Are you a military spouse? Christina’s guest today is her good friend, who recently moved to Alaska, Brittney. Brittney talks with Christina about her adjustment to the cultural change moving from one country to another. She’s faced several challenges along the way, especially with the freezing temperature in her area. It turns out you have to rely on other people way more than you think! Join in this fun conversation as Brittney and Christina exchange memories and hilarious stories.
Listen to the podcast here:
Life As A Military Spouse In Alaska: Funny Stories With Brittney
How is Alaska?
It’s still sunny. It’s 62 degrees outside, which is warmer than it was when I went to work. It was 37 when I went to work.
I wish it was in the 70s or 60s. We’re still in 100.
I wish that it snows when you all are here because let’s go.
If it snows, I’m requiring a sledding session.
I don’t have a sled, but I’m sure I could find one. We do have a Walmart up here in remote Alaska.
How hard is it meeting new friends? I know you’ve had a friend and she is not my favorite person.
I’m pretty sure it’s mutual. When we first moved up here, it was that one specific friend. You have one where you know them before. She was in Arizona and then she moved up here. Our husbands are great friends. I know my husband’s friends from work and then I get introduced to their wives or girlfriends. I have friends outside of military but up here, it’s either you’re friends with Air Force spouses or Army spouses.
Welcome to the military. That’s like if you go even overseas like Andy. A lot of her friends are all military because they were all close together.
We live off base. We don’t have that set community. All summer, we’ve been camping with this little tight-knit group of people. They were good friends when we went over. We had dinner and played Spicy Uno for hours.
I missed Spicy Uno.
I’m so excited. We tripled our deck. It’s one of those things. You meet the people, hang out with them for a while, and know that they’re going to leave whether they’re going to leave before or after you, there’s always like that, “See you on the flip side,” except for you maybe. I can’t get rid of you.
We’re around for good, at least I hope so anyways.
At this point, you guys know my sex life, my trying-to-get-pregnant life. It’s way too much shit if you’re asking me for fragrance.
What’s that meme? “You can’t leave me because you know too much,” or whatever that meme is.
Whatever the meme is, that’s what we are. You know too much shit about me.
You guys all know too much shit about me too.
You’re dangerous as a friend, but you’re more dangerous as an enemy.
You guys have been going fishing and doing all of the adventure outdoorsy bullshit.
When we first got here in November 2020, we were stuck inside. We couldn’t do anything. At one point, I remember texting or messaging you guys and it was negative 35 degrees outside. Even now, I can’t fathom how cold that is. In Arizona, if it’s over 100 degrees, it’s hot and under negative 15, it’s cold. You don’t want to be outside. You have to remember to plug your car in and start your car or you’re driving home frozen to the steering wheel.
That remote is good.
It’s such a blessing. I’m so glad I gave myself that for Christmas. In the winter, we didn’t know anybody.
You guys got there in November 2020.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving because we have Thanksgiving in a hotel room.
You guys were new and it was wintertime, so people weren’t leaving their houses at the moment. You’re snowed in all the time.
I got stuck in my own driveway twice. I was so mad.
The school bus is getting stuck.
That was interesting. Hours later, they’re not stuck anymore.
I remember you messaging us and going, “Our school bus is stuck.”
You see more cars in ditches on the side of the road. A fun fact, it is illegal for you to stop on the side of the road and try to pull somebody out of the ditch.
You can’t help anybody get out of a ditch.
Right. This is not like that one time when I thought that it was illegal to drive in a sandstorm. You have to wait for a tow truck. This is real life and real world.
There is no faking it anymore. You’re in the apocalypse.
Most of that comes from how much snow is on the ground. If you get pulled out of a ditch and there are cars, you run the risk of running into them, but you also run the risk of running into somebody or pulling the other car that’s pulling you out into the ditch.
That’s like here. If you pull over during a dust storm, they say not to put your lights on.
They say to put your hazards on.
I’ve heard mixed things about that. Some say don’t put any lights on at all because, if you can’t see, people see your lights and they think it’s a lane and you’re not going anywhere. Some people say to put your hazards on, but I don’t know which is which. Quite honestly, I try not to leave my house when we’re in the middle of a dust storm.When you move away, you could probably count as many people on your hand that you could call for help. Click To Tweet
The day you had your son, I drove all the way home in one and that was terrifying. All I did was pull over and put my hazards on because, one, it was dark. Two, I drove a dark car and I was off the side of the road. The only reason I knew I was off the side of the road was because I felt that rumble strip on both tires. I have no idea where I was if I was sticking out or whatever, but people were passing me like nobody’s business.
