I love Charlie Brown/Snoopy & the Peanuts gang. Lately I find myself picturing this green wall-hanging in the basement of my grandma's house. It has a very frustrated Lucy screaming, "I'm frustrated, inhibited and nobody understands me!" I think that wall-hanging might be the thing that motivated me to learn to read big words. I remember trying to read it and trying to understand what it meant...and now I know.
We are going through a lot of red tape issues (and have been for months) as we attempt to move. I think I've done a good job being positive and hopeful. Even my psychiatrist (who is actually not my psychiatrist, he's one of my running partners who happens to be a psychiatrist) thinks I'm handling the situation unbelievably well. But, as our departure draws nearer and the issues just keep on coming, I have decided that it might be healthy to take a few minutes to vent.
First let me say that up until a few months ago, I was a big fan of the Air Force. When David was in Korea and feeling lousy about the AF, I talked it up and said it would be better when he was somewhere else, and when we were together. When I invited my young neighbors over for dinner and he said that he would probably just do his 4 years and get out, I encouraged him to stay in for all the good opportunities and job security and what-not. When David was deployed for 4 months, I went to a deployed spouse all-services dinner and knew that because I'm an AF spouse, the deployment would probably be easier on me than a lot of the other gals at my table. I would smile gently at my Marine Corps Wife friends when they complained and be glad to be Air Force. When my MC friend said her nephew was going to join the military and called to ask her what branch she'd suggest I said, "I hope you told him Air Force!" I even got a Proud Wife of an Airman coffee mug for Christmas...and didn't think it was a gag gift.
Second, let me say that I really try to make sure that I don't get all "I am Military Wife. Hear me be selfless and self-sufficient and strong" (although I don't completely disagree with the statement). I also don't want to come across as "I'm a Military Wife. You should feel sorry for me because I move a lot and live far away from my family and spend months at a time alone and every time I make a best friend she moves away and we get phone calls in the middle of the night calling my military man into work or to deal with some issue caused by someone he supervises" (but if you want to feel sorry for me every now and then, you're more than welcome).
And third, I think I must mention that David would probably be uncomfortable with the idea of me blogging about my current issues with the AF. So I won't mention any names or offices or specifics about anything which might make this kind of confusing for all of us.
And now...let me begin my vent.
When David volunteered to go on an unaccompanied assignment, we BOTH volunteered for it. We both decided that the benefits such an assignment could offer would make the sacrifice almost worthwhile. One of the supposed benefits was the chance to have a follow-on assignment, to know about it ahead of time, and to have it be one of our top choices of location. This benefit is fairly well-known, as every time I said "He's doing a remote", the first response was "Oooo, what's your follow-on?" But it turns out, this benefit is a real can of worms. We were originally supposed to leave TOMORROW. (Actually, we were originally supposed to leave last June, but that's beside the point.) Now we are supposed to leave TWO WEEKS from now. I have no idea what I'm doing, where I'm going, or if I'm even really leaving. The package that we submitted for approval over two months ago (which must be approved before we can get orders, which is the magical thing we need to start the process of leaving) has been sent to the wrong person, sent from the wrong person, unopened for long periods of time, lost, deleted. This is a whole new level of ridiculousness, and believe me, I'm familiar with ridiculous. Did you know that my own SSN isn't even on my ID card? David's is. It makes my place clear every time I look at it... I am Property of Property of the U.S. Military. But seriously, Air Force... I am a person!!! I am a human being and I don't think it's completely out of line for a human being who has willingly relinquished control of many of the most important aspects of her life to want you to make a decision in a timely manner, inform me of the decision, and stick with it.
Thank you. Vent over.
It probably would've gone on much longer, but my sensible and positive Marine Wife friend called and managed to bring me down a few notches.