“Ooh are they coming home already? Wow the last 9 months have really flown by haven’t they?”
The above are probably the two most dangerous sentences you can say to a Navy wife or girlfriend at the final sprint of a deployment countdown.
To the friend/co-worker or family member with (obviously) good intentions and also a possible death wish:
NO IT HAS FUCKING NOT FLOWN BY.
It has been an almost hysteria inducing, vast stretching of time that has at times has felt swamping and insurmountable.
Time now, at this final push, is threatening to reduce the strong, capable, independent adult from the last few months into a (at times) quivering, adrenaline pumping, vom inducing, panic stricken bag of nerves and self doubt.
- Ninja Snail Time- I.e went really fucking slowly then went all stealth ninja-ey and fast right at the end, catching the poor unsuspecting Military WAG off guard.
- Untrustworthy Time-I.e the homecoming date and subsequent countdown has changed more times than I’ve changed my knickers. Don’t trust it.
- Alternative Reality Time I.e time, as a concept, has passed completely differently for you and your sailor. He is expecting home to be some kind of time capsule of half a year ago and you can’t remember what family occasions and days out he has missed because there have been so bloody many he has missed. You are in separate world and separate times.
Time has NOT flown by for us.
We have walked, limped, crawled, carried and been carried to get here. But we have not flown. (We have not sailed through it either before anyone gets punny on me.)
So please for the love of God and all that is Holy do not patronise us. Do not comment on it. You don’t get it. Don’t pretend to. It’s like a cat trying to understand why a dog likes walks so much when they can go out through the cat flap at any time.
Different worlds and different times.