Now that Jason is gone, I can do all sorts of things that I wouldn't do if he were here. For example:
- Not flush the toilet when it's just a #1 (to conserve water). I know I am not the only person who does this!
- Stay in my pajamas all day.
- Allow the time between showers to extend into the 2-3 day zone--it doesn't matter if I smell because it's not offending anyone. And honestly, I'm so congested right now that I can't tell if I smell, so I'm not letting it happen on purpose. I showered yesterday afternoon though, so I'm probably still good.
- Wear the same outfit I've been wearing all week when (and if) I get dressed.
- Play the Wii Fit in my underwear. Not that this has happened--yet. Right now staying upright is enough of a challenge.
- Eat combinations of foods that he wouldn't consider a meal. Last night I made a package of stuffing for dinner, and the leftovers of that are all I've eaten so far today. At some point I will run out of food and be forced to go buy some healthy, normal foods, but until then I am content to clean out the cupboards.
- Stay up late watching trashy TV and surfing Youtube.
- Let the dirty dishes pile up in the sink before I swap them with the clean ones in the dishwasher.
- Leave the clean laundry sitting in the baskets while the dirty clothes pile up on the floor.
- Let my hair go unbrushed all day.
- Give his belongings away on Freecycle (good thing he took the video games with him).
Oh, wait. I do those things when Jason's here, too. But not to the extent that I do them when he's gone.
He arrived at Great Lakes late Wednesday night and called me around 2 AM to let me know he was safe. I was still up, of course. He told me with glee that he passed the "now leaving Massachusetts" sign with birds flying high--exactly what I plan to do when I finally get out of here. I asked him if he felt a twinge of regret that he'll never live here again, and the answer was emphatically no. In fact, I think his exact words were "Oh HELL no."
Despite that, the past few days were rough for him. It must have been a huge shock to his senses to be so suddenly immersed back into the military life after two years of being a civilian. During one of our many phone calls he told me in a wistful tone of voice that he misses being home with me, just passing the time together--instead he's all alone in a cinderblock room. I have the easy side of this, weathering the time apart in our cushy apartment with three cats whose primary goal is to be cuddled at all times.
He's high-ranking enough to have his own barracks room (with a chair and a desk that are serving as video game central) and gets three free galley meals a day. Next week he'll start classes on things he has to requalify for, like shooting all sorts of weapons and putting out fires. He'll also be issued a new set of uniforms.
I think that his "what am I doing here" feeling will fade once he gets back into a uniform. It's probably hard to feel like you're doing something important when you have no choice but to wear military-issue sweatpants wherever you go--he can't wear civilian clothes outside of his room and the only "uniform" he has is the t-shirt and pants they gave him for PT. He feels like a tool showing up to the various offices to do paperwork dressed like a sloppy little boy. I guess looking the part goes a long way in feeling the part.
Once we're back about the business of making our lives together as a Navy family it will be like we were never apart and he never got out. Until then, we adjust, adjust, adjust.