Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Academy Sweatpants

I am taking a huge step this week. It is painful and difficult but it is something Officer Hottie has been asking me to do for years and I haven't been able to. He has been patient, kind and loving but I know he has been getting more and more anxious as I refuse to do what he has asked of me. This week I am finally able to find the courage to put OH's academy sweats in the Goodwill bag. OH hates those sweats and he especially hates those sweats on me. They were big and unattractive on him so he wanted to toss them the minute he graduated. I adopted them. When I had them on I had to roll the waist band three or four times and even then the crotch hung almost to my knees. But oh! the comfort!! I always felt super skinny while wearing those things. For my birthday last year my dear friend bought me a new pair of sweats, from Target, that she insisted were way better. She said I wouldn't have to pull them up all the time and I wouldn't look like I'd just loaded up my pants. She was right. They fit me perfectly. Last month while shopping at Target I saw they had gone on clearance so I was able to buy another pair. The two new pair of sweats, that actually fit, coupled with the fact that I'm losing weight and that OH loathes the old ones on me, spurred me onto actually getting rid of them. I wonder how long it will take him to notice I'm not wearing them?
Honestly I'm surprised I've kept them for so long. I hated Officer Hottie's time in academy. It was the most difficult time I've had in our marriage to date; that includes four pregnancies, four sets of post-partum issues, 17 months of trying to get pregnant, threats of a lawsuit, career changes, deaths in the family and major financial stresses. Academy trumps them all. I know every family's experience with the academy is different. For me, OH's time there represents a season on loneliness and insecurity on my part that has been unrivaled by any other point in our marriage. I do not blame OH for this; I think a lot of that was my own fault for my refusal to "burden" him with what I was thinking and feeling. Officer Hottie was very occupied and he tried his best to not bring the stresses of the academy home. But in his attempt to keep his stress from bothering me he was a bit distant, he was definitely occupied, and the fact that he had friends I didn't know and was doing something that didn't include me, led to a lot of insecurity for me. It took me a long time to finally get the courage to tell OH what I was feeling. In my mind we had grown so far apart that we were on the verge on divorce. This took him by total surprise. Looking back I know I was being dramatic but unfortunately that is a routine I fall into rather easily. Even though this was a difficult time for me I learned so much from it. I learned the importance of communication, which I know sounds cliché, but I realized there are things that happen between us, and I say it's fine, and it isn't (I'm not really helping the typical female stereotype, am I?). OH was very gracious to me; when I finally opened up to him he didn't get angry or defensive or accuse me of insanity (all of which I feared). He simply asked me, "What do we do to fix it?" It really was the perfect response. I felt safe talking with him and it was a turning point in our relationship. It was the first time our marriage required real work and the first time I really understood what it meant to not give up. I don't know... maybe I kept those sweats as a subconscious reminder of what life had been like then, a reminder to never let my thoughts get the best of me?
Officer  Hottie accomplished so much in academy and I am ashamed that I wasted so much time dwelling on myself. I cannot describe the feeling of pride that washed over me when I pinned his badge on him during his graduation ceremony. Although I was very supportive of OH during this time I just didn't know how to handle the different circumstances and changes going on. I'm sure it prepared me for what life with a police officer can be like and because of that time when things at work cause him to become distant or distracted I know how to approach it with him. God was, and continues to be, gracious to me and I am thankful, nearly five years later, for how He has blessed OH's career and our marriage. It's pretty cool to think back on.
So, goodbye dear old sweatpants. I will hold onto the lessons you brought with you, but I will gladly exchange your saggy butt baggage for something a little more attractive. I know Officer Hottie will like that!

1 comment:

Momma K9 said...

Whew! I am so glad I wasn't married to Scott during his academy! I even think he stayed away when he was in. Can't remember for sure but I do know he then had to be away for weeks when he first got Hunter and had to train. That would be so hard!
Sometimes it is so good to let go of things of the past. It frees us for so much more! I'm sure you look alot better in the traget sweats anyway, and they are super comfy!!!!!!!!!!!