I remember that day because Andy was like, “James told me they needed to go home or stay put, so I’m going.”
She stayed and I left. She stayed in summer, “My best friend just had a baby. I get to stay with the baby.”
I was so high. I don’t know why. I was like, “Sure, stay. Here’s the baby. Have fun.” That was the day Tiny came too. We won’t talk about that, though.
Pregnancy hormones ended the friendship. That’s all we need to say about that.
I’m glad my pregnancy hormones didn’t end our friendship.
I’m happy that in our little friend group, whenever my body decides to be like, “It’s time. Let’s have a baby,” I will be the only one. All attention is focused on me.
Hopefully, by that time, me and Andy haven’t started menopause because, at that time, we’ll both be menopaused at the same time and you’ll have a lot of fun. Think about that in the future.
Don’t be stingy. Let me have my time.
You’ll have your time well before we have ours. Trust me. That will be a true question on friendship because she and I are identical. We’ll have to see how that goes. Maybe we need to stop talking for six months.
What are you excited about to come up here and experience in Alaska?
To be honest, I’m excited to see you and getaway. I’m at that point now where I’m like, “I need to go. I can think to get away.”
You’ve been in one place for too long.
I’m lonely. It’s not lonely that I don’t have friends. It’s lonely that I don’t have somebody to end my day with and be like, “This was my day. This is how work went,” or someone to cook dinner with me or anything like that. What I’m missing is that end of the day, “We can finally see each other at the end of the day.” Whereas I know, I have Andy here. She is the only person. I have Kinsey too, but Andy has got softball and all of that. She is working full-time now. It was easier to see her when she wasn’t working full-time because we used to get our nails done together, but she is killing it at work. I’m proud of her.
Are you guys going to wear the shirts that I got you?
It’s going to be a huge surprise. I wear that shirt everywhere.
It is quite hilarious.
In fact, I sent someone a Snapchat in that shirt. I wore it too with my hot pink shorts to my kid’s doctor’s appointment one day. The pediatrician was like, “I love your shirt.” I was like, “Thanks. It’s one of my best friends. She no longer lives here. She sent it to us for our birthday.” She was like, “Us?” I was like, “There’s another person with a shirt too.” That was so awesome.
I was cracking up seriously so much.
I’m not going to lie. I’m contemplating wearing it although it’s going to be cold, so you won’t even get to see it. Maybe I’ll wear it over my sweatshirt and then I’ll wear socks over my leggings so you can wear socks too. Although I’m highly disappointed that my socks matched my shirt and Andy got a different base on her socks.
I messed that one up. Yours was also sent to the wrong house.
That was rough because my neighbor wasn’t answering the doorbell. I was like, “I know you have my stuff.”
Can we talk about how your neighbor had my face for a week before he realized it?
I had to leave a note on the windshield of their car to say, “I had a package accidentally delivered here. It’s for my birthday and I’m not sure it’s something you guys want to keep.” At that time, you were like, “I’m so excited.” I don’t know how I knew, but I knew exactly what it was. I was like, “I’m willing to bet it’s a shirt with her fucking face on it.” Lo and behold, it was a shirt with your face.
A long-distance best friend come out me.
I was like, “How funny is that?” I was thinking, “I should order a shirt for Brittney with mine and Andy’s faces on it.”
Every single time, I’m like, “I need to order one.” I forget and I’m like, “I need to freaking order one before you guys are going to be here.” Now, I waited too long.
That was my thought. I was like, “I’m going to look it up and order one and see, but it’s going to take too long to either get to me or you.” We could do it and have it shipped to you. It will get there while we’re there.
Who knows? People here steal stuff.
Also, with our luck, it will get there while we’re in Anchorage. We won’t have it until after.
If we don’t go out to a bar with all our shirts, are we really deep friends?
That would be true friendship. Now, we’re going to have to look it up and we can order you one. That’s so funny.
Only if it’s Andy’s space from my housewarming party back in Arizona. Do you know which one I’m talking about?
Is it the one with her tongue sticking out?
She would kill us.
She is going to read this. Sorry, Andy. It’s happening.
I used to be so not into Snapchat and now it’s all I use.
It’s weird because you never use Snapchat, but now, it’s like Snapchat central.
I know Andy doesn’t use it, so I don’t send her any Snapchats because she uses it for the filters. I take pictures and send them to somebody to talk to me when I’m bored. Usually, my friend Anthony who chimes in has conversations. He is engaged and lives in Florida. My conversations with Anthony are in-depth sexual. He is in touch with, “Have you had sex yet?” You would think he is a gay friend. He is not a gay friend. He is straight. He is engaged to a woman. He is into the, “Have you gotten laid yet?” I’m like, “No, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it happens.”
