For Christmas, my parents gave my husband a set of long-distance walkie-talkies. Sure, they say that under ideal conditions — meaning perfect weather, perfectly flat terrain and no kind of interruption from other people on walkie-talkies in the area — they will work over a distance of up to 30 miles. For the most part, they’re your average, simple, child’s toys. No, my parents are not awful gift-givers. I would say this gift is the one my husband has most enjoyed.
Now every member of our families has a call sign and a basic knowledge of proper radio etiquette. I swear, I’ve heard him say, “It goes: you, this is me — radio check, over,” more than I’ve heard “I love you,” this week. It’s been fun to watch him come up with practical uses for these new little toys, like warning his parents in the car behind us about a deer in the road or asking which exit to take.
Of course, as most would understand, cell phones provide similar help without all of the static, annoying beeping and bizarre way of talking. This idea seems to elude my husband. In fact, when I suggested it, he gave me what I think may have been the most appalled look I’ve received in the more than five years we’ve been together and said, “It’s just not the same thing. You’re so lame.”
Naturally, I responded by telling him that when we have children, he can buy them walkie-talkies, and I’ll buy them cell phones; then we’ll see who the lame one is.
But now that we’ve been playing with them for a while, I can see the appeal. After a year in and out of a tactical operations center, it’s probably pretty nice to use that knowledge without the pressures of a war zone, just to have some fun.
I admit that I’m sometimes distracted by the camouflage uniform and combat boots. I see my husband, the soldier — the man. I forget about my husband — the boy. And since I’m already making admissions, I’ll admit that I kind of missed him. I like this carefree, silly side of him. Even though I know when we get back to garrison, I’ll have my responsible, adult husband back, I’m enjoying this while it lasts, and I can tell he is too.