Thursday, August 9, 2007


The women in my family have this malady. I think it's my Mother's DNA. Because she does it all the time.
This means, we are not happy with our household furniture staying one arrangement for very long times.
My living room is fairly easy to move around. I have a few options, and I exercise them. My bedroom, however, has been stuck in the same rut for the last 4 years or so that I've lived in this apartment.
Yesterday, for some reason, I decided I could not tolerate that anymore. I was going to find a way to turn it around.
And I did.
It took me all day, and a painful right shoulder from pushing and hauling things around. But I did it.
As I was re-arranging, I came across something that triggered a memory I hadn't remembered in years.
My Grandfather loved to wear caps. (Maternal grandfather, the only "real" grandfather I've ever known.).
He always had a cap of some sort on his head. When I joined the Navy, I started sending certain caps home to him. A ship came into port once called the "USS California". He was so proud to be from the Golden State, that I had to get him one from there. So I did. I don't really remember the method I used to get that one. Usually, one just asked one of the on board Sailor's for one. It wasn't difficult, especially being a female on a hugely male dominated base.
Then, one week, the USS Fresno came in. Now, Fresno is where my Grandparents have lived for as long as I've known them. I HAD to get one of those ballcaps for Grandpa. Just HAD to.
So, I made friends with some of the Fresno Sailors. The ones I met were frequenting the same bar/dance floor I frequented on base. At the time, I was dating my ex husband. His ship was out to sea, of course. But I met this really nice man. He told me all about his wife. He was so crazy in love with her. I think I even saw pictures. I told him about my boyfriend. We'd sit and chat, I danced with him a few times, maybe. I was careful who I danced with, because rumors on a Navy base run rampant, ESPECIALLY when your boyfriend (whom you loved) is out to sea.
Eventually, I asked this guy if he could get me a Fresno cap. He was very happy to do so. He was such a nice guy.
He brought the cap to me that next night, and I was thrilled. But, then, out of the blue, and very awkwardly, he kissed me. Not a big kiss, not even a "romantic" kiss. But a kiss. Now, this was totally unlike his personality. I knew he loved his wife. I was shocked beyond belief, and he? He was instantly mortified and upset. He cried.
We went, and talked, and he was so apologetic. He missed his wife, and the physical comfort of her so much. Deployments are hard. They CAN turn the nicest men ever into cheaters. Six months is a long time. This was before the advent of e-mails, so communication is mostly by letter, and, occasionally, telephone. Sporadic to say the least. I found this out on my own six month deployment. It was hard.
The next day, the ship left Yokosuka, Japan, to continue their deployment. I sent the Fresno hat to Grandpa, and, when I came back, every time he wore it, I kind of thought about that guy. I think his one weakness, that night, kissing me, scared the fidelity back in him. I bet he kept on the straight and narrow the whole time. I hope so.
Why I remembered all of this, is because when Grandpa died, Grandma gave me back the California, and the Fresno ballcaps I had sent for him. Ballcaps he had worn, frequently. They sit proudly, in my room, with some of the other caps I've collected. (The USS Midway, USS Texas, and my tugboat ballcap. I didn't keep one from my own ship, I hated that piece of tin crap.). I moved them during my re arrange, and there it was, USS Fresno. And the memory just came rolling back. . .


CamiKaos said...

the rearrangitis is bad here too. And constant. And probably drives mr. Kaos up the wall.

love you

Mimi said...

Wow. Great reflections.

I have the opposite thing, the "never move it againitis".

Bubblewench said...

my mother has that BAD.. so bad she goes out and buys NEW furniture that is shaped or looks different... it's crazy. Me? I didn't get it... thankfully..

Ahhh... the dangers of being at sea. I have other friends in teh Navy and have heard awful stories of hearts broken by the time away. So sad.

mielikki said...

I will say I don't have it bad enough to go buy new furniture. I just find ways to shove around my stuff. . .

sybil law said...

I have had that affliction since I was about 7. My dad could never figure out how his scrawny daughter could move her bed and dressers around, but all it took was some effort and real ambition! I always thought it was just a girl thing - reading some other comments, I guess not!
That cap thing is great - what a sweet memory!
That guy - what a wus. Haha - kidding... you're such a temptress! :)

mielikki said...

Hey at 19 I may have been a real temptress!
But the guy was just lonely, and I was probably one of the first women that had been nice to him, and listened to him in a long long time. I wonder if he and his wife are still together? I don't even remember his name. . .