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I Can’t Think About Afghanistan when I’m Busy with Painting and Exercise and Polka Dot Dresses.

April 18, 2012

So I cannot, from my head, erase the things I know I need to do.  I’ve swept them into a discombobulated pile — tucked somewhere behind the dusty corners of my right temple, I figure, because that’s where I wake up with a headache every morning.

Or maybe it’s because I clench my jaw at night.

Either way, these things won’t move.

And they weigh.

And rather than tackle them head-on and one-at-a-time like any normal, functioning, proactive adult, I sweep.  And I stare.  And I think.  And I watch episodes from Season 1 of Felicity on Netflix and analyze my sister’s love life on the phone and eat artichoke for dinner 2 nights in a row.

Clearly, I have problems.

Unlike the last time Justin was out-of-town when I got all productive and inspired and finishy, this is one of those other times.  Those times when I know I can stretch that dirty pair of jeans out one more day — when I think that a disgustingly filthy post-road trip car makes the appropriate statement to the world that I don’t give a sh*t — when I tell myself that watching Felicity is good for my nostalgic mental health.

And all I can think really, intelligibly, is that I hope this isn’t a preview of that will come when he’s gone for much, much longer later this year.

Of everything that happens.  Mentally.  Emotionally.  The stuff that military spouses talk about but never really talk about.

The fact that I relish being alone.

And the fact that I hate being alone.

That I miss being touched.

That sometimes I don’t want anyone to touch me.

The way the leftovers are still in the fridge when I want them.

The way leftovers spoil in the fridge because I never eat them.

That this would be so much easier if I had kids to keep me company.

That ohmygod I could not handle effectively being a single mother for months at a time.

No way.

So I know, when the time comes, I need to gear up for productive mode.  That lethargy simply isn’t acceptable.  That I need to spend those 4 months painting the front porch.  Remodeling my bathroom.  Advancing my freelance career.  Taking Spanish lessons.  Or French lessons.  Or both.  Growing some arm muscles.  Revamping this website.  Learning how to make a proper gin martini while wearing vintage polka dot dresses and red high heels.


Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same thing.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 8:42 am

    This is an awesome post! Although I am not a military wife I completely feel the same way about some of the things you said. I weirdly want to be alone and can’t stand being alone at the same time, as well as the miss being touched but don’t touch me! lol. It’s kind of a tough thing to handle sometimes. My leftovers always spoil and I like to think I’m that sexy girl making a martini in a vintage polka dot dress with red high heels – but I’m not anywhere close to that ;)

    Thanks for the fun morning read!

    • April 18, 2012 9:52 am

      Ha, good point! You definitely don’t need to be a military spouse to understand the fickleness of being a woman.

      And we all like to think we’re that sexy girl. ;)

  2. April 18, 2012 2:03 pm

    I’m still waiting to be grown up enough to be elegant enough to be that polka dot wearing, martini mixing woman!

    And I’m beginning to think finishing details are a special talent I don’t have…and I know the finishing gene is not something my hubby has, so we SHOULD be compatible in that way, but it’s still jaw-clenching material.

    Seriousness: You military spouses and families deserve our never-ending thanks alongside your military personnel loved ones that you have to give up and worry about for months at a time. It takes an amazing person.

    • April 20, 2012 8:14 am

      Trust me, you are. The dress does all of the work. ;)

      Not finishing. I should get an award for that. And yes, the fact that neither of you (or us) are good at it, just causes more stress.

      Not amazing. Just… floating along. Like everyone. :)

  3. April 18, 2012 10:50 pm

    I promise you: If you have babies, you will never be alone with him/her for 4 months. You will have 2 grandmothers, and some aunts and uncles, probably more than you would like!

  4. April 19, 2012 1:01 am

    What a thought provoking post – I just wanted to say that while my spouse doesn’t live away – I can, on some level, relate to what you are saying.
    I just don’t know how you girls do it – I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have them away from you. I think keeping occupied would be the only thing that would keep me sane – but then I’d probably just spend all my time watching cooking shows and doing nothing – just waiting for him to come home.
    Stay strong and keep sharing – I love your blog :)

    • April 20, 2012 8:15 am

      I think every woman might be able to relate to some of that – military spouse or not. We’re complicated creatures. :)

      Thanks for reading! These comments make my day.

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