The Phone on My Hip


Like many military spouses, I carry around my phone like it is some kind of life support device.  If I don’t have it, I don’t just get irritated – I feel naked.

And there’s a reason, too.  I was trained long ago to realize that call opportunities don’t come at set times, and it was easier to carry around an umbilical cord – errr, cell phone – and be available whenever AFG was able to get to a phone in whatever ugly place he’s in.

I stay in this habit even when he is working somewhere close and coming home each night.  Like now.

Let me say right upfront that even when AFG is not deployed, I will answer the phone no matter what is going on.  Having seen one friend of mine go through the aftermath of her husband dying in a car accident, I just don’t ever want to be in the position where the last time I was able to hear his voice I decided I was too busy to pick up the phone.

But that’s not to say that I don’t ever get irritated about the phone calls sometimes.  You see – AFG has a gift.  He has the gift of knowing when his call would be MOST inconvenient and calling right at that moment.

He doesn’t call when I’m sitting on my butt surfing the web mindlessly.  He doesn’t call when I’m working on the plethora of knit and sewn accouterments required by my brother’s anticipation of triplets this summer.  He doesn’t call when I’m watching TV or when (which would be the best case scenario) I’m vacuuming or doing other housework I wish I could find a reason to stop.

No, AFG only calls when I’m in the middle of an intense workout or when I’m trying to buckle three kids into the van or when I’m in the library and the sound of the phone causes my life to be threatened by old ladies with blue hair checking out romance novels on CD.  There’s also a penchant for calling when I’m in the bathroom.

Now, I NEVER skip the call.  NEVER.  Because I don’t know what the future will bring.  And a small bit of irritation because my heart rate will drop and I’ll lose my workout groove is totally small bananas in the grand scheme of things – that my husband loves me enough to call during the day just because he wants to hear my voice after all these years.  It’s sweet, and I love it.

But I do have to wonder if anyone else has a husband with these sorts of psychic powers.

Do you?

About the Author


airforcewife started her military journey as an Army National Guard wife, but upon experiencing base housing decided to aim high and made the switch to the Air Force. That's worked pretty well for Air Force Family so far, even though airforcewife holds the spouse world record for Come to Jesus talks with various members of the command.

Air Force Family has four children, two pit bulls, and a Mother-in-Law who lost her mind eight years ago. Despite the reputation of pit bulls, airforcewife would like to assure you that her Mother-in-Law is truly the most dangerous of the group, and is banned in more places than the dogs.

airforcewife gets through Air Force Guy's frequent deployments and TDY's by frequently attending her boxing gym, after the chance discovery last deployment that hitting things really does make life better. She also volunteers as the Ambassador for Sew Much Comfort to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and in a variety of other causes throughout the year.

airforcewife has no idea what the future holds, but decided five years ago that she wants to be Andi when she grows up.

22 Comments on "The Phone on My Hip"

  1. Semper Fi Wife | April 17, 2008 at 7:56 am |

    Oh yes…Lancelot does that too. Usually it's when I've just gotten home and really have to go to the bathroom.
    And he's so slow to finish his sentence…
    But yeah…it's nice to know that you're being thought of, isn't it?

  2. Oh, I most definitely do. He has a habit of calling right as I'm pulling on to the freeway after work, in the middle of watching a movie with my mom, if I am just finally falling asleep, or when I'm in the bathroom. I usually try to answer it if I possibly can; but I make sure to let him know what I was in the middle of so that he knows why I'm slightly annoyed to listen to him talk about nothing in particular. I love the guy, but he definitely has poor timing on the phone.

  3. Yes. Hubs has the gift. And what's so amusing about it, is that he still uses that gift after deployment: shower, potty time, etc. It's not like having a 3 yr old in my shadow for bathroom breaks isn't enough. If I don't answer because I've separated myself from the phone, he will call again and again and again; just wanting to say hi. He says he's checking my readiness for upcoming deployment. *sigh* Love him.

  4. Yep, mine too has the gift. The funny thing is that if he calls while I'm, uh, unavailable he'll keep calling and calling until I pick up. First the house phone then my cell, then the house phone again…until I pick up. Of course I'm thinking there must be some real emergency, but no; he just called to see what I was doing!

  5. Id like to add:
    -when arms and hands are full of groceries
    -dead asleep
    – middle of doing the dishes when my hands are deep in dirty dish water
    I have to say thats one of the times i miss him the most… carrying in the groceries…UGH! Deployment almost over though :) We received his approved leave dates this week!!!

  6. I love that AFG calls you just because. I, on the other hand, break my neck to answer calls from my husband because the only time he ever calls is when it's something important. He hates the phone and only uses it when absolutely necessary…hence 17 calls during the last 13 month deployment. But I love your attitude: no matter how frequently or INfrequently they call, there's never a bad time to hear their voices.

