Eleven Days

by Brittany on October 4, 2011

in Marriage, Parenting

When I say things like, oh 11 days isn’t very long, in my head, it makes sense.

Because 11 days isn’t very long.  It’s not even two weeks.

I’ve been constipated and on crash diets that have lasted longer than that.

But when I pulled up to the departures terminal, and he got out of the car and opened the back gate to grab his bag, it felt like forever.

I met him on the sidewalk in tears and hugged him so tight, I thought if maybe I could just latch on to him hard enough, he wouldn’t leave me.  Much like the way Wyatt grabs my legs when I try to go to the bathroom and I end up peeing standing up in the shower with a kid on my thigh.

It didn’t work, Andy had to leave.  Because that is what adults do, they leave their families to go on work trips to Korea.

I’ve done it a zillion times, getting out of the car at the departures terminal, kissing everyone goodbye in tears, and dragging my things inside to join the mass of transient strangers, but I’d never been on the other side.

The side that has to drive back home with an empty seat beside them, crying and singing The Cure’s Just Like Heaven on repeat before stopping at the last Taco Bell before your garage and eating your cheesey gordita crunch feelings until the only feeling you have left is IBS.

But at least it feels the void.

It was lonely, not only because he was gone, but because he was unreachable, in the air until long after I would be going to bed.  I couldn’t call him to tell him there’s a woodchuck living under our porch step, or that Gigi named him Kitty and he has the same facial hair as Chaz Bono.

I couldn’t email him to tell him I went through the automatic car wash all by myself without the window hoser guy yelling at me for being unable to align my wheels on the track correctly before me jumping out of the moving vehicle and telling him to just fucking do it himself.

I mean, I could email him I guess…but he wouldn’t respond.

Home is an endless abyss without anyone over the age of 5 to talk to, I think there is a ghost following me around carrying a boom box blaring The Weepies, and I have a cold.

I blame Andy for all of that, but mostly the cold.

He didn’t want to be sick overseas, so I acted as a germ buffer between him and all our snotty children.  It was my mouth they sneezed in, my jeans they wiped snot on, and my fingers that picked the gooey junk from their eyelashes each morning as he ran to the sink like a girl to wash his hands.

I don’t think my nose holes will ever work again.

Jude and Wyatt seem to be taking things okay, I’ve explained to them how many sleeps until daddy comes home, and then they run upstairs to play XBox and act annoyed when I walk into their room to put crap away.

The little one, however, is a disaster.

Talks with Gigi have broken down.  She is what I’d imagine dealing with Muamma Gaddafi is like.

She wants stuff.  I try to rationalize with her.  She poops on my floor.

I’ve decided to stop taking her out in public until some sort of treaty can be reached.

I have a feeling it will involve Benadryl, a pack of fruit snacks, and those clicker things you use at dog obedience classes.

I went to bed last night upset I had gone an entire day without speaking to Andy, and annoyed that I couldn’t will myself to stay awake longer to watch his airplane move across the screen of the flight tracker website.

I had a brief scare earlier in the day when I realized an hour had gone by and his plane hadn’t moved, so I called my dad crying that Andy had, perhaps, gone down somewhere over Ontario, and to call the US Embassy, but it turns out my internet connection had been lost, so I frantically restarted the modem, refreshed the page, and his plane started moving happily over whatever ocean Jesus plopped down between the big land blogs I can’t remember the names of.

My phone finally rang this morning, and fumbled for it half asleep, jolting awake to see it was my love, at last.

Andy!  Oh my God I miss you so much, I am so glad you made it safe!

I miss you too, listen, super quick because this call is going to cost us a fortune, can you google what the buttons mean on a Korean toilet?  The wifi isn’t working in my room and I really have poop.

Oh um, yeah, okay.

Apparently the separation is harder on some people more than others.

