Sunday, June 22, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, I went on a "mom's night out" with some of my friends from my real life book club. You know, I love those ladies but the evening itself can only be described as painful. There was a lady with us who is not usually a part of the group. She's a warm, wonderful person... but, well, she just lives a very different life than mine and while I can relate to hers, throughout the course of the evening it became painfully obvious that none of them there could really relate to mine.
This particular woman, we'll call her "Trish", was bemoaning the fact that her husband was on a business trip. For the better part of three hours, I listened to her complain about how he was gone and what in the world was she going to do with her kids? I calmly asked her how long he was going to be gone. Her reply... " Three whole days!!!"
At this point, the urge to bitch slap her into reality was nearly overwhelming, but then thankfully the rational part of my brain took over. You see, I can do three frakking days on my head! But rationally, I realize that everyone brings to their lives their own perspective. I get that for her, three days may really have been a long time. Though why "dealing" with her children for "three whole days" was so difficult still remains a mystery....
Sadly, Trish didn't end her thoughts there. The ladies invited me to a casino with them, but it was getting late, the babysitter was waiting and frankly, I wasn't having a very good time, so I bailed. I told them I had to get home to the sitter, which was true. Trish then says, "where is your husband?" So I explain that he is Navy, currently underway and getting ready to deploy. Period. That's just my life - stated matter of factly. I don't need or want their pity. But at this point Trish says, "Oh you poor thing! Six, L-O-N-G, L-O-N-E-L-Y, months. What will you DO? How will you manage? I could NEVER be a Navy wife, I'm too selfish!" Well, that's like implying that I don't mind when the Navy takes my husband. I do, but that's my life, I knew it when I signed up for it, and really, last time I checked the Navy doesn't give a shit about my opinion, they just take my husband on the day and hour appointed. End of story.

Fast forward to last night. I went out on another "mom's night out". This time with the ladies from our boat. We got together to celebrate one of the ladies birthdays so she didn't have to celebrate alone. We went to Applebees and had a fabulous time. Everyone was laughing and sharing... everyone was relating. Each woman there, even those I didn't know very well, felt like a sister to me. Every single one of them "gets" my life - the reality of my life. They don't offer pity - they don't want it any more than I do. They just offered love, laughter, support and most of all understanding.

They all get that sometimes my children misbehave and I yell, maybe louder than I should. They all understand the 45 minute crying jag in the garage because you don't want your children to hear. They all understand the hope when you check your e-mail and the disappointment when there is nothing there fromthe person you long to hear from. They get the worry, the fear, the anxiety that I feel. They just get it and for once, just knowing that I was in their company and seeing them shake their heads as I was talking... well, it was enough. And that's a really good feeling.


Ann M. said...

Sometimes it is really strange--having to "explain" your lifestyle to people. I never know what to say when I get that "I couldn't do it" response, because really...we fell in love with who we fell in love with. What else are we supposed to do?

I bet it was nice to be with women who just KNOW, without having to explain or justify anything :)

Keri said...

Even though my hubbie is not in the military and has only gone to China on business for a month...
I feel i would want to support your lifestyle without sympathy, questions, and the 'i could never' attitude.
I think what you ladies do as the backing for our brave men is almost as important as what they do.
You keep you head up and those home fires burning.
Being around women who 'get it' with everyone's situation is just the best feeling.

Just Angela said...

Finding female friends that "get it" is really hard. For any woman. I think that "Trish" was a bit on the shallow side. I wouldn't enjoy listening to her pity party and we're not even a military family. I love to be around positive, loving, life-affirming friends. What a huge difference it makes in my outlook on life. I guess I was trying to say, I really liked what you wrote and I get it :)

Roe said...

Sounds like "Trish" is vapid no matter what your family background is. If spending three whole days with her children is that difficult, why did she bother?

I hope you realize by now that not every non-military family is like that; your sisters-in-arms may relate better, but not all of us civilian families are "Trish-y".

Let's try and talk soon, let me know when is good for you.