Deployment Law

First of all, Justin is not deployed. He’s just stationed 7,000 miles away from us.

Also, I had intended on writing a post about me getting peer pressured into doing the Reverse Sprint Triathlon. It will start out that way, but then thanks to “Deployment Law,” it will all go terribly wrong.

Thursday at work, I was convinced by a co-worker to do the Reverse Sprint Tri–I did it last year, so why not?! I hired a babysitter, threw my bike rack on the van, put air in my bike tires, and went out for a 4 mile run. I was ready!

Or was I?

This morning I got there, and got everything set up. I went into the pool’s guard room and dropped my stuff off. 5 minutes into the run I thought, “wait–did I bring my bike helmet into the guard room?! Surely not!” Oh, I surely did.

So, after adding a good 2/10 mile onto the already 3.4 mile run, I hopped on my bike and away I went. Biking has never been so hard. No matter what I did, I really felt like I was putting WAY too much effort into it. At 3 miles I realized the back tire was making weird noises. At miles, I hopped off to see what was up.

My tire was flat. Painfully flat. I pulled out my phone and thought about who I could possibly contact. My list of acquaintances is short, consisting mainly of people I work with–people currently working, or racing. But the truck that was bringing up the rear was rapidly approaching. Quick! Act like you’re calling someone!

I panicked, and FaceTimed Justin. The truck pulled over and asked if everything was ok: “Oh, it’s fine. I have a flat tire.”

“Do you have someone coming to pick you up? Are you sure you’re ok?”

I am a big fat liar. I told them it was fine–I just lived down the street. It’s not entirely false. I do live down the street…and then another take a left and go another 2 miles. Either that, or say, “it’s cool, but I don’t actually know people.”

Introvert problems.

I cried a little (ok, I cried a lot) to Justin: “why does this crap have to happen!?” It’s the second race I’ve failed this year. No, this wasn’t a panic attack-induced drop out, but still!

After letting him know what happened, I was offered a ride from Dom, aka the co-worker who talked me into this in the first place. I told him it was no biggie; I was almost home. Also not a lie, but I did still have a 3 mile walk back to work so I could get my car (sorry Dom, I’m a liar).

This is what we in my family call “being a Ballschmieder.”

No no, everything is fine! I am a thousand percent ok with walking my bike home, and then all the way back to work to get my car. I don’t want to be a burden–just don’t wait for me.

So, Deployment Law: basically, if it can go wrong, it will, while your husband is TDY, or deployed, or stationed on the other side of the world. Ask any army wife, and they will tell you a horrible story of something going terribly wrong while their husband was gone. It might be the same in the civilian world too, who knows. I was thinking this morning about the fact that we’ve gone a full week, and it’s been going relatively smoothly. I’m staying positive, because my worry is that it’s all downhill from here.

Or uphill, on flat tires.

It’s Not You, it’s Verizon

Since Justin left, I’ve been making sure to do all the things he probably should’ve taken care of before he left–making sure the bank knows he’s out of the country, updating car insurance policies, and of course temporarily suspending his phone number.

Verizon took it upon themselves to do one better…I guess?

Tuesday night, after getting home at almost 8, I grabbed the mail and ran inside to help my kiddos get to bed. I paid no attention to the mail, because it honestly looked like junk–until I caught Emma trying to eat an envelope. Upon grabbing it from her, I realized it was from Verizon.

Instantly I thought, “oh, I bet this is a ‘how was your experience,’ letter,” since Justin and I spent 2 afternoons AT Verizon the week prior, trying to get his phone issue sorted out (they were helpless. But hooray to the lady at the Apple Store who, in under 5 minutes, was able to tell Justin his microphone was broken, and hand him a brand new replacement).

I was so very wrong.

They voted us off the island!


Instead, Verizon had sent me (well, Justin, since the account is in his name), a “Dear John” letter.

Did you SERIOUSLY just break up with me in a LETTER?!?!

I read it; I re-read it. This must be some kind of mistake. I’ve had Verizon since I got my first phone, 16 years ago! I made Justin switch to Verizon when we started talking on the phone so much that our phone bills were getting out of hand (remember free Verizon to Verizon calls? Back before calls were unlimited). Then, after we had to cancel our accounts to move to Germany (which they were awesome about, by the way), we came BACK to Verizon when we got back in 2009. When Justin was deployed, all it took was a phone call, and they temporarily suspended his number, and instantly reactivated it as soon as I called and said he was home. I have talked them up for years, because they’ve been downright awesome!

And this is how we get treated?! You’re breaking up with me?!?!

Yesterday, I called. The customer service woman giggled when I told her we’d been voted off the island. “Well, I see how it could feel that way.” After telling me it was perfectly legal, and all companies do it, she said, “but what Verizon does differently is we waive all cancellation fees and pay off all devices.”

Wait I’m sorry, you waive our cancellation fees?! After telling us we’re being evicted?! Are you flipping joking?!?!

She then told me that things might change in the coming weeks for military families, but, “you should probably go ahead and have a backup carrier, just in case.” Have a backup carrier?! As if I’m going to hold onto my account with you after you already broke up with me?!

I want to say the last time anyone broke up with me was probably 2004. Maybe. My initial reaction upon reading the letter was quite similar: “I can change! What if I use less data!? What if…” By the time I made the phone call, I was no longer a jilted young girl, worried about how she’d go on without him. Nope–you want to drop me, and tell me if nothing better comes along, you might take me back? Sorry, but I’m gone. I’ll take the gifts you’ve given me over our years together, and I appreciate you paying off our phones (especially since we only bought them a few months ago). But I’m not waiting by the phone, hoping you change your mind. This relationship is over!

I Seem to Have Misplaced My Security Blanket

Funny story–before Justin and I got married, I remember him telling me about bringing his Woobie into the field. I thought it was some cute name he had given a blanket as a child. It’s the actual term for their army blanket.

That really has nothing to do with anything, other than me being 22 and thinking, “wow, he’s pretty secure with himself, to be walking around the world, referring to his blanket as his “woobie.”

Saturday morning, Justin got on a plane and traveled halfway across the world. And he will stay there for a year. It’s not a war zone, so it’s easier to handle…

Looking like a little kid on the first day of school, with his backpack!

…that is, until I had to bring my kids to a birthday party, where I knew next to no adults. I realized I dropped MY security blanket off at the airport 11 hours ago. Xander had “star blankey” when he was younger, and when I was able to convince him to let me wash it, he would soon thereafter end up laying on the floor in front of the entry to the laundry room, pining away for star blankey.

I don’t think I’m allowed to go stand in his branch manager’s office and whine, “Justin Stee-ee-eeves!”

When you’re an introvert, you have to mentally prepare yourself for outings such as this, especially when you know no one. They are worlds easier to manage with a security blanket husband, who I can latch onto and whisper sweetly in his ear, “I will murder you if you leave my side.” But after a dozen years married to me, he knows.

During his last deployment, back in 2013, my kids were still young enough that they never want to leave my side. Small children are little built in security blankets. You are given a pass on being anti-social, simply because it’s ok to ignore everyone and only focus on your children. By the time they are 6 and 8, I would probably have to bribe them with ice cream and toys, just to get them to sit with me for 30 seconds.

I have a year. It’s just a year. And I just have to put my big girl panties on and suck it up, but it’s SO much easier with my security blanket husband.