If you are already military affiliated than you are already aware of the stench from “after work” ACU’s. For anyone not affiliated, imagine working out for 2 hours, then taking a swim in the neighboring swamp, throwing in some construction workers socks after pulling an 8 hour shift in 95 degree weather, and leave it to mildew for about a week…This is how our temporary housing, home until home, hotel smelled! 48 rooms filled with 48 soldiers and 1 laundry room. I’m sure not every uniform got washed. To ease the transition we were blessed with a beautiful ONE bed room for my husband, myself, and our two children under 2.
The first week was bearable. I am a firm believer in ‘anyone can do anything for a short amount of time.’ So, the process for obtaining on base housing is simple. First, you take said paperwork into the housing office, then you sign a couple of forms, you’re rewarded with a house and finally you move in!
Here’s what they don’t tell you… in order to bring in the paperwork, you must FIND the paperwork, and since your husband has about 125,263,488,579,159,158,000,000,000,000 papers, that’s not an easy task. Then once you find it you must drive your husband into work at 4am, so even though your kids don’t usually wake up until 8 am you have to drag them out of bed or your husband will go to work for the day and you won’t have a car. Once you have the car and the paperwork, you must drive to the housing office, which if you’re new-you’ll get lost and arrive about 30 minutes after your appointment. Then, since you have romanticized being an army wife you will be all dolled up wearing the most stunning White House|Black Market ‘hand-me-down’ you can find in your closet with heels taller than the stack of diapers in your oversized diaper bag. Finally, you’ll arrive to the building grab your 18 month old out of her car seat, swing the diaper bag and your purse over one shoulder, the infant seat in the crease of your other arm and the stack of loose papers in your hand so you can hold your rambunctious toddlers sticky hand with your free one. Forget locking the car, it doesn’t matter that you just dropped every last morsel of your savings into it, if they really want it they can have it. You’re in Gods graces if you manage to kick the door all of the way shut with your foot. And since everyone is incredibly fit, they have conveniently made it a 2 mile walk from the parking lot to the front door and it’s the middle of winter so every 30 seconds an enormous gust of wind is flashing everyone your behind and blowing your hair half into your lip-gloss and the other half into a gigantic birds nests knot. Did I mention that you haven’t walked in heels since your last funeral, like 2 years ago? Eventually you’ll get to the door, which will be a HUGE relief until you figure out that the housing office is 2 flights of stairs UP. You’ll pretend like you meant to look like ‘this’ and then manage to trip over dust and smack the stairwell, papers flying everywhere. With your luck the soldier who stops to pick up your disaster will be the hottest man you’ve ever laid eyes on but you’ll casually blame it on your 18 month old and COLLECT yourself as best as you can. After making it up the stairs and out of breath you’ll get to the housing office just to find that you can’t sign anything unless you’ve got Power of Attorney over your husband, which he has to do anyways.
I can assure you the empty-handed walk of shame back to your car is far worse after not having accomplished anything…. Another hotel confined week.