I was thinking about that Destiny’s Child song, talking about how they “need a soldier.” And I got news for ‘em. You don’t want one. It’s not fun. Trust me. I love my soldier-husband, but these days, they eventually have to do some soldiering. And this time that means Iraq.
I thought I’d sufficiently prepared myself for the future. I had my game face on, my mind at peace and my heart sufficiently hardened.
And then I went to the store, and all my steely resolve crumbled.
Walking into the PX, there is a stack of Walking into the PX, there is a stack of Gorilla footlockers there to greet customers right up front. They’re kinda like a hardcore, plastic version of those trunks we all took to college. There were other things around, Hooahs (They’re like the Army version of baby wipes – lame, I know) and various products they would need when they left. And when we drive on-post now, there are huge crates lining the sides of the roads. The crates they use to pack up their stuff and ship it to Iraq. I knew all along they would be leaving soon, but now there’s real physical evidence that he’s going to be gone for a year. And just when we were really starting to like each other.
It’s taken me almost this entire year we’ve been together to get into the swing of this marriage thing. And it’s been work. And I’m the person who has said many times that I don’t like to work hard unless I’m getting paid. See part of the problem? I’m a weird mixed breed of personalities. I need lots of attention but I’m a loner. I tell it like it is, but my feelings are easily hurt. I’m a control freak, but I don’t like making all the decisions. And for those of you who know me, when you put all that together, I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I tend to come across as rude. I’ve had to work on not being the person who walks into the room and starts asking for stuff before saying hello. Or asking about taking the recycleables out before saying good morning. It’s not that I’m TRYING to being rude, my mind is just always racing, thinking about the next thing that needs to be done, and sometimes that other stuff just comes out before my sense of decency has time to catch up.
I’m also a creature of habit. I like to do the same things, at the same time, in my own special way, everyday. When I lived alone, the routine was set: Come home. Walk Taz. Take 30-minute nap with the TV on, waking up just in time to catch Girlfriends reruns. Cook. Eat. Talk on phone. Shower. Talk on phone. Sleep.
I wasn’t really used to having someone in my space, messing up my flow. Only it wasn’t MY space anymore. It was ours. And I couldn’t just turn the TV off just because there was a game playing or turn up Avril Lavigne real loud when I was in one of my moods because now I had to be respectful of someone else. Plus, I’m irritable. And it doesn’t take much irritate me – bad hair day, fat day, can’t-find-the-right-outfit day – is enough to set me off. But I’ve been working on those things. I’ve gotten to the point where if I’m out somewhere and he’s at home, I’m EXCITED to get home to him, even if we aren’t going to be doing anything. When it’s 11:45, I get a little grin on my face because I know he’ll be stopping by for lunch at any moment.
And now he’s leaving. And I don’t feel like I can really talk to anyone about it.
Where I live this is life. It’s the norm. These people have been through this 3,4,5,6 or more times, but this is my first time. I’m nobody special here; my situation is not unique. So I’m feeling like, why burden somebody with real problems? And “outsiders” really don’t get it because they’ve never been through it. Hell, I don’t even “get it” yet. It’s easy for them to just say oh, no and move right on to the next thing because they’re not living it. And for those who ARE living it, who have kids to deal with, who have to play both parents to children who just want to know why daddy keeps leaving, I’m just another whiny new wife who thinks the world revolves around her. So I don’t say anything. I just go on like everything is OK, which I guess it is right now. But how about after sleeping in bed alone for a month? Or what about when I hear someone has been hurt or worse? I try not to think about it, but it’s so close it’s hard not to worry, and it’s hard to stay strong all the time.
My intention in starting this blog was just to write about how I feel about things, and keep my friends up to date on the happenings with me. I never wanted to be an “Army wife” blog about how hard it is during the deployment, and oh, woe is me. But the truth is, no matter how much I hate the term, I am an Army wife. And sometimes, that’s all I’m going to think about. So bear with me friends.
And if you want to help me feel better, send me tapes of the new seasons of all the new shows. Cause you know we ain’t got cable.