Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bad Day 9--Well Meaning = Clueless

The good thing about Husband being in Afghanistan is that I am now on time for everything. Husband is always late. Always. He likes to leave the house with seconds to spare. I prefer not to have to run after the bus and wave it down. Also, my legs are shorter and I can't run as fast. So every day that I wait for Husband so we can leave for work together, I am late. And I hate being late. It must be some male macho thing that has to do with the thrill of risking missing the bus, or secretly he loves seeing me huff and puff trying to keep up with him, or he can't tell time.

I knew he was chronically late when I married him. It was such a problem that my roommates and I would joke about it. In fact, (Husband will deny this but it is perfectly true,) I told him that our wedding began 30 minutes before it actually did so that he would be on time, and because he is male and didn't actually read the invitations, he believed me and he was exactly on time because he was 30 minutes late. Yes, you read that right. I lied to my husband on our wedding day, and I would do it all over again because it meant we actually did get married.

So that is one good thing, but the bad things about Husband being in Afghanistan are myriad. Here is one--I am married to a voice on a telephone. Here is another--pixels on a computer screen cannot hug you. Yes, I know it could be worse. I know that wives during whatever other war you can name had to wait sometimes months for letters. And I am SO tired of well meaning people telling me this.

So here is a list of things for you well-meaning people to stop saying to people whose husbands are in Afghanistan.

  1. Don't worry.  No, don't even try saying that because it never, ever works. I'm a professional worrier, so I know. Really, if there were an Olympics of Worrying, I would win ALL the gold medals, so you might as well tell me to stop breathing.
  2. He'll be home before you know it. Unfortunately, I already know when he's coming home and it's in 365 days. I do know how to count.
  3. It could be worse. Just because it could be worse doesn't mean it isn't bad, and today, it's really bad.
Here are some things you should say to people whose husbands are in Afghanistan.
  1. I'm so sorry! That stinks. Empathy works every time.
  2. Just take it one day at a time. This is what my boss said to me and it is brilliant because it is all I am capable of.
  3. I'm bringing you dinner. No explanation necessary. Everyone loves to be brought dinner.
Here are some things Husband could say that would help.
  1. I will cook dinner every night for a month after I get home.
  2. These diamonds are for you.
  3. You were right. I would have missed our wedding if you hadn't lied to me because I am always late.
A girl can dream, can't she?

I almost forgot to nominate someone who is having a worse day than me. Today, that would be my friend Wendy who is a librarian on a small Korean island and normally has a fabulous life of which I am a little envious. But tonight, her flight was canceled because of weather and she had to find a hotel and she didn't get anything to eat and went to bed hungry. And the very SADDEST part is she doesn't know that I'm only about 30 minutes away, and if I had known she was stuck at the airport, I would have gone to pick her up and feed her and give her shelter for free. So Wendy, thank you for reminding me to be grateful for my comfortable bed and the yummy Chinese food I ate for dinner, and next time, let me know when you are passing through my way and I will take care of you.

1 comment:

  1. People are terrible at being compassionate i think. I was diagnosed with a painful autoimmune disease and a family member said well at least you don't have cancer. Keeping myself busy is what got me though my husband being overseas for a year.