For the next 21 days, I will be playing the role of lonely Army wife pining away for her scruffy, broad-shouldered soldier. First of all, let’s be clear. Twenty-one days ain’t shit. It’s like a long weekend for us. After 4 deployments, I laugh in the face of a 21-day TDY. I always have mixed feelings about separations, though. We’re clearly not teenagers anymore, so I suppose a touch of emotional maturity gives me the ability to see the positive aspects of these situations. I haven’t the time nor the motivation to sit around and feel sorry for myself, cry in a pillow, and sniff his dirty shirt. Life goes on, especially when it’s only 3 weeks.
The best part about separations, hands down, is the coming home part. Not very many couples get to experience seeing each other for the first time over and over and over again. It’s fun. It’s exciting. You get to stress over finding the perfect outfit to wear when you pick him up from the airport. You get to remember what it feels like to have butterflies in your tummy, sweaty palms, and raunchy homecoming sex. That’s pretty sweet.
There are other things. Things like getting projects done that have been sitting at the bottom of the priority list for months because you’re too busy doing fun stuff to really care that you have an embarrassing amount of laundry you’ve allowed to accumulate, weeds in the garden, walls that desperately need some repainting, and vinyl siding that is screaming for a good pressure washing. Oh, and during the course of all that “fun stuff” and enabling each other’s piss-poor habits, you’ve also managed to pack on an extra 5 pounds.
Now, this particular TDY is going to be interesting. Sarge will probably be coming home a little bruised up, exhausted, and at least 15 pounds lighter. Without saying too much, this is going to be one of those Army experiences that rip his manhood out of his body, stomp on it, chew it up, spit it out, toss it in a pit of rabid Saint Bernards, and demand he dive in to get it back. All in the name of being a better soldier. Or some such nonsense. All it means to me is that I’m going to spend the next 3 weeks feeling guilty about everything I put in my mouth, every extra 5 minutes of sleep I get, luxuries like food, toilet paper, personal hygiene, and freedom. Oh, and I will not have any communication with him at all between now and October 11. This is going to get weird, folks.
All this means is that (1) I need to keep myself busy and (2) I REALLY need to get shit done because if I don’t, it just will not get done- EVER.
So, in no particular order, these are the things that need to get done by October 11:
1. The living room and stairwell need to be repainted. I’m crossing my fingers that Lowe’s can match the paint so I can just do touch-ups and not really have to repaint the whole thing. I really really hate house decorating crap.
2. Gardens need to get weeded, new pine straw put down, and Turf Builder for the grass.
3. Shutters need to be repainted and siding pressure washed.
4. Learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons because I promised Jake I would play with him.
5. Lose 10 5…grrr….okay, 7 pounds. That’s a good, random number.
6. Straighten that one crooked light on the house next to the garage door that’s been crooked for weeks but I’ve been too lazy to reach up and straighten it.
7. Sweep the spider webs and leaves off the front porch because, evidently, people don’t like my pet spiders I’m keeping on the front porch. Stupid people.
8. Get a haircut because, if I don’t, I’ll wind up letting it grow out to some ridiculously unkempt length again.
9. Finish reading my book about Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s captivity in North Korea.
10. Get the boys’ CAT-5 tests ordered at the very least, completed and sent for grading would be totally hardcore.
So, there we go. Goals. I have goals. Hmmm…..goals are fine. As long as they’re not obligations. I don’t do well with obligations. Goals is a better word, so I’ll stick with that. Now if I can just wrap my brain around the concept of having absolutely no contact with the Sarge for the next 3 weeks…..I have a lot of trouble with sensory deprivation. A LOT of trouble…..