Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shopping Alone

I know that I use this blog mostly for talking about my writing, but now it is time for me to bring in my life as a military wife again.

I am currently going through what almost all military wives will eventually struggle with, deployment. I have been through the literature and that fun advice that everyone gives you. While nice and all, it doesn't really prepare you for being alone with only a dog. It would be lovely if there was information targeted towards childless wives, but alas there is not. They just kind of lump you in with those that have one to twenty screaming brats. I don't have any yet. Like I said, it's just me and the dog.

I've summed it up to being much like this: It's like living single, but with none of the benefits. I shop alone, make my own messes, clean up just such messes and the dog's, sleep alone, and sit in one super unsettling silence. The worst part is that the housing gave us a four bedroom place (I won't call it a house since it's part of a duplex) that once seemed so wonderful, but is now too big for just me. It's lonely.

Despite what I said above, I have been handling it well until I undertook my first big deployed spouse task, grocery shopping. For one. The routine I once had was blown out of the water in my new need for single portions. I spent a good part of an hour staring at shelves and glass-faced coolers trying to figure out what to get without killing myself with sodium.

I will let you know how cooking single portions goes, because that is certainly going to be a fun challenge.

Aside from the food selection issue, a thought smacked into me with the force of a truck. Shopping for one person, when it should be two, is depressing. I knew that as I pushed my cart around the commissary people could tell I was shopping for one person. It saddened me. It should be two, two people, not one.

Living by yourself when there used to always be another person around is a shock. There really aren't any other words for it. Even if you have a job or a hobby to fill your time, in between there are still the quiet spaces. It's those spaces in which you can hear the air conditioner, the fridge, and the noises  your dog makes when he's sleeping. That's when I realize it's time to go bang on some pots because my husband isn't here to do it for me.

This is certainly going to be an interesting ride.