I’ll text you right before, like on Gilmore Girls, “Do you want me to tell you when it’s happening, before, or right after?”
It’s that weekend where once his face was going to come over and I sent you guys a message. I was like, “I’ve been talking to a friend from high school and he is supposed to come over.” Andy was like, “Ooh.” I was like, “I’m home. He won’t kill me. It’s fine. I’ve known him for twenty years. We’re good.” That next morning, I was like, “I got ghosted.” She was like, “What the heck?”
That’s probably one of the hardest parts because I know, at any instant, Andy could be at your house in fifteen minutes and vice versa. Her accident came up on my memories and I was like, “I remember you calling me in a panic multiple times. I didn’t have my phone on me. I cried.” I’m Brittney. I’m a crier. I called my mom and I was like, “I’m the worst friend. This is so sad. She didn’t even call me, but Christina called me and I didn’t have my phone.”
It’s one of those things where you, me, and Andy were there first together. You came in after that, so then we became a trio. Honestly, she would be the first person I would call if I got into an accident. I wouldn’t even call my parents first.
It wasn’t that she had called you. It was that I missed your call and I felt so bad. You were like, “It’s probably not. She is fine.” I was like, “No. I need to see her myself. I need to be a good friend. She got in an accident.” It ended up fine.
I was going to tell her I was trying to call you either because I was like, “I don’t want to make a scene. I don’t want her to be like, ‘Don’t make a scene, Christina.'” I didn’t want to make a scene and I was like, “Renee, hello? You’re not answering me.” I don’t know what to do. I have three children, plus Hayley, McKayla, and Ashlyn. I have to go take Haley to a birthday party and then I needed to take Andy to go get her rental car. I was like, “I can’t do this by myself,” although Ashlyn could have stayed with my children. I don’t think Ashlyn was home.
I don’t remember where she was, but I don’t think she was home.
She was at work because it was summertime.
I remember her being distraught and I was like, “What in the world?”
Imagine she called me and she was in a full-on panic. You don’t hear her that way ever. I grabbed all of my kids and bolted out the door. I was in surprise faster than I normally would have been. My kids were like, “Is Ms. Andy okay?” I was like, “I don’t know if she is okay because she hung up on me.” I never want to have to go through that again for anybody. They were fine and it was minor. She did end up going to the ER for whiplash. I’m glad they were okay, but I never want to have to experience that type of panic ever again, especially because now you’re not here.
I probably only have two people up here that I would be like, “Hey.” There are so many things that could happen. It’s slicker than shit outside from October to March.
That has to be a hard thing because you don’t have many close friends. You can’t just call Andy or me to be like, “I’m stuck. Can you please help me?” You have to call your husband.
I’m not going to lie. I would call you guys and be like, “This happens.” I could probably count as many people on my hand that I could call and be like, “I need help right now.”
I remember you getting stuck in your driveway and you were like, “Cody is here helping me get out of the driveway.”
He never came. It was our other friend.
I would think that he showed up to help you get out of the driveway. You sent us a picture of him shoveling snow in the driveway behind the bar.
That was another friend because I called him and I was to the point where I was crying. I was like, “I need help.” Cody couldn’t leave. That was the issue. It’s not that he wouldn’t leave. It’s he couldn’t leave. At that time, it was snowing and I was already late for work. I was frustrated and he couldn’t come. Our other friend was like, “I’ll be there.” He had gotten off mid-shift, so he was still awake, but he had shoveled his driveway from all of this. I was like, “I’m so sorry.” He was like, “It’s totally fine. I get it.”
He got stuck as well. My crossbar will drive. It should not get stuck, but it did. It’s one of those things. Moving away from people, you have to rely on other people way more than you would think. I was so blessed to have spun you guys as friends so early on in our assignment at Luke because had we been there for two years and then we leave, I don’t think our friendship would be the same.When you order a shirt for your friend with your face on it, that would be a true friendship. Click To Tweet
I don’t think so, either. We can be thankful to Andy for that.
I thought she hated me and then we worked together.
She met you at work. All of a sudden, we’re in a group chat together and I’m like, “What’s happening?” It went from there and then all of the hatred started.
That’s how it is. I remember feeling so excited. It was Andy. She was like, “Brit, if anything were to happen and I couldn’t go, you’re in charge of Hayley for emergency contact.” I was like, “I made it.”
She was like, “I’ve added you to the emergency contact for the kids.”
It was usually always you. I would sit back. I’m like, “One day, when I have my own kids’ spot.” That one day, she was like, “Yes, you tell us.” I was like, “I’m so happy.” Now that I say that out loud, I can see rolling her eyes and laughing. In messaging, I was like, “Seriously?”
