So the other week, the Sailor had duty on Friday, and I thought I could be a cool wife and come by and see him after I got off work. I told him the idea (he loved it), and he told me when he had watch, so I could come by afterwards. Now, keep in mind, I’ve only driven onto base once before, and it was with him in the car.
So I was texting him that day double checking what gate to go through, since there isn’t just one, and he told me a different one than what I went into before (fantastic). Of course the gate I used before would be closed at that time. How utterly inconvenient. Said open gate also does not show up on maps of the naval station either, so that was a bust. Anyway, he sends me an exact street to use to get there and the pier number so I’m feeling okay.
Later that evening I head out, get his McDonalds and make my way to the base. Everything is pretty easy getting there and there’s not much traffic since it was Friday night in Norfolk. So I make my way to the gate, am very conscious of going slow, leaving room between other cars and turning my lights off. I give my ID to the very young looking sailor and he checks it, and as he’s handing it back almost drops it. I kinda freaked out a little because I know this thing is like my lifeline on the base and with anything military related. But no biggie, it wasn’t anything I did, so I made my way into base.
I stop using my GPS since I know you’re not really supposed to be on your phone, and I follow the signs to the correct pier (and am VERY proud of myself for getting that far). I see his ship and start driving along the front looking for an entrance to the parking lot right next to it. Apparently there are no parking lot entrances right next to the pier, so I have to turn my car around right in front of the pier entrance and look *super sketchy* and go back to find the parking lot entrance I had passed. So I park my car wherever, get all of the food out and start walking towards the pier gate thing. And there’s three guys standing out there just staring at me walking up. Not looking friendly, not speaking, just staring. I see my husband walking along the pier so I slow down and don’t try and enter.
As I get kind of close, I realize I should probably say something, and I tell them I’m waiting for my husband and point to the Sailor basically as he walks through the gate. All three men immediately relax as they see him and check my ID and his and we go onto the pier towards the ship. Later the Sailor said they probably had a conversation as I was walking, asking each other if they knew me and trying to figure out what the fuck I was doing. Apparently they were wearing guns, I didn’t notice because I think I was actively avoiding direct eye contact with any of them.
So we get onto the ship and I sit with the Sailor as he eats his McDonalds for dinner and we talk for a while. It was really nice to see him on a Friday night and why the hell wouldn’t I visit on a Friday night duty day? Or really any duty day for that matter. It’s not like he’s miles away anymore, he’s just 20 mins away on a base that I can *almost* confidently get onto and get around. What better way to get more comfortable (and less sketchy looking) than to go visit when I can?
So overall a successful, slightly awkward, first duty day trip to base. I know I’ll get more comfortable with time too. What are your base experiences as a spouse? I’m sure not everyone is as awkward as I am ;)