You’re welcome, Andy.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Karly October 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

Sometimes I like when my husband makes me sad just so that I don’t have to feel guilty about the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

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Matt October 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

WHICH BUTTON FLUSHES… I’M SO CONFUSED

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Kristine October 4, 2011 at 11:08 am

I was going to ask the exact same thing! I even read what all the other buttons do… no “flush” button.

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Rachel October 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

Maybe it’s a “smart toilet” that flushes itself??? Quick Brittany, email Andy. We need some resolution here!

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

CONFIRMED.

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Jennifer October 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

This is sweet and sad and hilarious. He may not have acted on the phone like he missed you that much, but it is proof that he still NEEDS you. Even from Korea.

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Bronwyn Green October 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

*HUGS* My hubby has to go to Russia and Singapore several times a year and I HATE it. I always cry all the way home from the airport. And get a GINORMOUS latte. And a doughnut. Sometimes two.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Always two. That’s the rule.

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Jen Smith October 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

Hang in there. It gets better. My husband works at a job in VA (500 miles away) and only comes home every two weekends. I was much like you at the beginning. I actually killed my first spider in 32 years after much fanfare and freaking out, and then realized they really won’t jump on you and eat your face if you miss them on the first try. (shudder)
I also have a daddy’s girl at home, and only daddy can wipe her butt and get her out of the car seat when he is home, which really doesn’t break my heart much!

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I have to get my oil changed tomorrow. Like, BY MYSELF.

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Dana October 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

There’s something to be said for simplicity (right Andy?) One button. Goodbye.

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Laine October 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who gives Benadryl to my kids. Or wait, was that for you?

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Shan October 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

My heart goes out to you! Hubby sometimes leaves for a month or so at a time….leaving me stranded with four hellio..I mean kids.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Dude. Yes. Nothing magnifies my suck ass parenting like Andy being out of town.

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Jayme (RandomBlogette) October 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

I feel your pain girl. My husband had to go train in Iowa for a job once and was gone for 3 weeks. I had a new 5 year old step-son and a 18mos old. I wanted to kill myself. It was right before Christmas too. I ended up making a countdown calendar for days until daddy gets back and then days until christmas. That and the copious amounts of beer helped my sanity. And thankfully my mom helped out a bit, but she didn’t move in with me. :(

Korean toilets have ass warmers? Are you kidding me?!

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Dude my kids are already over me. I think they’d like me more if they could drink.

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Rachel October 4, 2011 at 11:57 am

Ok, I’m all for cultural tolerance, but I’m confused re: the toilet. Wouldn’t it make sense to have those buttons at least illustrated? I mean, people visit from all over the world, Korea.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Apparently either you learn the language or wear a diaper.

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Megan October 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I’m on the edge of my seat (not a toilet seat) – how DO you flush that thing?

I always kind of like when my husband’s out of town. Of course I just have the one kid and he’s 12. It’s kind of like having one kid at camp.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Dude apparently it SENSES the poop and flushes itself. Which officially makes it more capable than my husband, I may marry it.

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Eileen October 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Next Monday, I have to drop my husband off at the airport too.

He’s going to Iraq.

For a year. A YEAR. (Sometimes I vomit in my mouth a little when I say that.)

I say this to you not to be all, I have it so much worse than you, but to maybe give you perspective. Whenver I feel like I cannot possibly make it through something, a little jolt of what life is for someone else sometimes helps me through.

I hope your man is home in a flash. And does not return stinking of kimchee.

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Rachel October 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Please tell him I said thanks for his service. And to please wear sunscreen. Seriously, the sun is crazy over there.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

You and your husband are amazing, and if you ever need to chat email me and I will respond completely inappropriately. It’s all I know.

AND DUDE. I saw a show about how kimchee is made? VOM.

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Kay October 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Thank your husband and thank you. You are sacrificing just as much! Blessings on him and his fellow troops. Huge hugs for you and yours.

