Lessons from a seasoned EOMFDW.
It is no secret that EOD techs are, for lack of a better word, cocky. They are wild and love to party and I absolutely love it. I think the whole "work hard, play harder" phrase was created to describe EOD. When they are home, especially right before and immediately after a deployment there will be looooong stretches of intense partying. For someone who abstains from drinking heavily, it is tough to talk sense into these guys- some would say impossible even. So, compromising is the only way to go.
- One of the first things I remember saying to Husband during our first EOD party.
"If you insist on dancing like a mad man in the bed of the truck, do so only while we're stopped at a traffic light."
-During the attempted kidnapping of the captain at 2am
"If you have to throw your phone against a cinder block wall tonight, make sure you forward your calls to my phone first."
- To Lo, on more than one occasion
And tolerance... get some. Learn to pick your battles. Ridiculous behavior is inevitable and you will go insane if you cannot tolerate driving around the city with a truck full of drunkos singing at the top of their lungs with 100 tacos from Jack in the Box some being eaten, some getting thrown at Honda Civics on the freeway, going from sex shop to sex shop searching for the perfect flesh light for their tactical vests for some training school they have to be at in 4 hours. You will get kicked out and/or banned from multiple bars, clubs, cities, and even entire countries if you're not careful. Learn to tolerate randoms joining your party, these guys pick up strays like crazy. They can't help it.
2. Investing... in a closet full of outrageous attire.
I don't know what it is about these guys but they LOVE to play dress up. This still surprises me every now and again because the ideas they come up with are so creative. I thought after years of costume parties we would recycle some by now, but no... constant innovation when it comes to costumes. It's gotten so bad that sometimes they just randomly and without prior coordination show up to dinner in the most ridiculous get ups. What irritates me is that when Husband raids my closet, pulls out a fancy dress and rocks it better than I can... knowing which scarf to wear and what red belt works best for his skin tone.
"If you're going to go out in that dress, you must pee like a lady or go behind a bush at the very least."
-To Lawrence, during our cross dressing party. He went as Jackie O. Accidentally.
Seasons don't matter either. Full on snow bunny party in the dead of summer in Phoenix- check. Kiddie pool party when the mood strikes, even when it's 60 degrees out and almost 1am- check. No pants party during Lent- check. Goodwill, Pennywise, the kid section at Walmart, and random piles of clothes on the side of the road will be your go to shopping destinations.
-To Scott, after 3 weeks in Germany
3. Appreciation for the finest of fine arts.
Projectile vomiting is an art form only to be admired by a select few... all of which apparently signed up to be EOD. It doesn't happen often given their collective tolerance and ability to be incredibly functional alcoholics. But when it does, the score cards come out and we revel in the distance, chunkiness, color, and insane splatter patterns. There is a gallery being constructed of these mesmerizing feats. I will be sure to send an invite for the opening.
4. Being comfortable with man on man tongue action.
Homophobia is not acceptable in the EOD community. A true EOD wife will not even flinch at the sight of her not so sober husband sucking face with another man, or two, or three simulteanously. Usually, he is trying to share something special like a packet of mayonnaise or piece of cake. Other times it's just because EOD techs undoubtedly have delicious saliva. =/
5. Developing a toilet paper obsession.
Nothing is worse, and I mean NOTHING, than being home alone, in the middle of the night, with absolutely zero toilet paper in the entire house. I am now a compulsive toilet paper purchaser. No matter what I go to the grocery store for, I always walk out with a pack of TP. Always. I will never be put in that tricky position ever again.
6. Prioritizing for the moment.
I actually had to quit my job at one point because our wicked awesome lifestyle was being cramped by me having to show up to work on time, looking presentable, and coherent. Obviously, it didn't make sense for me to have to split my time between work and play. So leaving a job that required not a lot of thinking or effort on my part only seemed like the right thing to do. I have been self employed for three years now.
7. Stealth nursing skills and how to make a proper sandwich.
Have you ever tried to give a drunken EOD tech a glass of water? It is fucken impossible. You might even get the bottle of water slapped from your hands out of disgust for the useless liquid that you are trying to force down their gullets. This is where the art of stealth nursing comes into play. Never approach a group of them with a bottle of water. They will scatter with a quickness and avoid you like the plague. Always use a solo cup, always only half full and corner them one by one. If you can get one backed up into a corner alone, you have a better chance of them swigging some H2O before they realize what it is. Also, try cutting the water with some Pedialyte, Powerade Zero (anything but lemon lime), or even coconut water. Also, send them to bed with a fresh drink, but replace it with a bottle of water once they hit the bed, couch, truck bed in a parking lot, sidewalk, random ledge on a cliff, or floor. I promise, that bottle of water will be consumed and much appreciated.
I became the Mama Bear for our little gang of misfits. Every shop has one and lucky for me I was the chosen one. I am an exquisite sandwich and breakfast burrito maker. These are the absolute essentials and the one thing that can make a hung over EOD tech half smile through the pain of a throbbing head and nausea from mild dehydration. There will be tons of "I love you"s and "You're the best"s the afternoon after a party. Keep your fridge stocked with all the fixin's for turkey and ham sandwiches and your freezer chock full of turkey breakfast burritos. And mini chicken tacos if you're near a Trader Joe's.
8. Ride or die. These are my people and I will never give them up. Ever.
There is no doubt that when an EOD tech chooses you to be a part of his family, you are in for life. Lucky for me, I was accepted early on and I have had the pleasure of being surrounded by amazing guys for close to a decade. A glorious decade of debauchery! The term loyalty is something that bleeds from these guys. They stand with their brothers through the worst situations imaginable and their bond is just amazing. With my EOD family, I know that no matter what or where I am, I have the love, support, and raw muscle to take on the mean mean world. These guys would fight to the death for me, without question or hesitation. I knew that these friends of mine were fantastic and I always have a good time with them, but it is during the tough stuff that really highlights the exemplary men I have in my life. From the little things like driving to my house in the middle of the night to open a jar of spaghetti sauce, feeding me when I'm too sick to move, Pumpkin Spice Lattes waiting for me at work every morning, random lunch dates at Wildflower, and the funniest voice mails just to say "Hi" from the desert or ice. To big things like sitting with me on the side of the road when I got into a car accident, lending me cars to drive since mine was totaled, and just knowing when I need a hug because I'm sad and missing Husband. They are my family and I will do anything for any one of them.
9. Dancing is life.
There will be so much dancing in your life once you marry an EOD tech. Dancing in places where dancing is encouraged and dancing in places and more importantly, on things where it might seem questionable... When in doubt, dance! Hip thrusting is crucial and flailing arms are a must. 80's music will be booming from your drum machine of a heart. One friend will try to get you into dub step, he's an idiot- but you go along with it because convulsive, seizure inspired movement is fun from time to time. You will be highly entertained and not remotely embarrassed when you reluctantly invite non-EOD people to a party. The dance offs are my favorite part of any party, brunch, road trip, or quick stop to Bashas.