Life Before Deployment

No matter how you slice it, my husband and I have been apart for a long time. Lets consult the statistics:

  • It’s been 230 days since he was last home. (That was back in October.)
  • 338 days have passed since we spent more than 3 consecutive weeks together. (We enjoyed a month in Germany together in July of last year.)
  • The last time we lived together was 17 months ago (December 2010).

Like I said, a long time. Now, in all this time apart, I feel like I have finally, just now, hit my stride. I have a routine, I am mostly over the wallowing, I have gained a bit of confidence and independence that I never realized I was missing. I wouldn’t say that I have it all figured out, but I’m aiiiight. Alas, there are some things that I miss about life before deployment, before our (seemingly never-ending) separation. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. I miss not being glued to my phone. I carry it everywhere, all the time. When I shower, I set the phone on top of the toilet and turn the volume all the way up. When I sleep, it is under my pillow. When I run, it’s in my SPIbelt. I never really know when Stephen might call. And since I can’t call him back, I have to answer when he calls me. I can’t even program the number in my phone because it’s a different number every time. I have recently answered the phone twice in a row to find that who I thought might be my husband was actually a telemarketer. And I once (famously) ignored the phone because I thought it was a telemarketer when really it was Stephen. (Won’t do that again!)

2. I miss being coupled.

On a camping trip in ’06.

Stephen and I have been a couple for more than a decade, so I’m very much used to being together and doing things together. I’ve grown to enjoy doing things solo, but there are some things that are more fun with a significant other: going out to eat, walking the dog, going to social engagements, going to races. We used to go get the most delicious donuts on Sunday mornings from a place called Manna Donuts. We’d drive clear across town and talk the whole way. Then we’d each pick out the donuts we wanted until we had a dozen box, and we’d drive home. That’s one of those things that you can’t do alone. (A., I am too lazy to drive that far for just me, and B., what am I going to do with a dozen donuts?)

3. I miss kisses in the car. I am tempted to honk at people who kiss at red lights. If I can’t get my kiss on in traffic, ain’t nobody gonna get their kiss on.

4. I miss texting. Sure, I can text lots of people, but I really miss texting my husband. We had a pretty bad texting habit going before he left for Basic, but that was really the last time we could text on the regular. So many times I’ve wanted to tell him something randomly funny, or something that made me mad, or something exciting (like when I got an awesome performance review at work). Instead, I might text my mom or my bff or I might e-mail Stephen (which lacks the instant gratification of a text) or I’ll tell you guys. But I wish I could just send him a little message and hear right back.

5. I miss watching the lame tv shows that Stephen likes.

Not because I actually miss those shows (his taste in television is not as sophisticated as mine), but because it was part of having him around. I like hearing him excitedly explain things to me, I like that he likes different things than me, and I like that he occasionally got me hooked on shows I wouldn’t have watched otherwise (Battlestar Galactica, for instance.) Not to mention, when we would watch his shows, that also meant that he’d give in to watching my shows with me. (It’s so fun to hear him talk about which of Rory’s boyfriends he hates on Gilmore Girls or which characters on Degrassi he found annoying.) Sharing is fun.

Of course, I miss the obvious things like kisses and hugs, having a partner to help unload the groceries from the car, someone to talk to at night when I can’t sleep, someone to pick up the dog poop (besides me), someone to share all the holiday celebrations with. The things on this list are things I didn’t know I’d be missing, things I hadn’t even realized that I had.

The good news, the best news, is that every day we get closer and closer to being reunited. Now if only time would speed up a little bit!*