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Laura October 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thank you both as well from me too, an Airborne brat :)

Oh and growing up at Bragg, you learned what kimchee was very quickly…

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sarah rose October 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

At least Andy didn’t do what I did, when trying to figure out the buttons, which was to obviously just start pressing all the buttons, while looking in the toilet. The bidet spigot came out fast faster and sprayed me all over the face! Not my finest moment. But you can let him know that those toilets will flush automatically. And if he comes across a non-fancy toilet with two buttons on top of the toilet, one is a light flush for flushing pee and one is a stronger flush for poop. Asian toilets rock.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Told him to do that and he freaked out the water would squirt all over. Apparently I need to defer to you level headed folk when it comes to toilet button pushing.

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Meredith October 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I would just have to pee my pants or poop on the floor if I were faced with that toilet. Some things never to be that advanced.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

So, just a hole in the ground for you then?

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Joanne Nielsen October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

When I was a kid my Dad would often have to go away to Virginia or some other places. He would bring us all back gifts. I honestly did not really notice and was just used to it. I imagine my Mother went nuts without him though. Chin up! He will be back before you know it.

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm

If he comes home without gifts, the kids will eat his corpse.

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Christen October 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I promise you, you will get through it. But I know that sinking feeling – the one where you have to make the drive back home, all alone. It sucks. And it’s probably not safe to drive through all those tears but oh well. I’m still here today. I have dropped by husband off at pier 3 times in the last three years, knowing I wouldn’t see him for 6-7 months. And not hear from him for 2-3 weeks at a time. And like Eileen said above, this is totally not a one-up thing, it’s exactly the exact opposite. I get it. :) And I’ll stop talking now before I get choked up… I mean, by the dust that’s flying around in here…

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Brittany October 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm

You are amazing, and yeah WTF IS WITH THIS DUST!?

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Joy October 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

damn I need me one of those toilets I mean seriously it warms your butt, nothing worse than waking at 2am for one of the middle of the night pees & having to sit on an ice sickle!

My hubs is leaving me in a couple of weeks for an entire week to go hunting! Yea WTF he isn’t even going away to earn some money he is leaving me here to take care of these kids alone while he is off doing something withOUT kids!

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Nicki October 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I am so sorry you are flying solo! I get the same way when my husband is out of town! Only I don’t have the sense of humor you have to do anything productive about it! You are an amazing wife and no, guys just don’t miss people the way we do!!! Hang in there and I hope you feel better soon!!

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erin October 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Have you ever read David Sedaris? Your writing reminds me a lot of him same he has published plenty of books. You got that whole book thing in the bag girlfriend.

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Kellyalleyne October 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I feel you on dealing with stuff all by yourself. My husband is in Sweden for the next month or so (no exact return date actually), and I hate that I have to do all the adult things like pay bills, go grocery shopping, make sure the dogs stay alive, etc. I get sick every time he leaves too, which makes me even more weepy.

I’m proud I haven’t eaten half of the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe’s though. That’s usually my refuge, so progress is being made…

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes October 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

Last year my husband needed to go to Kenia for 3 months, I threatend divorce if he did that. The project was cancelled.

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meredith October 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am glad to know that the automated car wash gives someone else anxiety. I feel like the attendant is judging me and all my womaness every time I pull up to the tire rail thing. My palms get sweaty and my stomach aches. And then even after I do it correctly and drive away from the car wash I am sure I have somehow damaged my tire. Any way tell Andy the gifts better be spectacular! And stay away from the Kimchee! Yuck!

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Laura October 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

same here I hate them!

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Momma Chaos October 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

My husband spent an entire year in Korea (bleck, I still try to block it out.. lol) but since the majority of it was spent on the an AirForce base, he has never seen one of these handy dandy toilets.. The ones he saw in town were more of the hole in the ground variety.. lol.. Obviously the airforce men didn’t make it to the right parts of town?! Lol!

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meleah rebeccah October 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Awwwwwww. Sorry you’re solo for the next 11 days. That’s such a crappy feeling.

