Okinawa Hai fallback


This is Joe.

Meredith is not available this evening due to PCS stress or something or another. I didn’t really pay attention to the reasons. Instead I began to develop my list of demands for writing this post for her. So far these things have been demanded:

1. A glass of water. Not VITAMIN water. Just water. I have a sore throat and I think the vitamin water I had earlier may have aggravated it some. I think I got the sore throat from my snotty-nosed kids. Henry’s nose has run non-stop since birth.

2. Hot tea with honey. I watched that movie “Bee Movie” with Jerry Seinfeld. It got me in the mood for honey. The hot tea is for my throat.

3. A toasted peanut butter and honey sandwich.

4. Something to be named later…probably well after we all have forgotten about this.

Today Meredith cleaned out the fridge and freezer. This was the first time ever. Not the first time that it has ever been cleaned, just the first time it has ever been cleaned by us. Meredith wonders if it is normal or even OK to not clean your fridge for three years. She wants you to tell the truth. She also thought today that I wished I married a cleaner wife. It is my theory, and practice, that marrying someone who is less clean than you is better than the converse. Your options really are either to be nagged about leaving your hat in the wrong place or to deal with your partner not cleaning the fridge for three years. You tell me which is best.

And so we move forward with PCS’ing. Every time I use PCS as a verb I feel like that AFN commercial during which they talk about all the things that “might” make you from a military family. “If you ever had a five gallon bottle of typhoon water burst open and ruin your off-base Japanese hard wood floor, you might be from a military family.” Then we would all sit around and laugh over tea because on AFN wine hurts the ones we love.

Ultimately we both feel much better about the PCS now that I am back. Mere did a great job of lining it all up and all I need to do is get in line. We are fighting through the reunion stuff, but luckily we have done it enough this past year that we know how to deal. Each time we have reunited we tried hard to manage it. We have made a point to list our expectations and try to meet them. I have tried hard to give Meredith a break and I think she has tried hard to give me the things I have missed. In the end it is the same cycle regardless of our efforts:

1. reunion excitement

2. reunion pillow talk

3a. total immersion for Joe
3b. all too short and unfulfilling break for Mere

4. a fight, sometimes mild, sometimes less mild

5. it ends and we roll back into our normal stations (all our fights end in us laughing at ourselves and each other by the way).

I think we are in stage five now. We fought today about a bento and something else stupid. Of course, when Mere reads this we could well regress back to 4.

Ok, I think that is all for now. I think I earned my sandwich. I poured my heart out here people! 

Be well.


All the posts in Meredith’s “Me & My Big PCS” series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai.  However, we have closed comments for future readers.  If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.


  1. Good team work there, guys! I’m happy that I’m married to a less clean person. That’s so much easier. I became incapable of picking up anything during my pregnancy and that drove my spouse crazy and that was hard! We’ll be cleaning ours in several weeks. Any tips?

  2. Can’t speak to who his cleaner – we are a bipolar couple. Sometimes I’m the cleaning nut, sometimes it’s Paul, and sometimes we have a refrigerator that mine as well have not been cleaned for three years with the damage our three year old can do to it.

    But, I can say that being married to Meredith — and even fighting with Meredith makes Joe a lucky man.

    Seriously – good luck with the move…we all want Meredith closer to us…

  3. My husband wished that he married someone who WAS less (OCD) clean, I’m sure. But after seven years, we’re merging better. He’s cleaner and I let go and breathe more.
    Step 4: “muscle burn” making our way up marriage mountain.
    I hope you all feel better!

  4. Haha! So did mine, poor feller. (Clean the freezer? Ummm…yeah, definitely regularly…) Joe, welcome out of the comments section. I like the team blogging. I hope you get your honey sandwich. (And Meredith gets her rest.)

    And thank you guys for pouring your hearts out to us. I hope there’s a post-PCS outpour or two somewhere in our future.

  5. Wait a minute. I thought refrigerators were self-cleaning! Doesn’t the temperature do some sort-of constant sterilization? Oh dear.

    Can you tell that my husband married “down” as well??

  6. Every time I have bought a new refrigerator I have cleaned it before I put food in it. Already sparkling and I “clean” it some more. After that, can’t say I ever do it again. Even when I moved last time we conned my mother-in-law into that job. I think I have selective OCD tempered by a lot of laziness.

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