Andy is still the emergency contact for my kids, even though Larry is back in town and when we were married because we lived out in surprise. She was closer if I needed her to do anything. Now, even though we’re on this side of town and she is working full-time and I know that if they called her, she could probably be like, “I’m out. I got to go get my best friend’s kids.” She comes before step-mama because even step-mommy’s contact information is not even listed for the kids. They’ll go down the line. Andy essentially is right after my mom. They’ll call me, my ex-husband, mom, Andy, and then dad. Dad can’t do anything because he is never in town.
I was like, “They get all the way to that point.”
My mom works for the school district, so I’m like, “Somebody could walk to her office and say, ‘Emergency, nobody is answering. Your grandkids need you.'” She made herself comfortable. That’s rude. My pillow will be hops.
It does that all the time. As soon as I wake up in the morning, she hops up. Especially with Cody on leave trying to get a moose, Bella will jump up and steal my pillow.
Is he hunting the week that we’re there too?
I thought he was hunting that week. If we get to see him, remind him he has to wear clothes.
I will attempt that. Our friends came over and I was like, “These people are coming over.” He was like, “Okay.” They knocked on our door and I was like, “Can you put some shorts on or something?” He legit grabbed a blanket and put it over himself. They came over for probably two hours.
Did he not get off the couch the entire time?
He won’t be able to do that while we’re there. He kept covering the webcam while it was setting up here.
He is in his underwear. He is clothed.
Underwear also has a peephole. I don’t need to see that as an accident. Apparently, it doesn’t matter where you live. Men still don’t wear clothes.
Although it is pretty funny when I come home and it’s negative 35 degrees outside, I’m like, “Are you a little cold there?” He is like, “Yes, it’s cold.”
Do you guys have your heat on all the time? I’m curious.
Not per se. We don’t have AC, but we need airflow.
You wouldn’t need AC. You have a fan running.
We have a fan running all the time, but we keep our house at 70. If it’s colder outside, then the heat will kick on, but if it’s warm outside, then we don’t use it. During the summer, we don’t use it, but we have to have air circulating for the dogs because that’s distress. That’s the worst part though, because we have to haul our own oil.
No, thank you. I would not survive.
It’s a culture change.
You and Autumn seem to be surviving fine. Autumn, especially, they’re all over the place over there.
They were fish out of water 100% in Arizona. Up here, they’re loving life.
I don’t doubt it.
When we went down for our week trip in July, we saw her. We went to breakfast or brunch. I remember looking at her and I was like, “You fit in up here. This is your deal.”
She looks happy. In her pictures that she posts, she looks different though too. She posted a picture of her and her friend. I was like, “That does not look like Autumn. Who is this person?” I’m excited to see her also when we come up.
She texted me. She was like, “When are you guys coming to Anchorage?” I was like, “We haven’t put titles on every day.”
I need to text her because I told her I would keep her updated when we land in Fairbanks and when we’re going to get to Anchorage because we’ll live from Anchorage. I’m excited to see her. We also have to figure out because the plan was to get a hotel in Anchorage while we were there. We have to maybe try to book that or figure out what we’re doing with that.
I’m so stoked. This is what we have planned. For everyone reading, by the time this episode comes goes live, we’ll already be in Alaska and doing all of this fun stuff. Andy wants to see the hot springs because it’s supposed to help you get pregnant. Whatever she said in chat, it’s rejuvenating or something like that, which I’m totally down for. I would love to see the hot springs and then we’re going to see ice caves.
There are two sets of ice caves. There’s one that I’ve been to before with mom and grandma. That one has a slide. It has a boring little intro, but then you go in and it’s super fun. The other one is out by Chena Hot Springs. We can probably double-team it that day. That one is a little bit bigger, but I don’t know what that one entails. I’ve also heard that there are glaciers that are fun too. We need to go there.
We can do glaciers too. We know what we’re doing in Fairbanks, but has anybody sat down and figured out what we’re doing in Anchorage?
I could tell you what we’re doing. We’re going to eat at Texas Roadhouse.
Why? I can eat at Texas Roadhouse here.
They don’t have one here.
I haven’t had Texas Roadhouse in a while. I’m down to have Texas Roadhouse in Anchorage. I can at least say, “I had Texas Roadhouse in Anchorage.”
Everything up here is the farthest north. The Walmart that’s here is the farthest-north Walmart. There’s no farther up in the States. You can’t find another Walmart farther than us. There’s a Denny’s that’s the farthest.
You made me question why we’re going.
It’s pretty and you can see Santa’s house.
