Q&A a Day: Who do you live with? Myself on the daily, my husband mostly, and our two dogs; Sparky and Piggy.
Caleb and I met in the middle of 2005 when we worked on the same ship in Virginia and I moved in with him before we started dating a few months later. We lived with one of his best friends and his wife and her sister and sometimes the sister’s boyfriend. Then we moved to a bigger place so we could have a bedroom of our own and the roommates continued to grow, to include a baby, another couple, and a new best friend of the wife.
We moved out and gained another roommate that was supposed to last a week and ended up being three months, to include his girlfriend and her three-year old daughter, and they lost our dog Dirty that I got from North Carolina when they moved out. In the same place we took on another roommate who stole my panties but left us with a new bed and an Xbox 360 with expensive games that I gave away.
From there we moved into our own place with our new puppy, Sparky, where I could walk to work for double shifts while Caleb was on deployment. We stayed there till he got back and then moved back into an old apartment complex for cheaper rent and half of the bathroom was in our bedroom, but we loved it.
Caleb flew to California for training while I packed us up to move to Florida. I found a place close to the base and we ran into an old friend and I babysat his girls for a while. I started going to school in January and volunteering, a lot, and that’s when I found Piggy. We moved a year later, the same distance from the campus, but on the other side. We had about six months left when we got roommates again, both a money-saving deal, but couldn’t stick to the agreement (and they think our dog murdered their stolen kitten).
This forced us into another new place and the navy forced us out of that earlier than we thought, so much that Caleb had to drop his last few classes before his degree so we could move to California. We looked at a house that looked like it was built from repurposed products, another that was very incomplete (called semi-furnished in some countries), and settled for the house on the corner with the giant backyard for dogs.
I would live between this house and my dad’s place in Arizona for nine months while Caleb was on his third, and longest, deployment. He returned with an ultimatum: he could leave for a year and make lots of money or we could leave for two years and make less money, but it would be tax-free in Bahrain. Of course I took the adventure over the cash and we found a place along the canals of an island.
We lived in a three bedroom hotel for almost two months before finding a two-bedroom marbled floor house with gigantic kitchen to live in for the next year. When that lease expired we moved closer to downtown and his office (thinking I would drive less) but also to be closer to my friends as some of them didn’t drive or own a car. It was definitely a learning experience, one with a billiards table and swimming pool and fantastic kitchen with the tiniest stove.
Caleb flew back to the United States and wondered if I had changed my passport. It took the navy a month to get an agreement with the airlines to get me, with dogs, back to the States. My dad said it would’ve been the perfect time to leave the dogs, but they had a chip upgrade for the flight (just in case our plane crash landed in Europe, or so I was told), but I’m not ready to part with them, nor will I ever be, but the time will come.
I finally arrived stateside without a connecting flight and stayed with my dad until I could sign the papers on our old place on the corner. Caleb would drive all night to arrive home at 2am on my birthday before I drove to jump out of a plane to celebrate the occasion. We’ve had house guests and couchsurfers, but I think we’re done with roommates until one of our dads loses enough of their mind to put up with me full-time like my husband has so willingly done so for almost 13 years.
I’d been discreetly researching anniversary gifts, as our ten-year is coming up in March, but seemed only to find mostly things for me or sappy gifts for couples (which I would also love), and I told him this. I don’t want the gifts of our relationship to also be all about me because he spoils me so much the rest of the time that I want to give some of that back because I don’t give enough massages, I don’t do enough dishes, and I can just be downright crazy, hangry, upset, or weirdly moody sometimes, but he deals with it.
He’s been my favorite roommate, my best friend and travel partner, and supporter all these years. He’s the one I want to grow old and break down with, just not as quickly as we both seem to be progressing. We need less broken bones now if we want to make it to 60, so “kids” our age can hear about our recovery stories one day and be inspired to work, play, love, create, travel, and enjoy all that life has to offer.