Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm Not Normal?

“Amber! How’s it going?” a woman who lives across the way said as I checked my mail. We’re not really friends per say but we do exchange greetings from time to time.

“Great,” I said as I pulled out my mail. Bill, bill, bill...a wait, another was a crappy mail day. I hate crappy mail days.

“How is your husband?” she continued brightly. She’s probably one of those women who are actually happy first thing in the morning. I just get that vibe from her.

“He’s good. He found out he’ll be going to Korea for a year.” I said this nonchalantly because I’m used to the news and it doesn’t shock me as much as it used to.

But it shocked Happy in the Morning lady. He mouth fell open and she pressed a hand over it. “An entire year?” she breathed out. “You poor thing.”

I shrugged. “It’ll be okay. At least I don’t have to share my bed. Ha.” I meant it as a light joke. It makes me uncomfortable when people fawn over the fact that Tom is leaving for a year. Yes, it’s a long time. But it’s not the end of the world. Some people treat it like it’s the end of the world.

Like Happy in the Morning lady.

“How awful! An entire year! You must be DEVASTATED!”

She was seriously speaking in exclamation points. I almost asked if she wanted to sit down because she looked so alarmed.

“Everything will be fine,” I assured her. “I’m used to being alone, I was an only child. I’m not one of those women who always have to be around her man twenty four hours a day. To be honest, those types of women freak me out.” Of course as soon as the words escaped my lips, I realized that Happy in the Morning lady was exactly the kind of women that I had just described.


“Well,” she sputtered, her chin up. “I’d just feel empty without my husband, is all. I imagine your mother is coming down to help you out?”

I shuffled the envelopes against my palm. “No.”

Oops. Her uvula was exposed again from shock. Thank goodness it wasn’t summertime. Otherwise a bug surely would have flown into her mouth.

“But you need help!” she yelped.

“Just because my husband is leaving it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I can take care of my children on my own,” I said.

“Surely you’d want someone with you for support?” Happy in the Morning lady was beginning to give me a headache.

“I’ll be fine. Really. I imagine my Mom will come to visit now and again and I can always visit her," I said and gestured to my house. “Well, I better head off---”

“Well, at least he’ll only be in Korea. Is that why you’re so calm? I bet if it were Iraq you’d be absolutely crushed?” Happy in the Morning lady seemed desperate to make sense of this all.

“I’d worry more if he were Iraq, yes,” I confirmed.

“Yes, I can see why you’re not freaking out. It’s just Korea,” Happy in the Morning mused. I think she momentarily forgot that I was still there.

“Even if it’s just Korea, I’ll still miss him,” I spoke up.

“Hmmm? Yes. But it’s not Iraq.”

Now I felt annoyed. So what, because Tom is just going to Korea I shouldn’t miss him? This woman was definitely giving me a headache now so I said goodbye and hurried home.

I also made the mistake of telling the Crazed Twilight Lady who lives on the street that Tom was leaving.

“At least it’s just Korea and not Iraq!” she yelled. Then again, she wears shirts with Robert Pattinson on the front and she’s in her thirties so who knows about her mental state.

But still, I’m getting slightly irritated that people are making it seem like I can’t miss Tom just because he’s going to Korea.

Or that I should be rolling around on the ground in tears because he’ll be gone for a year. People look at me as though I’m not a normal woman or something. And hey, I’ve known that I’m not a normal woman for quite some time now. I mean after all, I don’t get the point in wearing shoes that pinch your toes even if they are cute, I think it’s funny when boys make farting sounds with their arm pits, and I’ve never had a manicure because I think I’d get the giggles over the fact that someone is working on my nails that I’ll inevitably chew up a few hours later.

I’m dealing with this the only way I know how.

And I guess that’s the point.

I’m dealing with this and facing reality that at this time next year, my husband will be gone.

But I know I can handle it.

I’ll be okay.

(With the entire bed to myself! Sorry. Couldn't resist.)


  1. hee hee, the bed to yourself! That's a DEFINITE plus to the situation. No snoring, plenty of room... :)

    There is no right or wrong way to deal with life, including being apart from the hubby for a year. You handle it how YOU want to handle it. Don't worry what other people say. :)

  2. LOL I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one that says "I get the whole bed to myself!"...My husband was gone for a year and a half to Iraq...and people just didn't get that I was "ok"...and really was enjoying having the bed to myself. A year anywhere is a long time, sounds like she was trying to rationalize to herself why you were so unaffected...women with the "I need a man around 24/7" mentality really seem to need to do that for their own sanity.

