After sharing my husband and my love story last week over at Whimsical September, I was inspired to write more about our first deployment, the moment I knew G was the one, and our first “I love you(s)”.
I consider our first deployment as a couple was like a deployment with training wheels. I say this because G and I were dating, and I was living at home. I often felt left out because I wasn’t a military spouse and didn’t have the same rights that I would have had as a spouse. However, I had the perk of rarely being alone. I had moved home after college and was working full time, and every Friday night I had dinner with my grandparents.
G deployed in the summer, it just happened to be the same summer that I was to have my 3rd ankle surgery. Before my surgery I stayed busy to help pass the time of the deployment. After my surgery my days were filled with visitors and Netflix. At this point I had the most wonderful of an idea…I decided I would set myself a goal of watching the 50 top romance movies of all time! This was dumb. Sometimes it amazes me that I can function in society when I have such “wonderful” ideas like this on a regular basis. I was spending my lonely evenings watching the most romantic movies all while my boyfriend was in the middle of the desert. The movies were filled with these big over the top romantic gestures, and my boyfriend couldn’t even write my one stinking letter.
During the deployment I had days that I felt like a sucker, and days where I thought if I just waited a little longer G would do this great grand gesture. We hadn’t even said “I love you” to each other yet, but I was hoping to see him walk through the door in his dress uniform and sweep me off my feet. Guess what…that day never came. Our love story certainly wasn’t like the movies.
I spent the entire deployment analyzing our relationship. Was waiting for someone something I could do? Would I still have butterflies when I saw him again. Would he be the same? Do I love him as much as I thought I did? The questions were endless. After months of debating it was time to pick him up at the base. G was finally coming home. Standing in the airport I had this thought. Maybe G would get off the plane, run to me, twirl me in the air and then get down on one knee and propose. Guess what, this didn’t happen either. I still got my “moment,” even though it was nothing like what I imagined. Seeing him for the first time, and that first post deployment kiss made it all worth it. It was at this point that I knew that I loved him, but I wasn’t going to tell him first!
For a romantic get away G decided to take me camping. Like in a tent. Tent camping wasn’t my idea of a romantic getaway. I was excited and slightly terrified to try out tent camping, I had very little faith that tent camping would be something I would want to do again. When I told my family we were going camping, everyone found it funny. Apparently no one thought I was the “tent camping” type.
We arrived at the campground late, it was dark. I sat on a chair curled up in a thick blanket trying to stay as close to the fire as possible while watching G struggle to blow up an air mattress, an air mattress that when fully inflated wouldn’t fit through the opening of the tent. This is when I learned laughing like an idiot to the point of not being able to breath over your boyfriends lack of situational awareness is not really a way to get a guy to do something terribly romantic for you. It actuality it makes them kind of frustrated and cranky. I still think it was quite funny, and can’t help but snicker when I think about how disastrous our first camping weekend was. It was freezing, we tried fishing with hooks larger then the fish that were in the lake, we burnt dinner, popcorn exploded everywhere, and we had a parade of forrest animals visit our campsite to enjoy our scattered popcorn.
Little did I know that our first trip as a couple would set the pace for all future vacations. Every vacation we have been on thus far has had a disastrous portion. Our honeymoon was a real dossie!
Back to our camping trip. Early one morning we were in the tent, freezing when G began talking. He started by saying. “So I was talking to my brother.” Not a horribly romantic way to start a conversation. Then he continued to tell me how there was this great deployment opportunity. Remember he had only been home a few weeks. My blood began to boil. All I could think was “OMG…he volunteered, he is leaving again, he is barely home…he is a moron, an idiot, I could not do this again, not right away at least…” Then I got this great idea, I would kick him in the shin. Just as I was considering the repercussions of kicking him in the shin, G leaned down looked me right in the eyes and said, “while talking to my brother about this incredible deployment I realized I didn’t wan’t to leave you again, I wanted to give us a real chance of going somewhere, Tara, I love you.” I was shocked, I was amazed, I was furious. How dare he put me through that conversation just to tell me he didn’t volunteer. I quickly told him I loved him too and that it was a good thing he didn’t volunteer for the deployment because I was going to kick him in the shin if he did!
Looking back, not only did we survive the first deployment, but we came out stronger on the other side. We “enjoyed” our first trip as a couple, and finally expressed our love for each other. It may not have been the plot of one of the 50 top romantic movies of all time, but it is definitely my favorite romantic story of all time!