I told the kids. I was like, “I’m going to North Pole to see Ms. Brittney.” They were like, “Are you going to see Santa?” I was like, “I might go see Santa. Do you guys want to do a Santa list and I can take it, drop it off, and send you pictures?” They were like, “Yes.” I was like, “I’ll talk to Ms. Brittney and Ms. Andy. Let’s see if we can go see Santa while we’re there.”
It’s super fun when we go if we can plan it around when Santa will be there. If you tell Santa the kids’ names, he will let you record him talking to the kids. He could do a video and he is like, “Hi. How is it going? I hope you’re eating your vegetables, listening to your mom and dad.” Also, I found this other place. We got to go to the Knotty Shop. We’ll let your readers try to figure out what that means. It’s not a sexual innuendo. I’m just saying it could be. There are shirts there that say, “The Knotty Girl.”
I don’t know because I haven’t been. I’m just taking your word for it.
Do you think I would walk you into a sex club?
I wouldn’t be surprised.
Although they did have the burlesque show when you guys were here, I would take you guys to it because it is awkward and fabulous all at the same time.
Maybe I’ll meet someone on the plane or in the airport.
I have a friend who wants to be a stepdad.
How old is he?
He’s got to be my age or older. Cody is two years older than me. My mom and dad were six years apart.
He is the man younger than me. Usually, the man is older than the woman.
What was it that Tim called you that rhymes with milk?
I got so many messages about that in that episode. He calls me with something that rhymes with milk. I’m like, “Yes, he did.”
You wear a shirt with my face on it. People, don’t think we’re lesbian lovers at this point. I don’t know what they’re going to think.
I’m curious what people say when I wear that shirt out in public. I worked at Costco one day.
You know all those women do it to their husband’s underwear or swimsuit. I did it for my best friend’s.
We were going to order our own anyways for the airport. You just happened to beat us to it. Now, I’m trying to find something else to do so that when we get off the plane and into the airport, it’s super exciting and embarrassing at the same time.
I should get a sign that says, “Welcome. You’ve entered rehab.” I would ice you guys, but that would make my stomach hurt.
That will give me a headache. You can provide us with vodka and lemonade. I will drink that if I’m not already drunk from the bar at an hour layover in Seattle. I also have to work while I’m on the plane. I promised my boss that while I’m flying, I connect to Wi-Fi and at least answer emails and my team. I take Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday without anybody needing me at all. When I’m on my flight to and from, I’m sitting on the flight anyways. I was like, “I can log in and do what I need to do anyways. I’m just sitting there. It’s not like I have anything else to do.”
Real talk, are you guys going to bring me Chipotle?
You can’t get food past security unless Seattle has a Chipotle.
I’ve heard that they do, but then I’ve also heard that they don’t. I don’t think an hour is a long enough time to go through the whole airport in Seattle.
It depends on when we land there, though. If we land early or on time, we might have time to at least be like, “Does anyone know where the Chipotle is?” If it’s too far, then we can go.
A crazy friend in Fairbanks wants Chipotle.
If we get there late, we won’t have time because it’s only an hour so we’ll have to pick from and it depends. Are we getting from one side of the airport to the other? We don’t know. I hate layovers. Layover is driving me insane because usually, my layovers are okay. You have to get from one side of the airport to the other. If we’re flying the same airline, why can’t we stay in the same city? That’s my issue. I flew into Denver one time and I had to go like, “I almost missed my flight because it took me 45 minutes to get from one side to the next.” Plus, my flight was late.
The only time that we’ve ever had that happen, we were coming back from a school trip. I was a freshman in high school. They held the plane for us because we had most of the seats. Our group was half the plane like, “We’re not going to do this for that.”
I haven’t been on a plane since July of 2014. I haven’t left the state since then, so I’m pretty excited. I’m going to try to plan a trip to Florida to see my friend Anthony because he has been asking me to go visit. Plus, I have another friend in Florida, Samantha, that I would like to see. I’m at that point where I have five days without my kids and I work remote. I could easily travel, work on the plane one day, work on a different time zone the next day, and still have time to do whatever the fuck I wanted. It’s just I don’t have the money to do it.
People were posting on the spouse’s page up here. We could fly from Fairbanks to Dublin, Ireland for $120 round trip.
That would be so nice. I don’t have a passport.
They’ve been doing all the things.
Our flight to Alaska was pretty cheap. Probably, it’s $300 round trip. Now, if I wanted to fly back East, that’s a $700 flight. We’re basically going overseas to get to you.
Technically, this is a remote location.
I don’t understand why it’s so cheap, but maybe it’s because nobody is flying there.