As military spouses, we have to face all kinds of challenges. Sometimes, the most monumental milestones and trials occur when we are separated from our spouse thanks to training, school, or even deployment.
Can I confess that sometimes, it's actually the smallest things that caused me the most righteous of my freak-outs?
Maybe it's because when a child needs surgery, your water breaks or the major appliances conspire against you in your spouse's absence, you truly don't have time for a righteous freak-out. Or, maybe it's because we hold so much in during those weeks that turn into months, one little pin prick in our tightly filled balloon means a ginormous POP!
Whatever the reason, I have to confess that the anniversary of one of my most embarrassing reactions is fast approaching. Maybe you've heard of this date which lives in infamy?? It's a little day called Valentine's Day...ah, yes...the hallmark of all Hallmark holidays. A day which many treat like a second Christmas while others barely acknowledge its passing.
In our house, it's treated with a traditional shrug, the exchange of cards and perhaps some chocolate. And, at Hubs' job, they bring in roses for the guys to buy to take home from their shift so I usually rate some posies too. So, you could see where Hubs might get the idea that Valentine's Day is no big deal. It comes less than a month after my birthday and it arrived about a month before he was due home.
For some reason, however, my subconscious had apparently decided that the level of Hubs' devotion and affection would be measured by this one day on the calendar. A day we hadn't even really discussed and one which barely receives a nod when he's home. But, somewhere in the recesses of my mind...this Valentine's Day was monumental. It meant something and I went HOG WILD. Hubs received a big, old care package in plenty of time for his Happy Heart Day.
And, what did I receive?
Big. Fat. NOTHING.
No card. No phone call. No candy. Not even a rushed e-mail. Not. One. Thing.
My normal reaction to something like this would be a good natured ribbing of Hubs. In my fragile, double digit countdown days of deployment, however, I was devastated. I irrationally questioned the strength of my marriage over the lack of a card with a shiny foil heart. I stewed over the absence of even a thank you for the box of goodies I sent him...after all, shouldn't that have been enough to remind him he needed to do something?!
Ah, yes. I'm not proud of it. Even now, the image of my swollen eyes and snotty nose makes me cringe. I was the MilSpouse who had conquered anything the home front could throw at me and had braved my first experience in international travel (solo no less!) for a 2.75 day booty call in some land time forgot...and THIS was what would crush me!?
I'm not proud to admit it, but it did hurt. More, I'm sure, than it would have hurt had I been thinking clearly.
The moral of the story is this: Nothing is normal during deployment. Everything is normal during deployment. Some things are important; most others aren't. Many times, it will be hard to tell the difference.
Please tell me I'm not alone...has anyone else had a mental meltdown over something as silly as Hubs treating something the same while he's away as he does when he's home?
I'm anxious to read I'm not the only one!!