after I found a jeweler that would resize it for me, since the gold was purer than they ever use here, most jewelers refused to touch it.
I took it off that night, put it back in the box, and had B drive me to the boyfriends house... where I proceeded to throw it at his head. I was... ahem... a little upset.
Thank god for my friends, I was surrounded by guys and none of them knew how to deal with me crying, because they had never seen me cry before. N finally managed to make me laugh by leading with "hey, now that you're single," and spouting the world's cheesiest pick up lines.
That whole thing really messed with my head though, for a long time. Especially when I found out that he had turned around and given the jewelery that I had... ahem... returned to him... to the girl he cheated on me with. A year later, nearly to the day, they were married.
Anyway, that song is the one I would listen to when I was feeling sad over his being so far away when he was deployed, and it's been a long time since I've listened to it, so it gave me a hell of a flashback. That song and Brad Paisley's "Little Moments" will always remind me of him, and that time in my life.
I have, thankfully, reached the point where I can look back on that time without much bitterness, and be glad of the experiences that I gained because of him. I took my first commercial flight, saw the ocean for the first time, toured the USS Enterprise, and visited Churchill Downs (where he was bored out of his mind while I soaked in the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the backside tour, and the day's races) because of him. I had my heart broken for the first time, because of him, and I learned that it doesn't last forever. I learned that I can actually cuss bad enough to make a sailor blush, too.
Most of all I learned that regardless of how bad it is at the time, there's always something to be gained, whether it's knowledge, or just the experiences.
He's not the only military man my hormones have gone nuts over either. There's been a National Guardsman, two Army guys, a Marine, and a guy in the Air Force. I'm not biased, as long as they have a dress uniform and wear it well, I'll start drooling.
Sad, isn't it?