Give Until It Hurts…Then Give a Little More

When, about two years ago, the Big A came to me and said, “You know that guy you just got engaged to? Well, about a year from now, we’re going to take him away from you and put him in a dangerous place. But we give you our word of honor that we won’t hold him any longer than one full calendar year,” I said, “Well, others have done more. I’d like to do my part, and besides, I’m proud of my man.”

When the Big A said, “You’ll have to give up your ballroom dance lessons,” I said, “I understand. We can always start them again in a year or so.”

Dance Shoes

When the Big A said, “You’re going to have to put your dreams of house-hunting on hold for a year,” I said, “No worries. I’ve rented for ten years now – what’s one more year?”

When the Big A said, “The people around you are going to start having babies by the dozen. You’ll have to watch helplessly without knowing whether you and your husband will ever be able to have children of your own. You both have health issues and, quite frankly, you’re getting up there in years,” I said, “That hurts, but I’ll try to accept it. My husband’s health is what’s most important and besides, you never know what might happen.”

When the Big A said, “You’re going to have to put your Christmas tree up by yourself this year,” I said, “Heck, I’ve done that more than once. It’s hardly a tragedy.”

Christmas Tree

When the Big A said, “The two of you may have dreams of a life together, but you’re going to have to put that on hold for a couple of years,” I said, “I have other dreams. I’ve always wanted to write. I’ll work on that dream in the meantime.”

When the Big A said, “Your husband is part of the ADVON party and he’ll have to leave the country 10 days ahead of the rest of the unit so that he can get things set up. This means that when everyone else gets block leave, your husband will already be overseas,” I said, “Well, that’s disappointing, but there are only so many times you can say good-bye, so I guess I can live with that.”

When the Big A said, “You’re going to have to handle everything from cooking and cleaning to pets and vets to finances and family for the next year,” I said, “I’ve done that for a decade. I can dig it.”

When the Big A said, “People are going to barrage you with questions about your husband, his whereabouts and his well-being,” I said, “You haven’t scared me yet.”

When the Big A said, “You know, with no physical or eye contact and two completely separate worlds, you’re going to have to really work to stay connected,” I said, “Marriage is work anyway. We’ll take care of it.”

Wedding Rings

When the Big A said, “This deal comes with nightmares, anxiety attacks and hair-trigger anger,” I said, “That doesn’t sound fun, but I’ll give up caffeine and alcohol and I’ll exercise a lot. That should help.”

When the Big A said, “Your husband isn’t going to be able to tell you what he’s doing and you’ll never really know what it’s like where he is, or what he’s going through,” I said, “He’ll tell me when he gets back. And he’ll take pictures so that I can try to understand.”

When the Big A said, “Your husband lost his camera,” I said, “I’m sure other guys will have pictures that we can look at. We’ll make due.”

When the Big A said, “He might come back a different man, you know. A lot of guys experience changes in behavior or health problems after deployment,” I said, “Been there, done that. It was hard, but we got through it before. We can do it again.”

When the Big A said, “We’ll arrange it so that almost everything will drive you to tears and we’ll make sure that your emotions become raw from overuse,” I said, “Shoot, I’m a basket case anyway. You think I’ll notice a difference?”

When the Big A said, “Sometimes, you’ll be in the grocery store and you’ll see a happily glowing couple holding hands and you’ll get so angry that you’ll want to ram your shopping cart into their knees as hard as you can. Then you’ll feel ashamed of your hatefulness,” I said, “Sounds great. Sign me up.”

When the Big A said, “Your husband was in ‘one of the worst places in the world’ and his unit got into ‘gunfights all the time’ and ‘killed a lot of bad guys’,” I said, “Hearing that makes my heart hurt, but I’ll try not to let it cast a shadow over our reunion. I’ll just be thankful that he’s coming home.”

When the Big A said, “Your husband was the first one in, but he’ll be one of the last ones out,” I said, “I expected nothing less.”

Then, the Big A said, “Hey, remember that promise we made about not keeping your husband for more than one year? Well, we’re keeping him for longer – but only by a few days. I’m sure you won’t mind.”

And I said, “Hey, Big A? Eff. You.



4 responses to “Give Until It Hurts…Then Give a Little More

  1. Annoyed Army Wife

    Best. Post. Ever.

  2. Wow…that was amazing.

  3. LOL! Love it! What a jerk that Big A is…..he doesn’t know who he’s messing with!

  4. I hear ya sister! Way to give the Big A a Big Eff You!

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