Caught in the Act….sorta
When my husband, then fiancé, was first stationed in Kentucky we, as a couple Californians, began plotting our cross-country travels. He’d come back every time leave dates popped up; I’d work, basically, just to save up vacation days and funds for plane tickets.
I was still in college at the time and, luckily, worked it out where I’d be able to visit him weeks at a time. I’d go out for long weekends, between my Thursday afternoon class and Monday morning class. I’d take a semester of all online courses. I’d go out for THREE WHOLE WEEKS (aka, eternity as far as the military is concerned!) at a time. At one point, between 2 months, I was out in Kentucky for a total of 6 weeks! We really knew how to work a calendar.
Also? Began considering careers as travel agents.
But, no matter how much we planned, funds would still run out. I know, I know, “But soldiers just make so much money. Where did y’all spend it all?! [everyone? I am dripping in sarcasm] So, we’d have to become creative where we’d stay. The barracks is off limit to non-military peeps. Weeks at a time at the Holiday Inn got expensive. I couldn’t stay in Army Lodging because we weren’t married yet.
What the eff are a couple of kids to do??
We had stayed in a less-than-desirable hotel one night when, Gary comes back from PT saying there was a barracks inspection that morning, so we’re clear to save a bit of moola and stay in his barracks room tonight, since the odds of another inspection are slim to none. Yes, he had a roommate. No, we didn’t care. It’s not like, through our years of dating, we hadn’t learned how to be stealthy and imaginative!
I guess the “rule” of the barracks was that a girlfriend could stop by, for a short time, during business hours, but that was about it. Since we needed to get me up to his room undetected (so that they wouldn’t expect me to come walking back out after a little bit), Gary and I had to time it where we could sashay past the room where 2 soldiers were on duty, and get up to his room on the 3rd floor.
Those soldiers should have paid more attention.
Anyway, so we spend the night there, and Gary kisses me in the morning and heads off to PT. As for me? I’m back to sleep. 5 am is way too early!
Next thing I know, that big, heavy barracks door to his room slams shut, and Gary comes running in saying “we’re having a barracks inspection. We need to hide you”
OH. EM. GEE?!
I was freaking out.
“Should I hide in the shower? The bathroom? Should I run out to the car? Wait…I don’t have time to get dressed to run out to the car….What do I dooo?!”
Gary was being level-headed, moving quickly, but level-headed nonetheless. I was terrified of getting him into trouble. I could just envision them finding me and sentencing him to weekend duty detail for the rest of time.
Next came 3 knocks at the door.
Gary quickly wrapped me in an ACU top and helped me into his closet.
There I was. Sitting in a corner of a dark closet. Wrapped in camo. Gear strategically placed over me.
PRAYING TO ALL THINGS HOLY THAT SOME GIANT SPIDER WOULDN’T FIND ME.
I mean, I’d have to stay silent, not move, AND save myself from, what I was sure would be, a near-death experience.
[Spiders are NOT my favorite]
So, spider-fears aside. I’m under a mountain of gear when I hear his sergeant coming in, checking things out. I hear him go into their bathroom, check a few cabinets of the kitchenette, talk about a few things that need cleaning up.
Then, 2 curious shoes stop in front of the closet.
My heart was racing.
My spider fears were no more.
Thanks to yoga, I was able to bend myself to a quite small position.
The shoes left. I unclenched. But, I would not move until Gary came and got me.
He came for me, and I got ready. Again, we had to sneak me out [naturally I was wearing a pink skirt, ya know, real inconspicuous-like]. But, we did so successfully. While pleading with soldiers we passed in the halls to keep their mouths shut.
For the rest of the day, I drove around post while Gary was at work.
And, from then on, we spent money on hotel rooms.