I've had some very interesting conversations lately. Air Force Guy is not getting ready for a deployment right now (as if anything is ever set in stone in this lifestyle), but we do know that he will be spending the rest of the year TDY.
This is the first time we've had an extended TDY that is not a deployment while living in a civilian community. And the results and explanations coming out of this have been very interesting, to say the least.
Since AFG will be gone but not deployed, and I am currently surrounded by non-military people who don't know what a TDY is, I have chosen to inform them (when necessary) that AFG will be "leaving". This has led to several quite funny incidents.
A typical conversation might go like this:
friend: "We're doing sign ups for the Girl Scout trips next year - can you fill out this form as to your availability?"
me: "Well, are other kids allowed on the trip? My husband is leaving next month and I won't have access to childcare as often."
friend: "Leaving? I never would have guessed - you all seemed so happy together. Oh. Um, well, I know how hard these things are for the children. We understand if you aren't able to help out in a time like this."
friend: "Well, we've had several families break up - it seems to be an epidemic now. So sad."
me: "We're not getting divorced! He has military duty out of state!"
friend: "Oh. Has he been to Iraq before?"
me: "Yes! But he's not going there right now! He's got temporary duty stateside!"
friend: "I'm sure you're glad to have that all over with, too. Thank goodness you don't have to worry about that anymore. That's not bad at all, then."
me: "Well, just because he's not going NOW doesn't mean he won't go again. He's kind of been agitating to get back."
Trust me, it goes on and on. I'm thinking about packing flow charts with me in my purse so that I can have a ready visual to try to explain to people exactly what is going on when they feel the need to know. I also spend a lot of time trying not to bust into laughter at some of the assumptions - because I have yet to encounter someone where we live now that is not truly interested in being as helpful as possible. The misunderstandings are usually of the "trying to be helpful, but not sure how" type.
In fact, some people try to be helpful by pointing out the silver linings as they see them - I should probably point them over to Sarah's thread on the matter!
Actually, I think I might just point them to SpouseBUZZ in general, particularly those posts where people leave their own stories in the comments section. I'm thinking that might just be one of the funniest things in the world to try and explain!