I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I was a very young bride. The Man was 19 and I was 20 when we got married. He was in the Navy and had a steady job, insurance, etc. That's not what made it 'ok' for us to get married, though, because we were crazy in love. CRAZY in love. It was like magic. We still describe it like that to this day.
We grew up together in a small town in WV. We have known one another our entire lives, but we didn't date until he joined the Navy and I went off to college. We sent letters back and forth and then he told me he was coming to WVU to visit me. I guess you can say I lassoed him. ;) He came to my dorm room to see me and I planted a huge kiss on him and the rest was history. I knew what I wanted and I was not going to let him go. It wasn't too difficult since he told me that he secretly had feelings for me, also, but just wasn't sure how I'd respond. Funny how life is, right?
So, I went from living in a tiny town in WV with my parents, to a university in a large town/city, and then to Virginia Beach. Can you say, "Culture shock?" I didn't really know what I was getting into. I just knew that it was The Man and I against the world. My mom tells me that she would lie awake at night and picture me being abducted by some unknown assassin in a van...and she would never see me again. Looking back, I can understand her fears, but at the time, I was carefree and in love.
Oh, and did I mention that we moved in with The Man's two roommates? No? Well, we did. It was supposed to be for a very short amount of time, until we found a place of our own. My dad was worried that I would be the maid for the three guys...cleaning, cooking, etc. That's not how it worked, though. Matt and Kurt were very independent and the four of us got along famously. The guys were all on the same ship, so they all were deployed at the same time. It was a blessing and a curse, because when they were deployed, I was home alone. However, I made friends easily and found my way around town. Matt still had 9 months on the lease to the 3 bedroom apartment that we shared, so instead of finding a new roommate, he offered the master bedroom to us, so that we'd have some privacy, and we split the rent three ways. What a deal for newlyweds, right?
We lived in that apartment until the lease was up, then we moved to a town home in Virginia Beach and set up house, just the two of us. That's when we finally felt like we were becoming grown ups. We lived there for a couple of years, then decided that we needed to move closer to the base and to a cheaper apartment, so we moved to Norfolk. We moved into the same subdivision as Melisa and Jim. I got the address of our new town home and Melisa went over to peek in the window of my 'new' kitchen. See, these town houses were older. They had nice parquet flooring, but the kitchens were a bit outdated. Melisa's kitchen was a pretty shade of bright yellow. Ours? Not so much. We lucked out and got the gorgeous shade of AQUA. I don't mean the walls were that color. No, I could have lived with that. The refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and even the sink were that color. Nice, eh? So, what did I do? I sucked it up and went out and bought dishes that had that color in it and dealt. That's what you do, right? Besides, it was just a kitchen in a rental apartment. It wasn't the end of the world.
The sucky part of the whole deal? AT&T (remember them?) was on strike at the time, so we had no phone. So, we had to wait awhile to get a hook up for our telephone. No problem, except for the fact that one morning when I was going out to get into my car to go to school.....NO CAR, just glass where it was. Seriously? Is this a joke? No car, no phone, no husband, since he was deployed at the time (why did things happen during deployments?) So, I went across the street to the maintenance man's apartment to call the police. I did eventually get the car back. A year later, it was broken into again. Seriously...it was an Isuzu IMark, folks, not a Lamborghini. Not sure what the deal with that was. (I should have planted Rex the wonderdog out in that car to deter anyone from messing with it ever again! Remember him? He was the one who chewed the water intake to the toilet and flooded the bathroom and kitchen. Hell Hound. That would show them, right?)
So, we lived there while I went to school and worked. The Man was on a ship and was in and out of his home port (out more often than in!) Melisa and I commuted to school together. She and I both got our classes on Tues and Thurs and had marathon days of school. On one day, I'd drive and she'd pack the lunch and then on the opposite day, she'd drive and I'd pack. PB&J always tasted better when she packed the lunch! ;) On M, W, F I'd drive in to VaBeach to my job and work 8 hours/day. I was wondering why I was sick and tired all. of. the. time. Could it be from the 18 credits plus the work load? Or could it be from something else? Hmmmm.....Finally, a friend at work asked if I could be pregnant. Get outta town! No way! So, I picked up an EPT on the way home from work that night and took it the next morning. Yep, positive.
So, the first person I told was Melisa. She was shocked, but then was happy for me. It was a bit more difficult to tell The Man since he was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This was before email, etc. So, I called Western Union and sent him the following telegram: Going to have a baby STOP Letter to follow STOP I love you STOP Dawn. The nice lady on the other end of the phone helped me compose that eloquent message.
The Man came home in August to a wife who was seven months pregnant. I was a lean, hot woman when he left and when he got home, I was pretty much a beached whale. He didn't mind, though. He enjoyed hoisting me out of bed in the mornings, rubbing my back, fetching my chocolate and peanut butter, etc. We were just PRAYING that he would be in port when our little bundle of joy arrived.
And that story is for another time! Stay tuned! ;)