Hey there people in blog world!
Happy 2014 and all that jazz! After a fairly crappy crimbo for me (which I can’t talk about right now -its a top secret matter blah blah blah), I thought I’d get cracking on another post to entertain you navy wives out there in cyber space, and hopefully make you think “jeez at least I’m not as mental as her“.
So off they’ve gone to save the world again. And you’re at home coping, leaving your clothes on the floor, not hoovering quite as much as you should, and singing and dancing along to Cher with a glass of Pinot Grigio on a Friday night because hell, you can.
Home life, although stressful and/or tedious at times is pretty much sorted. You’ve got this single woman living down. However when you step outside that front door and into the real world, there are some well disguised threats to your new found sense of equilibrium.
Well Meaning people, often coworkers, are the worst for this. “How are you doing since Popeye left?” Is a common question, accompanied by the Dreaded Head Tilt. The tilt that simultaneously says “oh isn’t she a little trooper” and “I really pity you” at the same time.
Fighting the urge to punch them in the face or burst into tears, you must give the obligatory response: “I’m ok, it’s been X many months and so far I’m doing alright”. Whilst at the same time giving a small shrug and looking humble and yet bashful.
You must say this or a variation of this. Trust me.
Screaming “I can’t cope, the house is a bomb site, the dog keeps vomiting something orange onto the carpets, in the last two weeks all I’ve had is a sodding one line email from Popeye and I haven’t shaved my legs nor armpits in 3 months” is NOT what the Well Meanings want to hear.
Other phrases I’ve come across that Well Meanings feel compelled to say, include, but are not limited to:
“Oh the time will just fly by”. (Really? And your knowledge on the “psychological interpretation of the passage of time during deployment” comes from which fully controlled and scientifically valid study???)
“I’d love 6 months without [insert civvy spouse name here], I wish they’d leave for that long!” (Why don’t you just divorce them then?)
“It must be great having the bed to yourself/tv to yourself” etc. (ok yes these are perks but gosh darn I DO NOT want you to tell me about them. When you do it makes me want to grind my teeth for some reason).
“My husband went away on business for 3 weeks, it was awful, I know exactly how you feel”. ( at this point my brain actually explodes).
Boy writing this has actually made me a little tense! *breathe*
The thing is they are genuinely trying to be kind. It’s just that when you try and comfort someone about something you have absolutely no experience of, and cannot relate to, you reach into your mind and pull out something that you vaguely hope will work. Then you’ve done your bit without staring vaguely at the person in an extended version of The Dreaded Head Tilt.
The truth is, nothing will ever be adequate, because unless they say “oh by the by my husbands the admiral of the fleet, I put in a word for you and Popeye will be home by tea time” then whatever they do say just wont cut the mustard.
And of course my reactions aren’t always as violent as described above. Those reactions are usually what I think after the third or fourth Well Meaning person has asked them.
I know I sound like an ungrateful cow for dismissing these honest to goodness questions and positive assertions about how I will cope during the deployment. And it’s so bad, because these people are kind and supportive and good people. I guess I’m just not as good as them! I’m just so glad I’ve got this space to write out my ramblings and rants. Because I really don’t want to punch a coworker in the face.