Deployment/PCS Homefront

Table for One

In midst of my husband’s deployment I have come to the realization that its just me. We have no kids, so I basically I have no distractions when I arrive home from work (aside from my miniature Schnauzer, Brownie). My realization hit me hard when it came to eating alone. For instance, I realized that when ordering food through the drive-thru, or at whatever fast-food restaurant place there is, I order my meal and I’m always asked “is that all ma’am?” Now I know its that person’s job to ask if there is anything else I may want, if my husband were here there would be a definite “yes”. But since he’s not, its just a lonesome “no”. The same goes for restaurants. Sometimes, just sometimes, you want to go to a place and eat there. You don’t want company and you definitely don’t want to be asked, “just one?

I recently came back from a trip where I went to visit my parents. On the way there, at the airport, I decided to eat a nice meal before I got on the plane, I’m not a huge fan of plane-food. I headed to a well-known restaurant where I semi-scouted the place. I really wanted to sit at a booth and not at the bar, where the so-called “single people” sat, because, even though my husband is deployed and I’m traveling alone, I’m not a single person. Also, I really just wanted the space of a booth, but that wasn’t going to happen. I headed to the bar, where all the “single people” were sitting. The customers where either reading, talking on the cell phones or doing whatever to avoid contact with the stranger sitting next to them. I was one of those people. I ordered my food and began to people-watch (one of my favorite past-times). I saw people come and go, and for the first time the realization that I was alone hit me right then and there. I have done this sitting alone a million times before, but now, since I’m married and my husband is deployed, its different.

Its different because I am part of something, part of marriage. It’s hard to explain this to someone who hasn’t been in your situation, because you go from doing things together to just “table for one, please” in a matter of months or days. Us military spouses can do this change as easy as making toast. We can get unused-to and use-to our spouse when he/she deploys and returns. But in the eye of the civilians, we may be just plain nuts to allow that.

Where do us military spouses get this strength of saying “table for one, please”? Knowing that in the end of all this torture and absence are husband/wife will be waiting for us. If you think about it, it’s kind of like an obstacle course.

Table for One by Jack Vittriano

7 thoughts on “Table for One”

  1. I’m a civilian, and I don’t think you’re nuts…I think you’re EMPOWERED. Over the years I’ve encountered many milspouses, and you are some of the strongest, most empowered people I’ve ever met. Great article! I look forward to reading “Table for Two” when he gets back!

  2. I have not gone through this yet, but will eventually. But I have spent 9 months away from my husband while he was training. And even though he was stateside, it was still extremely lonely.

    I have no idea where we get the strength to say “table for one”. I guess it just comes with the love we have for our spouse. It’s like its programmed in. Because as an outsider looking in, I don’t think I could ever go through the separation.

    But the best part (if there is any) is that when he gets home, there will be so much joy and love. It will almost make the wait worth it. Almost. 🙂

  3. Being far from from your spouse is really hard, every single day of your life becomes empty specially on your case, no children to be with. I admire you so much for being strong, don’t worry i’m pretty sure that the right time will come for the both of you. Keep being strong.

  4. Great post! I totally know how you feel though. You sit there and feel like people are looking at you, feeling sorry that your eating alone. But let me tell you, when I see someone eating alone….I am proud of them! I’m glad that you/they are out there eating alone, instead of being too scared to venture out and being by themselves.

    I am proud of you!

  5. I’m a big believer that you can’t keep yourself from doing things while your spouse is gone, including eating at great restaurants! I’m dying to have some fondue after this PT test and before school starts! I may just have to fly solo!

  6. Unfortunately, I know this all too well and will be going through it again sooner than I’m ready for. Great post…I got tears in my eyes.

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