Friday, June 20, 2008

He's been in Iraq for too long.

Today I got a surprise in the mail. Well, technically it wasn't really a surprise, since I've been waiting for it for almost three weeks, but I finally got it. A box that was packed with love and care in the sandy, dusty, smelly armpit of the world (or so I see it) traveled out of that hell and made it here, to the land of the free. In it were traces of my husband - CD's and DVD's that he thought I would like, the first season of Heroes that he watched in about two days flat, an Iraqi-made puzzle ring that is one of the most frustrating things I've attempted to put together but that will be intensely satisfying once that attempt finds it full potential, two little teddy bears, some magazines, and a very funny "You Know You Have Been in Iraq Too Long When..." list. I have a feeling that when I start to think about what the soldiers over there are going through too seriously, all I will have to do is pull out this list and have a little chuckle. Here's a little sampling of it:

You Know You Have Been in Iraq Too Long When...
  • You start humming with the Arabic song playing on the radio on the shuttle bus
  • You start picturing your wife in traditional Arab dress
  • You drink the water from the tap because you want to drop 20 pounds in two weeks
  • Your idea of a fun Thursday night is to go to the Palace pool to watch the State Department folks get drunk, naked and try to pick each other up
  • You make the new guy show you his count down timer just to make you feel better about your time you have left in country.
  • You forget there are other colors than brown that can be found in places other than power point slides
  • When you call home and your kids ask "Who is this?"
  • You find it completely acceptable to pick your nose while talking to a complete stranger or member of the opposite sex
  • You go on R&R, you duct tape your child to the roof of your car, hand him a pellet rifle, and assign him a sector of fire for the ride to The Olive Garden
  • During the BUA, "DIV asked MNSTC-I for the FRAGO that MNC-I was supposed to publish, but couldn't because MNF-I hadn't weighed in, since they were too inundated with MOD and MOI wargaming the JCC's within the ISF to square us away!" is a valid comment and generates no questions.
  • You're in the Air Force, and you're on the plane home because an Air Force tour is too short to have been a long Iraq tour. Ignore this, you won't get it.

Sorry to those who might be offended by that last one, but I have to admit it kind of struck a chord with me. If Aaron were Air Force (or Marines or Navy for that matter), chances are that he would either be home by now or be coming home soon. Instead, we get to wait as long as it takes to create a human life. Ugh. Anyways, I like the list. Along with the other goodies in the well traveled box, it lifted my spirits and made me smile. That's all I can ask for.

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Why we wait.