  7. Laura, a Military Mo | April 17, 2008 at 11:37 am |

    And aren't you glad that you live in the time when you CAN get a call any time any place…not like years ago before cell phones! I'm just glad that the only problems we had during #1 son deployment was making sure that we or he didn't drop the call.

  8. My favorite conversation has to be:
    DH: "hey where you at?"
    Me: "backing into the driveway, why?"
    DH: "just wondering, you're usually home by 5 soooo…"
    Me: "um yeah, it's 5:02 and technically I am home and I'd be inside right now if I didn't have to stop to answer the phone since I can't shift gears, backup, and talk at the same time."
    Yeah, where they get it from I have no idea but they just know…

  9. Poor baby….would you like it better if he didn't call at all? Your cell phone shouldn't be on in the library or anywhere else where you can annoy people.

  10. Poor baby….would you like it better if he didn't call at all? Your cell phone shouldn't be on in the library or anywhere else where you can annoy people.

  11. navbb62,
    You must be new around here… stick around and visit often. You just might learn to appreciate AFW's humor and her undying love for AFG. :)

  12. I'm lucky enough (or maybe goofy enough, cuz I'm paying the bill) to have a deployed DH who has a working cell phone where he is… I call him on his days off, cuz its cheaper (not cheap, just cheaper). I have a knack for calling while he's in the bathroom….and his roomate won't answer his phone……he he he!!!
    It's fun!

  13. Oh yes!!! Hubby always sems to call whenever I am cooking dinner or dealing with an attitude problem from one of the boys. The other day he called whileI was driving out to get him and missed my exit because I was talking to him. It caused us to be delayed 45 minutes or so and I wanted to choke him. Even though I am the one who will answer the call no matter what. I usually hang upwith whoever I am talking to just to hear his voice. Being denied that for so long just makes me crave it.

  14. *newbie spouse-to-be delurking … hi everyone*
    The worst, I think, is this: My fiancé has a knack for calling right when I don't have my phone with me. Even if I just went to the restroom and I forgot to take my phone. I come back to find a missed call from him, so I call him back, and it goes straight to his voicemail … Sigh. If he'd only waited another two minutes!
    He does this nearly every time without fail. Fortunately these episodes of me being without my phone have become very very rare at this point … although I still have the occasional mental lapse.

  15. It's not just the spouses that get this. My son has this talent for calling just as our food is being delivered in a restaurant. He did it in college and now does it while deployed.

  16. Today I left my cell phone on my desk when I got to work, and went to get water from the break room. You guessed it, he called my desk and cell while I was gone. I hadn't heard from him in a week. This is so frusterating.

  17. I work in an office. I am new to the military. I am getting married the 29th. My CSM is away and I find the moments are so sweet when we do talk, I even leave meetings to say hello.

  18. tad's tibbit | April 20, 2008 at 4:50 pm |

    For me it's quite the other way around, I tend to call him at the wrong time! Whether it's during the day or at night (we currently live in two different states) it seems he was in the middle of something!!! Thankfully he loves me lol

  19. My hubbie loves to call when I am in class. Then he gets mad because I don't run out of the room to answer. But when it is on silent sometimes I forget to check. I am phobic of missing an important phone call. I can't call him back due to him being deployed.
    And with the time difference he for some reason assume I am awake at 2 am. But I try to answer still half asleep and treasure the time I get to talk to him.
    He always says "Aww did I wake you?" Too bad I can't be psychic and know when he is going to call!!!!

  20. Lady Lisa | May 20, 2008 at 5:02 am |

    my hubby seems always to call me at some awful hour of the morning, and i am not a really early riser. it is really funny when my oldest son(he's 5) answers the phone and it's daddy. And he tells hubby, oh mommy's sleeping can you call back later?

  21. Guard Wife | April 6, 2011 at 10:40 am |

    My husband, near the tail end of deployments especially, will be tired. Too tired, sometimes, to realize that the reason there is no line at the phone is because everyone else where you are is not so sleep deprived that they remember their loved ones are on the other side of the planet, in a completely different time zone.

    {dead asleep, phone rings}
    Me: "Hello? Yes? Hi? What?"
    Him: "Hey, babe! What are you doing?"
    Me: "Sleeping."
    Him: "Oh, no! Are you sick?! What the matter?!"
    Me: "Nothing is the matter. I always try to be asleep at 2 a.m. It's just how I roll."

    And he, of course, offers to hang up and I threaten him with bodily harm if he does. :)

  22. 19DeltasGirl | June 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |

    I used to glare at people who would answer their phones in the middle of conversations, or in restaraunts, or other "inconvenient" places. Never again. My apologies to anyone who ever got a glare. I panic if my phone is more than arms reach away from me. Even right now, with him home on leave, its habit. I will soon be buying a smart phone so if he emails me I know it right away. I missed the call the first time he ever called from afar and I was traumatized until I had spoken to him. He as well as Guard Wife's hubby, will call at any hour of the night, and if he offers to let me sleep, is also threatened with no cookies! He knows I'd rather be a little sleepy, than miss phone time with him!

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