After Jeremy and I returned to San Diego as Mr. & Mrs. our first task was to get me registered as his wife in the system and for us to start looking for a place to live.
After we went to base and spent a few hours getting enrolled in DEERS and Tricare, Jeremy officially had a “dependent”; which meant he qualified for a housing allowance and was allowed to move out of the barracks!
We decided that we wanted to live somewhere between where I was going to school in San Diego, and where he was stationed at Camp Pendleton…which are about 50 miles apart.
We also wanted someplace cheap, since he was a low-ranking enlisted Marine and I was going to school full-time and working a part-time minimum wage job.
We decided on Escondido, CA
It met all of our criteria, being the fact that it was cheap (aka ghetto lol) and between my school and his job. (We found out later that it was actually a much longer commute for him because of the traffic. It would take me about 20-30 minutes and him at least an hour. Poor guy!)
So in April 2009, 2 months after we got married (and Jeremy finally started seeing his housing allowance in his paycheck), we moved into our first place together!
It was a small 1-bedroom apartment and for the first month it contained only a futon and a TV. The reason being that I wasn’t going to be able to move in until May when my lease was up and I owned most of our furniture since Jeremy had been living in the barracks.
After I moved in, the apartment didn’t look too much better. If you can imagine a poor college student with hand-me-down furniture and a Marine with no possessions other than clothes and a TV combining their assets into a home…that’s what it looked like.
We bought a dresser for Jeremy off Craigslist, along with a $60 table from a garage sale and a $40 couch. Our old BOX TV sat on a hand-me-down chest from my Dad and we only had 1 nightstand. Our pots and pans and dishes were hand-me-downs from my Mom (who took the opportunity of their daughter getting married to buy themselves new dishware and give me the old stuff lol).
We barely had anything, but we had everything we needed.
I have fond memories of that apartment. Of that crappy couch and old TV. We didn’t have much money to go out so we would spend most nights snuggled up on the couch watching movies together.
I learned to cook for 2 in that apartment, and I set off the smoke alarm more than a few times.
We snuggled up next to each other every night in that tiny full-size bed, just happy to be able to be together finally.