I wanted a honeymoon. Specifically, I wanted to wear a white bathing suit on a beach in Cancun holding hands and drinking frozen peach daiquiris with my groom. I wanted a straw hat, dammit. And a sunset.
Instead, we had a military honeymoon. We PCSd to Orlando. Not only did we not have the money for a real honeymoon, we didn’t have the time. Brad had exactly three days off for the wedding before he had to report back to his command Monday morning.
My friends were appalled—as if our marriage would not last without a blender and a pool boy. My mother was not. “You are in the military, darling,” she said. “You will have lots of honeymoons.”
I thought she was an idiot. There is only one honeymoon and that happens the day after you get married, right?
Not really. Not if you marry into the military. The thing is that my mom was a military bride, too. She knew that we would take a military honeymoon all over Orlando the way she and my dad honeymooned all over Valdosta, Georgia.
We did. Like them, we honeymooned wherever the military sent us. We honeymooned in San Francisco. We honeymooned in Phutket, Thailand. We honeymooned in Rome and New Orleans and Wintergreen, VA. Pretty much anywhere we traveled alone together turned into a honeymoon with beaches and frozen daiquiris and sunsets.
Maybe we honeymoon because we just like each other and we would have done that no matter what professions we followed. But maybe we honeymoon because the military has a way of teaching us that time alone together is rare and fleeting and slipping away from us all the time.
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