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.