Friday, March 18, 2005

Tuna's Good Deed

My husband has made one good friend during this deployment. And this friend was married just a couple of months before he left on this deployment.

A couple of days ago, my husband sent me the name and number of his friend's wife and he asked me to call her. He wanted me to check in and see how she was really doing.

I appreciate the fact that my husband is the kind of man who is concerned for his friends. And I feel for this woman who must be going through emotional hell. And I like to think of myself as the kind of military wife who can reach out to others out of the kindness of my heart.

But I dreaded making this call.

As much as I can play the officer's wife roll in social situations, I really am painfully shy underneath it all.

Before I called her, I talked to my husband on the phone. I asked a few questions. He told me he appreciated what I was doing. And I sighed and told him, "I don't mind, but, well, I'm really shy, you know."

And he replied, "Yeah right."

This dichotomy in my personality--this pull between being painfully shy and yet very outgoing--is something that has bothered me for years.

I want to be outgoing. But when I'm among other people and I'm keeping small talk going or even being witty and making people laugh, I feel like I'm in a show. It's the I'll Make a Great Commander's Wife Someday show. And I'm the star, producer, writer, and director.

So in keeping with that, before I made this call, I wrote myself a little script.

Hi, is ____ there?

Hi! My name is _______ and my husband is deployed with your husband.

I'm just calling because ____ said this was your first deployment and I wanted to see how you were doing.

I even wrote an alternate script in case I had to leave a message.

And I wrote down a few questions to ask, just in case I had to keep the conversational ball rolling.

So, where are you from originally?

How did you guys meet?

What kind of job are you looking for?

So clearly, I'm a freak. But a well-intentioned one

I know what it is like to be separated from your brand new husband. I know what it is like to be searching for a job during that time. I know how the hours stretch and stretch and how desperately miserable it is possible to be.

I want to connect with this stranger. I want her to start her Air Force life out on the right foot. Because it is a great life, if you have the right attitude.

Mostly, I want her to know that she isn't alone.

I ended up leaving her a message. Who knows if I'll work up the courage to write out another script and call her again. But I want to.

You know, it would be a lot easier just to send her my URL and let her see what I'm all about. It's really too bad that can never happen.

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