So, here I am trudging along through a deployment. I have a busy schedule, I'm battling insomnia (as usual) so I'm tired most of the time, and I've had a lot of things on my mind.
Then I turn on the TV to watch a movie and I see... it. Yes, it. That thing that wreaks complete havoc on my carefully orchestrated overwhelmed life. That thing that throws me into a complete tailspin of frustration and irritation. That thing that seemingly contrives against me to make the deployment trudge completely unbearable.
A romantic movie scene.
Now, I don't mean an overdone teen angst kind of romantic scene. And I certainly don't mean a graphic sex scene. I mean a good, well thought out, vital to the plot kind of romantic scene. Kind of like the Take My Breath Away scene in Top Gun (which is on my YOU SHALL NOT PASS! movie list during deployments, by the way). And last night watching Australia and seeing Drover come home after his seasonal absence about had me undone.
I want a homecoming scene of my own! RIGHT NOW! I want some romance, too. And there are most certainly a few other very important to married people things I'm missing at the moment. And, quite frankly, it's just safer for everyone involved (and more pleasant as well) if I'm not reminded about that.
I think it might be one of the great un-talked about truths of deployment (although I think Butterfly Wife really hit the nail on the head when she wrote about it last year, and Andi has addressed the issue previously as well.). When your spouse is deployed, you hit a dry spell. A long one. Long, uncomfortable, irritating, and worst of all - there's nothing you can really do about it. And wow, does it make me GRUMPY.
The funny thing is that once I remember what's not going on here, there's no going back. And no one outside the military spouse community seems to think of that part of it at all, probably because (1) there are bigger fish to fry in the day to day worries of deployment, and (2) polite society just doesn't mention that. But my Grandmother told me many times while I was growing up that I was just too "earthy" for tea, if you know what I mean.
Yes, I hate having to fix my own toilets. I REALLY hate taking the trash out on my own on Wednesday nights, and my schedule on Monday nights alone (without a second person and second car) runs this way: CCD 4:30 drop one kid off, Girl Scouts 5:00 drop one kid off, pick up kid from CCD and drive her to swim team practice by 6:15 and pick up kid from Girl Scouts by 6:00. Swim team practice ends at 7:30. And once a month the son has Cub Scouts on Monday nights from 6:30 to 7:30. Doing that on my own stinks, and I'm expecting a thank you note from the Day Runner company any moment for single-handedly keeping them in business with my need for daily calenders.
Doing that on my own while romantically deprived stinks 100 times more. And no, I can't explain it. It just is.
The straw that breaks the camel's back, maybe? I'm not sure. But as irritating and overwhelmed as I feel before that issue comes up, I can tell you that it exponentially increases after I remember exactly why movies with romantic scenes are banned from my presence during deployments. Especially if I've just watched the homecoming scene in Australia and I'm reminded of what is not happening here and then my husband calls and I hear his voice... You know how that goes.
Maybe it's because sex is one of those great benefits that counterbalance things that really stink in marriage; like paying bills, taking out the garbage, cleaning up dog poop, and washing dishes. I still have to do all those things for the whole family, but I don't get the good stuff that's supposed to counterbalance the drudgery. I suppose it's kind of like cleaning the bathroom with the promise of a candy bar only to be told that my candy bar is going to be mailed to me and should be here in 6 - 8 weeks. Or eleven months, for a more exact analogy.
I love the silliness of the shirt that Andi posted: