Chapter 14: My new family...sorta

I know. The Marine Corps is one big, dysfunctional family, but is made up of many different "small" dysfunctional families. As the old saying goes, The Marines are  "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children." I seemed to have many dysfunctional families in my circle, one for each of my moods, and I am proud to say that I was happily misguided. Luckily, I had people who would "guide me" along the way when I jumped off track.
 My old roommate and I were different in so many ways, but were alike in others. I wore cammies to work, she wore coveralls, but we both worked our butts off. I could admit when I wrong, she couldn't, but somehow, both us were equally wrong and right. I had a little bit of fashion taste, she liked sweats and tee shirts, but we both looked great dressed up. She was loud and I was quiet, but it worked. She was bossy and I was obedient, which evened us out. We were definitely the odd couple, but we were really good friends.
She was deployed a lot while we were barracks roommates. She was my first "normal" roommate after my pregnant roomate and my Navy chick. We got along great as roommates, but we really didn't know much about each other. While she was gone, I had the luxery of staring at her cardboard dresser and Winnie the Pooh blanket when I was bored from the lack of a roommate. Once she came back from CAX/WTI, I never really saw her that much and didn't even realize she had come back until I ran into her at the gym. She told me that she found the love of her life and that they were moving in together and getting married. From what I was told, he was a one-night stand that she didn't let get away.
I didn't realize prior to then that she considered me her best friend. We didn't really go out much as roommates when she was living with me; mainly just to go to WalMart and the mall, but hey, a friend is a friend. Within a week of seeing her at the gym (yes, I went back after my tragic event, but it was for Section PT, so I had to), I was told (not asked) that I would be a bridesmaid in their wedding and that I will have to find my way to Ohio for the wedding. Ohio and I had to buy the dress. Interesting. I didn't have money just laying around as now I was making like $250 every two weeks because of my car payment, but I told her that I would try to make it. I started adding up costs in my head and decided that there was no way that I could afford to make it up there. Lucky for me and my checkbook, we had a Commanding General's Readiness Inspection (CGRI) the week of her wedding, so I had to bail. Let's just say...that didn't go over so well, but she understood, I think. She didn't beat the crap out of me or anything, so I think it was okay.
After the wedding, I became the family pet, second to Buster, the big German Shepherd that ravenged throught the trailer. She and her husband's roommate was out on a float, so I acquired his room without him knowing. I didn't know what he looked like, just what his name was. But I didn't care, because he had a big bed with clean sheets (I hope they were clean).
Once while I was lying in his nice, big bed, I decided to look through his yearbook. When I saw his picture, I busted out laughing. I laughed so loud that I scared the cat away. Just thinking about it now makes me laugh (yes, I know we all go through our ackward stages, but he looked Iowian). Those fellas from Cedar Rapids, I tell ya.
Their home pretty much became my home, except I didn't pay rent. I helped her clean, cook, and buy groceries. She was basically my mom and if I didn't behave, I swear she would have beaten me. Her husband was like the cool dad...he was laid back and just let us do whatever. I often wondered about him and asked myself, "Was he just afraid that she would have beat him up if he just ended it as a one-night stand?" Don't get me wrong, she was a great friend and person, but there were times where I just waited for her to start beating us, especially if we ever disagreed.
One day, I came waltzing into the house after work. There was this strange man sitting in the chair when I first walked in. He kind of gave me this glare like, "Who are you and why didn't you knock?" I felt so uncomfortable because I thought he was so cute,and his blue eyes intimidated the hell out of me. I just sat there. Speechless and in awe over this cute little guy. Turned out he was the owner of the bed that I had been sleeping in. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was crushed that he was back, because now I was stuck sleeping on the couch with the animals. Looks like the barracks' life was back in my future again. We all stayed up late that night, watching movies and I think he kinda started to like me. It's either that or my friend made him like me because she was bossy like that.
We became a small family. We ate together, went to movies together, watched TV together as a family. Went to the base exchange together and overall, just a little family of four - even though were all the same age. She and her husband were mom and dad, and we were the kids, except I had a crush on my brother (I know that sounds sick...sorry!). We even acted like children. We always fought in the back seat. I am surprised that he never kicked me in the shin. I think I owned him though. No matter what I wanted him to do, he did it for me. He was my superhero...
Like all families, we took a family trip together. My friend brought all of us to Ohio to meet her family. We continually fought in the back seat the whole trip. Mom made Mr. Blue Eyes buy my dinner when we stopped in Kentucky. I think we had too much family-together time by that time, because he was mad that she kept insisting that he buy my dinner. I felt so bad because he kept protesting it and she wouldn't let me pay. Someone took their rank of Corporal a  little too far. Who pulls rank at Outback?
The trip to Ohio was fun, except for the nice sunburn on my back. I was so burnt from being in the pool for the whole weekend. What made it worse, Mr. Blue Eyes would slap me on the back and then laugh. What a punk! At this point, I really cannot say if we were actually dating. I think we just appreciated each others company but I cannot recall if we ever considered ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend, although Grandma (my friend's mom), thought that we were and kept making comments to me about it, especially when we went to the mall. The talk was all about him. His head would have been so inflated if he would have heard our discussion about him. Those blue eyes, I tell ya!
After the trip, we did a lot together, by ourselves. I think we had a mutual concern for each other. One night, we went to a beach house party where the drink of the night was Jungle Juice. For those who do not know what Jungle Juice is, it is fruit punch spiked with everybody's  leftover liqour. Let's just say, it tasted really good. Nothing like grain alcohol to get the blood flowing. Me and the jungle juice didn't mix so well though. Once I finished a couple cups of it, I swear the walls were moving. Then we all decided to leave because we all had a lot to drink. We got into the car, and Mr Blue eyes held my hair back and kept screaming, "She's going to die. She can't die. My friend is going to die." How sweet. He did care. Ah, blue eyes...I must have had your heart this whole time  and you wouldn't admit it. Kidding...
There were times that I still had to go back to the barracks, like for Field Day, get clothes, do laundry, etc. My barracks neighbor was so jealous of Mr Blue Eyes. To this day, my old neighbor still hates him. He thinks that if I never would have "moved" to my friend's house and met her roommate, that he would have had a chance with me. How cute...
Since we weren't technically dating, it was hard to put a label on the relationship, but I remembered that I did like him a lot, which is why it hurt when he told me one day that he and his ex-girlfriend were getting back together. It hurt, but luckily by this time, I was getting transferred to my next duty station. Good ol' blue eyes broke my heart...Punk. But he's still awesome.
Our family, like most now of days, have gone separate ways. My friend and husband eventually divorced. her ex remarried and myself and Mr Blue Eyes are both married with kids. In the end, things work out, but when a family eats together, no matter how much time seperates them, they will always be family. My Marine Corps Family.


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