My husband doesn't just have a "Love Me" wall, he has a whole "Love Me" office, and "Love Me" space at our house besides. And, of course, in his line of work a Love Me area would just not be complete without a blank "Top Secret" award plaque or five. Yes, I thought it was funny. ONCE.
However, although I've always been a very active and participatory military spouse; my walls remained bare of self adoratory congratulations. Lots of eclectic, unique, and tasteful decoration, but little self-love. Military spouse thanks tend to be more of the "huge smiles when we bring our cookies in" type, and quite frankly, that's fine with me. I know when I'm loved.
My walls remained bare, that is, until last year.
Last year, hubby's visiting Colonel ordered an early morning meeting. I got up at 5 am to make fresh muffins and slice oranges. I also made some coffee to take along. It had been noised about the day before that someone was going to pick up Dunkin' Donuts, and the thought of all that cholesterol and sugar struck horror into my nutritionally prudish heart.
Because it was so early, I showed up with my deliveries in ratty jeans (which, I later learned, sported a rather large hole directly in the middle of my left butt cheek), hair barely brushed and whipping about in a 'do reminiscent of Tina Turner, and stinky. I had taken a shower, but was suffering my way through what I was absolutely convinced was Bird Flu. The cocktail of medications, which included Mucinex, made me smell like old people.
Imagine my surprise when I was presented with a plaque of appreciation and people started snapping pictures. It wasn't a pretty sight. But pretty or not, it was so totally awesome.
My husband made mention of how many award ceremonies I sat through for him, and then stated that he might have to put my award on his Love Me wall with a post it note over my name so that people would think it was his.
He's a funny guy, eh?
This year I was once again singled out during the Colonel's visit. I have to say, though, that speeches about me and my accomplishments make me squirm like a beagle puppy with Attention Deficit Disorder. I try to be as active as possible, especially during hubby's deployments, because it makes the time go faster. It also helps me live up to my hubby's shadow - no mean feat since he's always off saving the world and creating the history our grandkids will be learning. But the bottom line is that I am one of many, many military spouses doing our very best in the situations life has given us. And when I'm surrounded by men and women who risk their lives constantly and without hesitation, my efforts to show up and make sure people have CARE packages and nutritionally appropriate snacks for meetings seem very small indeed.
I appreciated the plaque I got last year so much I thought nothing could beat it. This year I got my first coin. Talk about cool! It was the Commander's Coin from the Colonel's most recent deployment. The Colonel even came over and gave me a hug.
People all around the table kept asking to see it, and my husband kept running to intervene. "I have to teach you about coins!" he kept saying. "You're handing it to them like they're allowed to keep it! THIS is how you show them your coin!"
Later during the dinner, hubby leaned over and quipped, "You know, I don't have that coin. Maybe I can borrow it sometime."
"Sure," I said. "You can take it to work on those days my plaque is hanging on your wall."