SpouseBuzz

Battling the Gremlins

I had worked late the night before, so when I did not see my car, I thought perhaps I had made a mistake.  Maybe I just parked in the wrong spot and the spot's legitimate owner had my car towed.

So, I called the towing company. No.

It began to dawn on me...my car had been stolen.

Although DH was not deployed, he was on TDY training and I had no way of just calling him.  Actually, if he had been deployed, it might have been easier to reach him (through e-mail).

So, I am counting this as one of the "deployment gremlins" I have come to know and loathe.

I called the American Red Cross to get a message to DH. Of course, this was not a true emergency but, given that his mission was to sit around in Georgia and wait, I thought they might pass it on.They did and DH called just as I was looking at a car. When I told him that I was looking at a "new" car, he got upset and I started to cry (and just for reference, that was only the second time I cried during this year of separation for training and I have cried only twice during this deployment).

I quickly clarified that I meant "another" car and was only looking at inexpensive used cars.

Within a couple of days, DH and I became the proud owners of an outrageously teal but very functional '93 Saturn, which he did not see for another couple of months.This point of this rambling, if there is one, is that when you and your spouse will be incommunicado, it is a good idea to cover some of the major bases.

I did not have one of those pre-deployment checklists, but DH is a lawyer so we had the Power of Attorney (including a specific one from his bank on file there) and we had the rest of the accounts covered...but we did not cover other major financial "what ifs?"

DH and I had briefly discussed "What if something happens to the car?" but had not made any real decisions before he left for training.

During this actual deployment, I have had the car window stop working, the car need a major repair that was not worth the money (maybe we need to start buying better cars), the plumbing leak all over my living room carpet, the garbage disposal stop working, etc., and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Chances are, as a military spouse you will have to make at least one major financial or life decision when your spouse is unavailable.

The best defense is a good offense, right?

Now I know to sit down and make a list (What if I get accepted to a graduate school far from post/before you know your assignment? What if the kids need braces?) and then write down what you agree is the ideal outcome in each case, of course leaving room for error, crisis, opportunity, and your best judgment in each case.

Even if something totally different comes up, you can at least have some parallel situation--maybe it isn't the car, but the television or washer or refrigerator.  You'll have an idea of whether to just go bare bones since you plan to move soon or go for top of the line because it is time to replace your major items anyway.

You make not be able to follow each plan exactly, but at least you'll have your spouse's input.

Please share your unexpected surprises and what you now do differently to account for those!

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