I have a very ambitious schedule this morning, which began at 5:20 AM. I read, somewhere, recently about a woman who is so creative/eager/successful that she "has to get up at five in the morning just to get everything done in a day." My mom gets up at five-something five days a week to do her workout routines. Lately she's been working out with an amply endowed ex-reality TV star who either is or used to be one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends and her conventionally good looking Aussie male trainer. Apparently in Australia, if you have a big butt you say [something like] you've got "boots in the boot," which my mom finds utterly amusing. About her morning routine, she says, "you just get your ass up and you do it." She's always been better than me at overcoming laziness in favor of doing what's right for her body, chased as she is by a twenty-year old MS diagnosis.
So I got up and helped Hadj get off to work, which feels totally wholesome and fifties of me. As I stumbled to the bathroom, "not yet running on all cylinders," I muttered aloud to no one, "the point must be to do this until this hour of the day seems hospitable. Friendly, even."
After packing lunch and making breakfast for the man I sat down to my cup of caffeinated tea and watched him finish doing his thing. It's been raining a real rain, not that Pacific Northwest misty business, for nearly six hours now. Hadj came out of the bedroom wearing a jacket we got at a thrift store last winter which we thought would be a good rain coat, but is not actually water proof. I mentioned that to him. Then I got to talking about how silly it is that I live here and still don't own a rain jacket (either). Then I got to fantasizing about buying the "whole family" (that is: he, I, and the baby-to-be) fancy rain jackets before next winter. "Hundred dollar jackets," I said. "Maybe we'll get 'em on sale."
"On sale for a hundred dollars?" Hadj asked.
"No, for less than that." Then I told him, "You know I think if you become an R.E.I. member you sometimes get good deals sent to you in the mail." (There's a big R.E.I. store in Tacoma.) "An ex-girlfriend of mine used to get pretty sweet deals that way. You know how lesbians love their sporting gear."
He looked at me and said, "No. I didn't know that. I don't know about those things." He paused, then, "I grew up in a tube." By that he either meant a submarine or Blackfoot, Idaho. I guessed the former.
"Well, I'll teach you baby," I said. "After all I am the cultural attache to Belfair," which is a joke we've been making since I got here and realized how po-dunk this town actually is. Then I adopted my red-neck male voice and said, "Attach a what?" and laughed at myself.
Hadj starts working on a submarine today, after spending all summer and up 'til now working on "surface ships," as the Navy men call air-craft carriers. He's pretty excited. He doesn't get to go out to sea and be a submariner again, but he does get to work in the environment that fosters all his nostalgia and silent faraway looks. I'm happy for him. "Don't let them take you out to sea though," I joked matronly, "unless they're bringing you back today."
"I think it's in dry dock" he said, which means inoperable for the time being.
"Well, don't let them trick you." I may be joking around, but just thinking about being married to someone who could be called to sea at any time, for any length of time, to god knows where, and upon his return will be stocked full of that knowledge he cannot share with me, has always been an unimaginable test of wills and endurance of the nerves to me. "I got him after the Navy did," I tell people, which, to me is both a blessing and a necessity. I couldn't compete with that entity, I'm not sure I'd even want to try.