  3. For some reason, I didn't realize you guys weren't going with him! Duh.

    Of course you will miss him, but of course youre happy it's not the middle of a war zone.

    I could never be a military wife. My husband being gone 2 weekends a month sucks as it is. Even if we're not together 24 hours, I still like having him there.

  4. I have been on both sides of the deployment spectrum. He was in Okinawa for a year and Iraq for 7 months. With only 6 weeks between the two deployments. People acted like I was overly dramatic for missing him when he was in Okinawa and I wasnt dramatic enough when he was in Iraq. I finally just started saying he was overseas so people would leave my mental status alone! I did enjoy the middle of my bed!!!

  5. Just because your Too Happy neighbor would freak out doesn't mean you have to. Of course you'll miss your husband and I'm sure you'll handle it in a way that works best for you.

    Enjoy having the bed to yourself =)

  6. I could not deal with that neighbor. Of course you're still going to miss your husband. It's the worry level that changes based on where he is, not whether or not you'd miss him.

    And I have to admit that I occasionally enjoy having the bed to myself!

  7. "Normal is a setting on the washing machine."

    My hubby travels a lot for work too. Albeit he has never been gone for a year but several months.

    At first I was terrified but the more he was gone, the more self sufficent I realized I truly was. (Way more than my first hubby ever gave me credit for "You can't do that - you're just a women...")

    My current hubby now calls me "Twanda" because I have proved to him (and myself) I can tackled anything successfully. I shocked both of us when I travelled coast to coast (twice) pulling a UHaul trailer by myself with 2 kids and a cat.

    Take advantage of your year apart. Try new things, take up new hobbies etc. Make the best of it and everything will turn out fine.

  8. No matter where he was going, you'd miss him. She's ridiculous.But you're a grown woman and you won't fall apart because he's gone. You do know how to run a household by yourself. She needs to go back inside and watch vampire movies.

  9. For whatever reason, I read "uvula" as "vulva"... thankfully I do know the difference.

    Korea sucks.

    Having the whole bed to yourself rocks!

  10. Yeah, I thought vulva at first, too. Where's my mind. Maybe you should have kicked that lady in the uvula or whatever. Sounds very annoying.
    Don't they have some kind of support group for dependents left stateside? They should.
    Best wishes to you all. You'll get through it.

  11. too funny...that is why it takes special women to make military wives!

    Our son was just 2 weeks old when Chris received his marching orders for Korea....hang in there will be fine!

  12. I think you are like me in that we are pretty independent. I know it's not the best situation, but you will be fine, and I think you are dealing with it pefectly.

  13. I totally get it. You're handling it the way you need to handle it. No need to lose your shit over something you can't control.

  14. But I'm a dependent woman who can't be without her husband for a whole year!!!! I'd DIE!!!!

    Okay, no.

    I also hate morning people. Stop being so dang chipper! You're pissing me off!

  15. when hubs is away i sleep sideways on the mattress - and the dog usually joins me.

    you'll deal with it just fine. and just think - no more hiding ups boxes

  16. My friend and I were just discussing the other day how clingy and dependant women seem to have become. Seriously. I mean, I know you'll miss him. I'd totally miss my hubby too if he was gone for a year, but I'd survive. And I might even enjoy it, at least for awhile!!

    I think some women just need to find a hobby or some interests of their own. Have some dignity and let the guy breathe for pete's sake.

    I say good for you Amber. Who want's to be normal anyway? That's so overrated.


  17. I think that I may would have smacked the lady.

    I hear you on the getting the whole bed to yourself thing. I love having the bed to myself (shhh...don't tell my husband) so I don't mind when he's away. Especially now that our daughter is a little older.

  18. "uvula was exposed again from shock" - so good!

  19. I love that word Uvula... Saying it out loud right now.

    Anyway, you are a mature married woman, raising two children. Shrieking into the night just won't do. Of course you will miss your husband and of course you will worry about him, less for Korea, more for a war zone. And when he returns you will both readjust. Good for you for handling military life with aplomb!

  20. PS. And please thank Tom for his service to our country.

  21. I went back and read the post in the link I had missed it somehow.. you are awesome.

    I love that you give the ladies some attitude.. when they start bringing you casseroles take them say thanks and shut the

  22. PS 24/7 woman drive me insane.. insecure imo.

    uvula and vulva you guys crack me up...wrong end of the body lol

  23. That nosy b*tch should keep her ever-lovin' trap SHUT.

  24. My daughters husband did his second stint in a war zone (Iraq) 2 months after they were married. He was gone for an entire year. She wasn't even 20 when she managed to go to school full time, keep her home running (bills, etc.) and work full time.