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Kristie October 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm

My husband is Air Force also, which he claims means that he never has to see foreign toilets or do anything that isn’t air conditioned. He’s also never been deployed, though, so I feel like that would be a rude awakening for him. He’s so OCD that he’d spend months researching their toilets anyway.

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Mandy Fish October 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Okay, now I kinda want that toilet.

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megryansmom October 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

I saw those in Menard’s on Sunday and I couldn’t figure it out when it was written in English.

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Laura October 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

Several things…
1-My husband and I are the same way. He goes fishing for the weekend and I’m an idiot about it. I’m gone for days and he’s like “oh you left?”. He is supposed to go to Sydney for 3 months next year. I don’t think I can handle that.
2-Taco Bell and The Cure are good for all things sad and scary. The Killers too.
3-Just wait til the kids get into Algebra. “What do you mean math has letters in it?!” Oh and dont forget Grammar: “you just say it that way.. I dunno what the rule is!”
4- that toilet is scary and intriguing… and scary.

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Jes October 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

Omg. I’m laughing so hard. Not at you, but bc you described me so well. I’m with my fellow Silent Rank above who’s husband is about to deploy, we don’t ever do the ‘ I’ve got it worse ‘ bullshit, we signed up for it – but fuuuck is it hard! I had no idea where mine was for 5 months, and then homie all of a sudden calls from a sat phone, tells me he loves me and the asks for the international code for Japan so his Marine could call his wife.

WTF DID YOU JUST SAY?! And because I’m white and suburban, OH NO YOU DI’DNT.

I gave him the code and then proceeded to tear him apart like he was a recruit, I still feel bad to this day bc dude was sincerely confused. At one point I guess I yelled that I had taken care of ‘bathroom spider ‘, gotten unstuck from a cupboard ALL BY MYSELF,almost died but DIDN’T when my hand got stuck down the toilet hole and the Mastiff was going to eat my face after I died and that wasn’t even the tragic part, the fact that I LOoOve firefighters and they we’re going to find my dead, eaten, stuck sown the poop hole body and that was just embarrassing so I used my really expensive shampoo and got out THANK YOU VERY MUCH, and I got the oil changed for ONLY $474-eleventy dollars by myself and HA, no mechanic was going to screw me bc I’m a woman, and that I didn’t know where he was, what village they were living in, and that he had BETTER BRING ME A MOTHERFUCKING ORPHAN AND BEAR DOG

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Jes October 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I love it when I’m all Kerfluffle-y and hit post.

Anyway, I screamed @ him, he hung up and turned around to all of his marines, and they were all standing there with their mouths open I guess. They advised him that it may be the worst idea in. The. World. to have gone underground in Afghanistan to fight one of the worst battles in the war, for 5 months, and not have Tim to call his wife, then be screwed bc you’re living.in a town and have no support ir supplies, and when a convoy comes through with a sat phone, call her to ask for a number so someone else can call their wife. Needless to say, he called back r.e.a.l.l.y quickly. Lol.

Long story short, it passes, they do dumb Shit, but man are you so thankful for them. Mine ended up coming home as a Wounded Warrior, and the humor of what we went through is what got us through the dark days of his injuries.

Also, to the young lady about to go through a deployment : First off, please find a measure of peace in knowing that while Iraq is still war, its not as kinetic as it used to be. Also, its winter there pretty quickly now, so cold weather gear is what he’ll need the most. That and a great k-bar. Brittany, please feel free to give my info to her if she needs to talk.

So, there is my ass long comment. Sorry for any typos and the dumb fuck way it posted, my phone is apparently a MOTHERFUCKING IDIOT SAVANT today.

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Jes October 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Oh fuck me.

I give up. Also, I look like a crazy person.

I totally had a comment before the last that, oh I don’t know, didn’t post BECAUSE GOD IS LAUGHING AT ME. I promise, it was funny.

Stupid fucking DUMB phone..

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