February 25, 2005

SWEET

Life. Is. Good.

So I woke up this morning to the wonderful sound of my husband getting online, which incidentally is the Futurama theme song. (Now any time I hear it, I have this Pavlovian response where my heart goes "Husband?". But I digress.) My husband woke me up, which is cool.

But no, he's not in Kuwait.

Anyway, then he called later too, which was excellent. He's so bored, since his transfer of authority was like a week ago. So twice in one day, awesome.

Some things today were not so awesome though, like the fact that we live on an Army post where you can't buy green thread. Nope. None. What on earth? How am I supposed to change his insignia to Black Diamond if I can't buy green thread? Shouldn't that be the most obvious color for Clothing and Sales to offer? Nothing in the military is black or white, but those are the colors they sell. Sheesh.

By the way, Black Diamond is really fun to say, in a super-dramatic voice.

So I went to get the mail this evening, and the yarn I've been waiting for for like, oh, say, two and a half months just arrived. And then I stopped by the Shopette to rent a movie, and there was nothing good to rent, so I was wandering around aimlessly and managed to run smack dab into a display of South Park Season 5. Wha? When I called yesterday, they didn't have any. But now they do...

Yarn? Check. South Park Season 5? Check. Illness subsiding? Check.

And then, as I sat down to write this post, the husband got online again. Thrice in one day.

I'm walkin' on sunshine, woa-oh-oh!

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February 24, 2005

STUPID

I have this stupid personality trait where I hate taking medicine. I don't know why I hate it so much, but I end up like I am today: it's my fourth day of being sick and I couldn't figure out why I felt so crappy, and then I remembered that I haven't taken any medicine. My mom and I are constantly having this dumb conversation where I say I feel bad and then she says, "Well, did you take any medicine?" and I irritably answer, "No." And then I wonder why I feel bad. I don't know why I do that, it's so dumb, but I do it all the time. It's probably because I don't really think it works. Last night I took NyQuil and two Tylenol PM and I was still awake.

But now, you know, fourteen hours later, I can barely hold my head up straight. Maybe the stuff is finally kicking in. Anyways, I just took some DayQuil and opened a Coke, so maybe that will jolt my eyelids open. Or at least help me stop breathing out of my mouth. I can't even concentrate on knitting today, so you know I must be on death's doorstep.

So the SITREP is still the same as yesterday: I'm still sick and the husband still isn't in Kuwait.

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February 23, 2005

WIFEING

Wifeing: showering one's husband with attention and doing the little things that wives do for husbands (e.g. feed, clothe, clean, and take care of)

The thing that's been hardest these last two months is not wifeing. I love wifeing. At least while my husband was gone I could send letters and treats and tokens of affection. When the mail stopped, I stopped being able to properly wife. It kills me that I can't do anything for my husband right now. I can't even open his foot locker! I have all of this wifeing building up inside of me that I won't get to use for another three weeks.

I have to keep reminding myself not to smother Red 6. I'm not his wife. If he'd let me, I'd be washing all of his laundry, sewing his uniforms, and being glued to his hip. At least he lets me cook for him, but only when I beg him.

I just want my husband home so I can wife him.

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WEIRD

My sickness is moving backwards. Have you ever heard of starting with deep coughs and filled lungs and then moving to a runny nose and sore throat? Isn't that backwards? I can't figure this out.

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February 21, 2005

SNAP OUT OF IT

While I was at Red 6's welcome home ceremony yesterday, my husband left a message on the answering machine. He's now "acting commander" for his entire battalion in Iraq: he's the highest ranking person still in sector. Everyone else is home or already in Kuwait. My biggest sorrow is that those 86 soldiers will be totally forgotten when they arrive here in March. No one will even remember there's a war on.

But when Mrs. Sims leaves a comment on your pity-party post, it's time to cowboy up.
Life could be a lot rougher.

