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Real Simple Lust

Keep your heaving bosom and your six-pack abs. Apparently military spouses lust after laundry rooms with detergents decanted into antique glass jars. Steam irons with automatic shutoff. Hand-lettered labels dangling from baskets.

Sweet mystery of life at last we found you!

Well, we weren’t quite at that Blazing Saddles level of ecstasy when we SpouseBuzz staffers were talking about Real Simple magazine this month. But I was surprised how everybody gushed.

Because these guys don’t gush. I mean … I might gush. But these guys can look at a picture of a bunny taking a bath and just shrug it off.

So when they got so excited about Real Simple, I started to worry that maybe these military spouses really were a bunch of hausfraus worrying about dishpan hands. Maybe they covered the pages of their journals by waxing poetic on the virtues of white vinegar and baking soda.

Nope. Survey said zero percent of us really like to clean. Instead we military spouses seemed to long for the calm implied in the Real Simple Life. The order. The zen promise that everything really could be Real Simple.

That ain’t easy to achieve when you are living with a sailor, a soldier, an airman, a Marine, a Coastie. Living with a military partner is about managing constant and unrelenting change — not frolicking through the housework.

Military life is about not being sure where your kids will go to school next year. It’s about telling your boss you have a five-day window for homecoming and then you will take a week of PTO, OK?  It’s about having half the closet space in your current house than you were issued the last time.

Is it any wonder that we find the idea that there is such a thing as a “most effective mustard” alluring when our sailors bring home the scent of lube oil every day?

Is it so radical for us to want to sort our toddler’s toys into labeled boxes when our soldiers haven’t seen the kid since he learned to walk?

Is it really so surprising that a vision of all the pencils we own sharpened to exactly the same length and contained in a blue and white teapot is captivating when our Marines spend the day learning to blow things up?

Order. Calm. Peace. Real Simple Lust. Everyone wants what they don’t quite have.

About Jacey Eckhart

Jacey Eckhart is the Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom.