Warning: I'm about to make a sweeping generalization about civilians...
When civilians hear 'military', they either think deployment, or homecoming. And while I try so hard to give you all a glimpse of the in-between's, I'm going to feed right into this generalization and chat about homecoming -- in a not so banal way. Whether it's a full-on deployment or a "mini"-deployment, here are my homecoming words of wisdom about I have learned first-hand along the way:
1. Ditch any idea you had in your deployment-mode mind that your legs will always be perfectly shaven.
You probably have this picture in your mind of a stunning well-kept classy woman running to the arms of her man. Yes. That happens. But that being well-kept, is well-hard-to-do with a man always in your territory. Long gone will be the days of hour long pampering events. Next time we'll keep it up! we say. But let's face the facts. Those minutes will be replaced by keeping up with the ever-dwindling food supply at home, since there's now a Yogi Bear occupying your space.
2. Being a full household again will be filled with even more amazing moments than you ever imagined and it'll make you want to do something "the hills are alive"-esque. It will also be a complete disappointment filled with its share of embarrassing meltdowns. There will be no in-between.
You probably have this picture in your mind of a stunning well-kept classy woman running to the arms of her man. Yes. That happens. But emotions and expectations are so high that when you're happy, it's like the whole world is bowing down to you. And when you're mad, then good Lord people watch out because it's about to rain on your heads. As much as we all try, there's really no smooth comfortable transitioning back to normalcy. At least not at first. Think PMS to Nth degree. Duration varies. For me, it's about 3 weeks.
3. Accept the fact that household-appropriate four-letter words like "shop"(ping) will be substituted with "other" four-letter words that, before you know it, will become temporarily household-appropriate. (I can't believe I just said that).
You probably have this picture in your mind of a stunning well-kept classy woman running to the arms of her man. Yes. That happens. But even for the classy brood, those three weeks of rollercoaster PMS cannot be complete without a temporary vocabulary toolbox. There are some things from the military you want to take home with you, like... well, I can't think of anything at the moment. There are others, like the soldier-to-soldier talk, that has to be conditioned out of Superman. That is, if I don't catch it myself. We get poopy mouths. And it gets bad, people. Sometimes it even slips into phone conversations with my own mother. Duration varies.
F-bombs away, B***s.