    I think what most people don't understand is when you marry military, you kind of get used to the absence and do what needs to be done.

    You'll be fine, besides one stealing online time and you can get that book finished (winks). (Hugs)Indigo

  25. Who are those crackwhore ladies? Insensitive louts! Hmph.

  26. People like that lady drive me NUTS!!!

  27. I've never had a manicure either!

    I am like you- when hubby leaves it's not the end of the world. I feel bad for my kids because they will miss him, but I will survive. AND I ALWAYS look forward to having the bed to myself. I stretch out and sleep better than when he is here snoring and gassing all over the place.

    Yes, a year is a long time. I'm sure you'll miss him. Thank goodness he won't be in the line of fire in Iraq but who says Korea isn't a scary place? I mean it's still a foreign country. Anyways...

    I feel for ya. Everything you said had me nodding.

  28. Just as Tiffany did, I read the word "uvula" totally wrong, and thought, "Wow. She literally shocked the pants off her!"


    My good friend's husband is in Korea right now. He's a little past the half-way point now. When he left, she went around and wrote "365" on every mirror. Each day, she changes the number when she wakes up. Like you, she doesn't dwell on it. They talk on the phone or skype, and she lives her life. She didn't fall apart, either.

    You'll be fine AND you'll miss him. Aren't you glad it's possible to do both?

  29. Well, there's another fine example of good intentions paving the road to hell. "Well meaning" people are often terrifying. Actually, pretty much always.. And you will be okay because you've decided that you will be - way to go!!

  30. When I have the bed to myself, somehow I always sleep sideways.

  31. Deb@RGR said it perfectly. And your neighbor assumes everyone is her clone and can't conceive how or why one would have a reaction different than hers.

  32. I think these women just don't understand that you're dealing with the situation in your own way!!

  33. I'm not a 24/7 kind of wife either; I would feel smothered.

    You're making the best of it. I can appreciate that. Sitting at home crying won't change anything & your kids need you. But you are allowed to miss him; heck I'll even miss your stories about him. :)

  34. Oh lord we must have the same neighbor. My goodness... I do the same thing don't say too much because oh no here we go...... crap a conversation I don't want a conversation lady LOL...

    Lock the doors she might be stalking you when he leaves... oh my goodness.

    She is a nut , of course you will miss him... om...........good luck chicky

  35. I think you are handling it perfectly normal. It makes sense, your kids are at a good age, you are self-reliant, and you can *like* wash your own hair and everything. You got your big girl panties on all by yourself this morning, right?!

    You are fine. I think I'd like a year to have the bed to myself. Jon has restless leg syndrome. I'm going to start feeding him gin soaked raisins to see if it goes away...or get a bigger bed.

  36. You are fine, you will be fine. Just busier, but without that snoring sound at night, and without someone hogging the covers you may sleep better!

    Of course you'll miss him, but we have skype, e-mail and cell phones to help us through it. And you know you can do it!

    No Twilight tees for you!

    And you have so many bloggy friends for company-- and you don't have to pick up OUR dirty underwear! Har, har!

  37. There is no normal, but I think you are incredibly healthy to be balanced enough to know it will be tough and you'll miss him, but some things like having the whole bed will be nice and Korea is not as dangerous. I think you sound like you are doing great! Not that my opinion matters :)

  38. Yeah... but at least it's only Korea... and not Iraq! Haha

  39. My ex-husband spent a year in Korea (left about 1 to 2 weeks after our marriage) It's not easy but luckily phone calls and care packages make it so much better. I use to send them 3 batches of cookies at least once a month in separate baggies. He not only loved it but the others loved it and it helped him get favors around the barracks :) I completely understand you missing him still even if it is not Iraq. It's still a year. Though a year can go much faster than you think :) Is he taking a mid-tour leave?

  40. I dont understand why people would freak out either. Of course you will miss him, he is your husband and friend...but its also not like you are going to be crying in a corner for a year either! You are a strong woman and you can handle it!

  41. So're supposed to fall apart without him, but you're not supposed to miss him? Your neighbors are crazy. Yeesh.

  42. Yes, you'll miss your man. Yes, it's a long time. But when he comes back, it's a lot of fun getting reaquainted ;).

    And then there's the whole bed to yourself bonus (I love it when I have the bed to myself and no snoring).