Red 6 and I had a great time catching up. It's wild that the minute he stepped into our house, it was like he never left. How many times have I cooked dinner while he watched Futurama? (Granted, he was always watching with my husband, but still.) It felt like a time warp, like nothing had changed and like it was only last week that I'd seen him on the sofa.

It's good to know that some things never change.


MORE TO GROK:

I still can't get over her comment. She would have been completely justified to start with "Listen here, you whiny bitch...", but she's as polite as can be. She is trying to make me feel better! I will never be able to put into words how amazing I think this woman is.

Red 6 always says that I'm the perfect Army wife. I can only hope to be half the woman that Mrs. Sims is.

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February 18, 2005

PHONE CALL

My husband called tonight; it was the first time we've talked on the phone since Christmas Eve. It was great to hear him, though the static and delay reminded us why we never use the phones. He said he was bored -- amazingly enough, it's the first time he's used that word since he got to Iraq. He seemed in very good spirits, and my favorite bit of the conversation was when he said that his soldiers keep asking him if he has any more news about their departure. He said he keeps replying with jokes like "well, we might have to hunt Easter eggs inside the tank, but we should be home by Mother's Day, so buy a gift." Glad to see they're making the best of a crap situation.

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February 16, 2005

BUT YOU DID NOT COME

In honor of Annika's poetry Wednesday, I offer a selection from This Is My Beloved, my favorite book of poetry of all time. It was my grandmother's book, and I used to read it sneakily in her house and titter at some of the more intimate passages. When my grandmother moved into a nursing home and whittled her belongings down to one cabinet, I got the book. Now that I am older, I no longer titter. I could read this book a hundred times -- I have -- and still find new delights. Today's passage reflects my mood...

                I waited years today . . . one year for every hour,
all day -- though I knew you could not come till night
I waited . . . and nothing else in this God's hell meant anything.

I had everything you love -- shellfish and saltsticks . . . watercress,
black olives. Wine (for the watch I pawned), real cream
for our coffee. Smoked cheese, currants in port, preserved wild cherries.

I bought purple asters from a pushcart florist and placed them where
they would be between us --
imagining your lovely face among them . . .

But you did not come . . . you did not come.
You did not come. And I left the table lit and your glass filled --
and my glass empty . . . and I went into the night, looking for you.

The glittering pile, Manhattan, swarmed like an uncovered dung heap.
Along the waterfront
manlike shapes all shoulders and collar walked stiffly like shadow figures.

Later, the half-moon rose.
                                        Everywhere the windows falling dark.
By St. Mark's church, under the iron fence, a girl was crying. And the old
steeple was mouldy with moonlight, and I was tired . . . and very lonely.

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START OVER

When I was chatting with my husband last night, all I could think about was him. He's the one who's devastated that he's not coming home when he thought he would, and he's the one who's ten days longer from toilets, showers, kisses, and rangoons. I honestly was completely focused on his needs...until I was getting ready for bed and realized that all of my friends except one will be snuggling with their husbands this weekend. And I will have three weeks where I have no one to hang out with, no one to be sad with, and no one who still feels like there's a war on. Except for my one friend whose husband will stay as long as mine, and thank heavens I have her. She reminded me last night of what Tim called THE POWER, and she made me laugh that Bunker had told me not to count down on the same day that we realized the count would be different.

Oh, and Red 6 will be here. It sounded like fun to hang out with Red 6 for a week before my own husband got home, but now that I know there will be three weeks between their arrivals, it doesn't seem that fun anymore. On Monday I felt happy for wives whose husbands come home soon. I don't feel so happy for them today, but I am going to try to work on that. Even though mine will be the only soldier-less house on the block, I still will be waiting for the best soldier in the Army to come home. (Best white soldier, huh Kel?)

So I crawled into bed last night with a bowl of ice cream and finished State of Fear. It was a great book. And today is a new day, and my husband comes home in the middle of March. The old arrival date goes down the memory hole and we start fresh. If Tim could do it, so can I.

