Damon left today. Again. Boo. I know you’re thinking, “Didn’t you just write a post about him leaving?” It feels like it. But actually, that was around two months ago. Here’s what happened: He deployed. We visited him on a port call in Hong Kong. Then he came home for a few weeks for what was sort of like an extended port call. It was good timing, too; my honey-do list was getting a little long. But alas, he had to fly out again today to finish the deployment. Unfortunately this time around he’ll be gone longer and I am not able to go to any of port calls. Major bummer.
But this is what I signed up for. So, with Ben & Jerry by my side, and with the first half of our first deployment under my belt, I’ve decided to use this post to reflect on my earlier musings as to the ups and downs of deployments. Or rather the downs and ups. I like to end on a positive.
Here were my original reasons why deployment sucks:
1) I’ll miss my husband. That still goes.
2) My husband will miss Elisabeth growing up. In the six weeks between Damon deploying and our visit to Hong Kong, Elisabeth grew and changed enormously. Even in the few weeks between Hong Kong and Damon’s return, she changed immensely. She’s just growing so fast, and it breaks my heart a little bit to think of what Damon will miss in the next several months. Luckily, he got to see her crawl for the first time before he left. Now I just have to keep her from walking till he comes home again…
3) Earthquakes. We’ve experienced several (small) earthquakes in the past few months, and I’ve managed to survived. However I still think that if a big one hits, I will turn into a total disaster.
4) I hate driving in Japan. While I am a teensy bit more comfortable behind the wheel, my original fear still pretty much holds true. I try to take the trains whenever possible. Have you ever had a motorcyclist zoom in front of you OUT OF NOWHERE and for a split second you think OH MY GOSH I’M GOING TO KILL THAT PERSON and then you don’t but still you just suffered a minor heart attack? TRY HAVING THAT HAPPEN EVERY TIME YOU GET BEHIND THE WHEEL!
5) The Diaper Genie is the worst invention ever. I was so close to making through the first half of deployment with nothing breaking. So close. And then literally days before Damon came home, the damn Diaper Genie inexplicably broke. And then Damon came home and wore that smug, self-satisfied look that said, “I told you not to over-stuff the Diaper Genie.” And then I had to go on the defensive. “I didn’t over-stuff it! It is an evil contraption that broke on its own! I swear!” Damon didn’t believe me. But really, it broke on its own. It’s fixed now – but for how long?
I’d like to add another two reasons why deployment sucks: Trash and Bugs.
6) Trash. I hate taking out the trash. It is dirty and messy and smelly and a boy’s job. Even when I was growing up and my parents forced me to do all the chores while my brothers played video games, the one thing they did not make me do was take out the trash. Because it’s a boy’s job. Yuck.
7) Bugs. I also hate bugs. And Japan has a lot of bugs. Did you know there were poisonous centipedes? Yeah, neither did I. But I found one (at least I think it was one) in my laundry room! Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. And I’ve heard that if you stomp on them, they send out signals to all their poisonous friends to come invade your home. That may be rumor, but I for one am not going to mess with an army of poisonous centipedes. One of the main reasons for getting married is to have someone to take care of bug situations. Now with Damon back on deployment, I don’t even have that.
And actually, trash and bugs are related. One night while taking out the trash, I almost stepped on a MASSIVE BEETLE. I had four bags of trash to take outside that night, which meant four times I had to avoid the grossest beetle in the world, and four times it moved to a different location on my patio, playing mind games with me. Do you know how traumatizing it is to be stalked by a beetle?
Enough complaining. On to the upside. I won’t rehash my original upside list one by one, but I say this: My online shopping habit has exceeded even my expectations. You may think that could be a bad thing. But really, when is coming home from the post office with this ever a bad thing?
I’d like to add a few new reasons why deployment isn’t all bad.
1) Girly-bonding time. When the men are away, the girls will play! Deployments are a great opportunity to really get to know other spouses well. I was still fairly new when Damon left the first time and needed to get to know the other women better. I now know that few things bond ladies like cocktails and karaoke.
2) Travel. One thing I didn’t mention before is that there are awesome travel opportunities during deployment. I never thought I’d visit Hong Kong, but I did and it was freaking amazing! And while I can’t visit any ports this time, they are going to some incredible places and I look forward to the opportunities Elisabeth and I will have to visit Damon on future deployments.
3) My husband kind of rocks. I am truly proud of my husband and his colleagues and grateful for the job they do. Though it’s tough saying goodbye to a spouse for months at a time, knowing that they are out there serving our country in a way that very few do makes it a little easier. And it’s not forever…
Now back to ice cream and bad TV. Goodnight!