    You could really freak Perky Patty out and when the year is up, tell her your husband is staying another year, but you'll be bringing your boyfriend in to help you out, LOL (maybe your husband could change his hairstyle for a few days, hee, hee, hee).

  43. I love people's reactions to things. I was a Navy brat and used to get well-meaning people commenting on my Dad's deployment all the time. "You must really miss Daddy huh?" "uhhh. . .he'll be back." I was so used to it. Of course I missed him, but I swear these people were more devastated by his deployment than we were. It was a part of life for us.
    ~Just Like June

  44. If my mother was around for more than a few days, it would be anti-helpful. Much worse than just doing it on my own.

    And you will be okay. (And "just korea" would piss me off too).

  45. I'm amazed someone like Happy Morning Woman could marry into the army... going away is part of the deal, isn't it?

    I'm glad you cope, in your own way, with whatever comes.

    A year is a long time, but it's also not forever. Does he get any leave during that year? Are you allowed to go to Korea on holiday?! Sorry for the dumb questions, but being thoroughly civilian I have no idea how it all works.

  46. I personally think you have a GREAT attitude. Let's face it, even if you COULDN'T handle it, what choice do you have in the matter? It's not going to be easy, but you're not going to fall apart. You go girl! We'll all be rooting for you. And besides, just THINK of the blog fodder!

  47. People can be idiots but you, my friend, are not. You have a great attitude.

    PS It will be ok because he's not going to Irag.

  48. Exactly. You deal. Because you both know that's part of your life together and know that the possibility is there that you'll have to at some point.

    And seriously, that whole entire bed to yourself thing? If neighbor lady thinks you're going to be drained and exhausted from having to take care of everything, every day, for a whole year, well, then, clearly you'll need all that room for your rest!

  49. I would love to have the bed to myself...especially since my hubby has been snoring so much. I know you are going to miss him that is a given!

  50. Thanks for stopping by today!
    You are so good, I might have walked away and left her with her mouth open. Lol!

    My patience & tolerance level suck, you'd think I'd have it under control with four children. Ummm, NO!!! Especially to stupidity and BS.

  51. One woman is chirpy in the morning and the other is obsessed with a vampire movie, in no way should we be measuring normal by them. I think you're perfectly normal, either that or we're both weird. ;P I can't do manicures either, last time I tried, I chipped the polish getting my bus ticket out of my pocket. That takes talent, my friend!

  52. I totally know what you mean. My hubby is leaving in June for a year (of course he will be able to come home most weekends) but people act like it's the end of the world. I think it takes a different kind of woman to be able to handle it on her own for a while. My husband has worked an average of 100 hours a week for years now so I'm used to him being absent. I think that you are amazing for doing it on your own while your husband will be in Korea and strong women should be applauded...not made to feel that they aren't sad enough or something. What's the point of getting upset about crap we have no control over. OK, I'm done!

  53. Seriously. People are stupid. Trust me, I teach some of their kids.

  54. The bed to yourself... awesome. Common sense & intelligence does NOT run rappant in some people. Power to strong women like you...

  55. Sounds like you've met the modern day equivalent of Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched! What an uncomfortable situation. So frustrating when someone so completely misses where you're coming from! Well, hey, if your bed does start to feel lonely, you could always ask the Twilight lady if you can borrow one of her Robert Pattinson shirts. Tee hee!

  56. i am woman, hear me roar!
    of course you'll be fine, and of course you'll miss your hubby! sounds like these women are trying to push their codependent feelings on you. hang in there!

  57. You are awesome! I am with you. Well not literally with ya, because i am here in Ohio, but I understand how you feel and keep feeling that way, because...well that's the way you feel...

    Tell those other women to go to ...wherever they will not be bothering you...

  58. Oh for crap's sake. I get this a lot because I don't share every single feeling I have every second I have them.

    Also, I think being an military wife takes a special woman. My mom is an independent lady and managed my brother and I more than fine whenever he was gone.

    Mailbox lady can suck turnips.

  59. At least it’s just Korea and not Iraq...


    I do hope you get to go to Korea for a visit or three!

  60. Hey Amber, you are not normal. That being said, that is a good thing. You are a strong woman with handfulls of things to do and Happy in the Morning Lady needs to go have a cup of blood with Twilight freak and bug off.

  61. We all know you'll miss him.... but being supportive and realistic about it and not a blubbering mess is a good thing, don't let crazy women get you down.

    (I am catching up)


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