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World War II Poster Collection from the Northwestern University Library
No more peeing outside
When my wife enlisted I dreamed of all the adventures we would go on. I dreamed of all the different duty stations we would go to. I had this idea that because I had never known of a military community that they were all out in the country, or stix, far away from any civilization. I first imagined whereever we were to be stationed would allow me the luxury of living in the country, possibly on several acres where I could have a large garden and maybe a few chickens and even a cow(why do guys want this sorta thing?). All it took was my wife attending AIT at Fort Sam Houston slap in the middle of San Antonio, Texas to dispel the notion of country living when I joined her at Ft Sam.
I will admit, I was quite naive. Of course we all now that just outside any military installation is a sprawling community. Usually growing with each installation. Here at Fort Riley I am amazed by the communities that lie outside the gates. Both supportive and intertwined with the post.
As I began to find out more about what life would be like once we needed to find a home I came to one conclusion, and that was “THERE WAS NO WAY IN HECK I WOULD LIVE ON POST”.
The reasons I didn’t want to live on post were pretty simple. I am a guy. I am a guy who owned a landscaping business. I am a guy who used to burn excess vegetation in my front yard. I am a guy who would start up my power tools whenever I please. Sometimes I wonder if I did this just to hear them in all their loudness(insert Tim “The Toolman” grunts here).
I don’t work on cars, but the thought that I may go against on post regulations if I was working on my car in my driveway made me uneasy. I HATE rules and I HATE people telling me what I can and can not do. So the prospect of living on post and living in the strictest of gated communities made me uneasy. If I want to walk around with my shirt off I want to do it, regardless of how much I jiggle when I walk. I told my wife above all else I did not want to live on post for one MAJOR reason, there was one thing that in no way was I willing to give up, and that was the ability to relieve myself outside whenever I wanted.
OK, seriously, is there anything better than being in the middle of working outside when nature calls and you nudge up close to the house, look all around and make sure no one is looking and your hiding place is hidden enough to be take care of business without having to take the time to go inside, take your shoes off and hit the head? I know, who am I kidding, I am writing a blog for the Army WIFE Network, so I seriously doubt anyone can relate to the utter euphoria that such a thing as peeing outside offers.
I know this sounds all sounds stupid. Maybe even a little gross, but I think the one perk God gave us men was this special ability. Women have childbirth, we have peeing outside. But then again, women now have a “She-Wee”(google it).
I have always lived in residential areas, and as a landscaper I worked in residential areas, so it became almost an art form in the liking of a magician to be able to hide so well when I had to tinkle. Plus, it allowed me to judge distance to time. If you see a car coming you have to judge if you will be finished before they make their way to your position.
Now I do know that if we lived on post I wouldn’t be castrated and all of a sudden not have the ability to answer nature’s call outside, but there is something about your wife getting in trouble if you get caught while you are taking a whizz that would make ya think twice.
My wife and I would regularly have conversation about whether or not we would live on post or off once we arrived to our first duty station. She kind of liked the idea at first of living on post and she would ask me why I was so against it since I would no longer have my power tools I used for landscaping. And since I didn’t work on cars who cares if there were restrictions on that. I would always tell her “because if I want to walk around with my shirt off I am going to”. And of course, “because I won’t be able to pee outside”.
My two points of the argument always became moot with her. She would tell me that it wouldn’t kill me to wear a shirt once in awhile(honestly, I think she was hoping something would keep me clothed more often), and of course my point about not being able to pee when and where I wanted was “SO” not a valid excuse to her, that when we first arrived to Fort Riley(our first duty station), we first looked into finding out about on post housing. What we found when we first asked about on post housing is something we all know all too well, WAITING LIST! When the housing office told us there was a waiting list, I nearly peed myself with joy. I even started checking out the trees outside the office.
We left the housing office, me totally relieved(no, not in that sense) and my wife with her typical “it is what it is” mentality. It didn’t mean as much to her as it did to me to live off post.
We spent the first year and 4 months here at Fort Riley living off post. After much thought and consideration we decided to go ahead and get on the waiting list and give up living off post. This was in a large part for two reasons. The first reason was because I stopped being so darn stubborn. I carefully thought about it and weighed the pros and cons and decided that if I must keep a shirt on so she can have a shorter commute to work, then that’s what I must do. If I must use the facilities inside rather than sneak around the side of a building so that she could come home after PT or on her lunch break, then I will go potty inside. After all, I am now a man that after staying home with a toddler says “I have to go potty” instead of “I gotta take a leak”.
Honestly, and with all joking aside, moving on post seems to be the best decision we as a family could have made. We are fortunate to live in the new houses here at Fort Riley which are incredible. We are only a 5 minute ride to where she needs to go to work each day. That in itself is a giant stress reliever. We have access to all the on post amenities including the community centers, pools, parks and gyms. Most of which are within walking distance. We have a grocery store(or the commissary as we know it) just right around the corner and of course the PX.
Lots of people have their own reasons to or not to live on post. Personally, I feel kinda like The Jeffersons. I feel like moving on post was “Moving on up”. You can call me “George”, and my wife may get frustrated with me like “Weezy” did when it comes to being married to a stubborn man, but in the end, she was right. I am glad we moved on post and can be surrounded by our green family.
And so all of our AWN fans at Fort Riley can rest comfortably, I promise, I will keep my shirt on and I will “go potty” inside.