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February 15, 2005

LESSON

When I lived in France, I developed an enormous crush on this boy at my school. I got all fluttery when he was around, I always tried to find a way to work him into conversations with my friends, and my eyes were constantly on him whenever he was in the hall. For four months, I turned into a mess of butterflies whenever he was around. And then one day he was gone.

I never even spoke to him.

I know nothing about this boy. I don't even know if he was French or an exchange student like me. I don't know what classes he was taking or where he lived or what his name was or anything. And by the time I had worked up the courage to even think about talking to him, he was gone. I have no idea what happened to him, but I never saw him again for the remaining six months of my time in France.

When I realized that my friendship with my husband was turning into something more than friendship, I knew I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So I flat out told him one night, told him that I really liked him and that I was starting to think about him all the time, and asked him how he felt. He was quite taken aback, and that's when he gave his famous "well, I like you, but I'm not going to marry you or anything" line. He wasn't quite sure what to think, but he slept on it (for two weeks!) and finally told me that he wanted to be with me too.

That was five years ago today.

I still wonder about that boy in France. Maybe he was irritating, boring, or rude. Maybe he could've turned out to be a really special guy. I'll never know, but I'm grateful for the lesson he taught me. I wouldn't be with my husband today if I hadn't told him how I felt. I learned that taking a risk can be a beautiful thing.

I'll never forget that giddy moment five years ago, sitting on the floor in my husband's dorm room and deciding that we were going to give us a shot.

Greatest moment of my life.
I miss you, husband.

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February 14, 2005

A SHOW OF MY LOVE

Dear Husband,

A song for you on this special day...

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash

I choo-choo-choose you.

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A YEAR

365 days
215 letters
98 IMs
18 phone calls
2 halves of a broken heart

2-3 weeks until I see this smiling face again.

husband.jpg

We're almost there, husband.
2 squeezes

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February 12, 2005

CAN OF WORMS

I said last week that our Rear D is doing a stellar job. Well, I just hit a stupid snag that opened up a whole can of worms.

I have Red 6's car. And his car keys, house keys, and cell phone. I check on his apartment, I get his mail, I help arrange his vacation plans, and I even have made hotel reservations for one of his soldiers. Whatever, I'm a helpful girl. But I realized at the FRG meeting that I need to be notified when he arrives in Germany because he won't be able to tell me himself. Each wife gets a call roughly six hours before her husband gets home, but we only get notified when our husbands arrive, not when other planes of our battalion's soldiers get in. So I asked to get a phone call when Red 6 arrives, so I can welcome him home, give him his car, and let him into his house.

And I got a nasty look like I was arranging something lewd.

Look, I know there are some skanky men and women around here, but I'm not doing anything gross, and it kinda stung that that was the immediate reaction I got. Especially when the Rear D already knows that I have Red 6's car because I had to pick up his registration from them last spring. After the initial condescending look and hesitation, I reminded them that Red 6 has no way of getting home or getting into his house unless I am there for him, and they agreed to call me. I was a little taken aback, but whatever.

I mentioned this story to my husband yesterday, just as a "check out what happened to me" sort of deal, and he went ballistic. My husband is not a ballistic sort of person. He got so mad that Red 6's company was treating me bad when I was doing so much for their own soldiers, and he said he was going to do something about it. Oh crap.

So I got a message from Red 6 today that he had talked to the husband and was mad too, that he had talked to the First Sergeant and told him to ream the FRL, etc, etc, etc. So now I've gotten someone in trouble when that wasn't my intention at all. Sure, I was a little peeved that someone insinuated that I was being a whore, but that's not the first time our close relationship with Red 6 has brought me that sort of treatment. He's my husband's best friend. That makes him my best friend. And if you think I'm gonna have an affair with someone who thinks chugging tobasco is a smart move, you're off your rocker.

