“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 letter...no wait, another bill..it 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.)