The sad thing is that our most recent battalion newsletter called for "designated huggers", for wives to volunteer to come to the ceremonies and welcome home single soldiers, not just their own husbands. I thought it was a great idea, and one darling wife had a t-shirt made that says Designated Hugger. But if the Rear D is going to treat us like hookers when we ask to be informed of single soldiers' arrivals, then what's the point of asking for huggers? It makes no sense to me. Either they trust us to show our soldiers respect and admiration, or they ask us not to come. But don't ask us to be huggers and then smirk at us when we roger that.

I help Red 6 and his soldiers because I want to show all soldiers that I love and appreciate them. They all deserve to have someone there to pick them up and buy them a beer. I hate that I got leered at when I asked to do our best friend a favor, but I also hate that I got someone in trouble, because I don't want to look like the officer's wife went and complained she was being treated badly. Ugh.

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February 10, 2005

GRUMPY

I have a couple of things I want to blog about, but to be honest I've been feeling too grumpy lately. Today was just one of those days where everything went wrong: I drove to the next post to re-register our car and realized that I had left my ID in the pocket of my gym sweatshirt. So I drove all the way home and back, only to find that they close for lunch, which they failed to mention when I called for their hours. I got the car registered and then went to drop the dog's stuff off at my friend's house; naturally I had forgotten her key. And so on. Just one of those days.

But it's more than just that: I can tell that I am getting irritable with the end of the deployment. My husband has been on ten billion long-term missions before, but the one this week seriously irks me. I'm grumpy that 1-77 returned from Iraq after only 361 days. I nearly ripped some heads off last night at the FRG meeting; why would you attend a briefing on the redeployment schedule and then just sit there and loudly gossip with the wife next to you, making it impossible for others to hear the guest speaker even when she was using a microphone?

I'm finally tired of the deployment. Thank heavens I've only felt this way for a week; I can't imagine being one of those people who's felt this way all year.

They say PTSD and Combat Operational Stress can include loss of motivation, crying spells, and irritability. Chalk me up as a sufferer.

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February 09, 2005

SWEET

Lex: "Did it ever occur to you that maybe the hero of the story is Segeth?"
Best ending line in a Smallville ever.

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February 08, 2005

EWW

Yesterday I came home from the middle school all fired up to write. I sat in on some classes, and I think 7th graders aren't as scary as I'd imagined. I had some observations that I was going to post -- nothing too riveting -- when I walked in the house to find a big old mess.

I'm still dogsitting, and the dog had gotten sick all over the rug. I couldn't even tell which end it had come from! I borrowed my friend's steam vac and cleaned it all up, and then dumped the dog in the tub for a bath. And immediately after his bath, he threw up again. It was a long, disgusting evening.

Lately my husband and I have had the worst timing. He logged online while I was wrestling with the dog in the tub. Two nights ago I heard him log on and I jumped up so fast I dumped my drink all over the recliner. Last week the phone rang six times during our ten minute chat.

I think we just need to talk face to face instead. And maybe wait a little while until we get our own puppy.

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February 03, 2005

DONE

I started working at the education center at the same time as the counselor's aide and the ed tech. When the counselor's aide quit, the ed center chipped in and got her a $100 gift card. When the ed tech quit, the ed center got her an engraved silver serving platter. When I quit yesterday, I got squat. Nothing. Not even a card. And no one even came to my office to say goodbye.

To quote Daily Kos: "Screw 'em."

The socialists can keep their little ed center; I'm movin' on to greener pastures. Next Monday I am going to start sitting in on classes at the high school to get a feel for the teaching style, and then we go from there. I'm actually a little nervous about making the jump from college to high school, so hopefully sitting in on classes can put me more at ease.

Wish me luck.

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February 02, 2005

EXCRUCIATING

For some reason tonight, when I looked out at our piles and piles of snow, the phrase "now is the winter of our discontent" came to mind. Google helped me find this translation of Richard III, which had me in stitches.

When BG Hertling said that the last month of the deployment would be the worst, I really didn't believe him. I thought it would be just like any other month, but I have eaten my words. This past week has been excruciating. Theoretically, my husband comes home in exactly one month.

And now is the winter of my discontent.

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