July 30, 2008


[Cross posted at SpouseBUZZ]

Today I found a deployment issue I hadn't thought of. For the first four years of our married life, and throughout the first deployment, my husband and I shared one car. Now we have two and he's deployed again. I thought it was a great novelty to drive his car, but I didn't realize how exclusively I was driving it until I went out to get in my car today. Dead battery. I realized it hadn't been driven in about five weeks. Oops. I'll have to do a better job of making sure both cars get driven equally.

So I had to jump one car with the other. That's Homefront Six's area of expertise, not mine.

I am a dufus. I don't even want to tell you how dumb I am about cars and batteries; that little secret will remain between my dad and me. But after I got off the phone with him and realized the proper way to jump a car, I accidentally knocked the positive and negative ends of the jumper cables together and got a nice spark.

That's when the mental gremlins kicked in. All of a sudden, I imagined myself electrocuted to death in my garage. And wondered who would notice.

I had this same thought before a few days ago when I started taking a medicine for the eye surgery that I'd never taken before. If I dropped dead in my house, how long would it take for someone to figure it out? My husband is gone. I have no kids. I don't even have a job I'd be expected at the next morning. I am friendly with my neighbors, but not so close that they'd notice me missing. My friends and my mom would call and get my answering machine, and maybe they'd call back the next day, but how long would it take for one of them to realize it had been a long time since they'd heard from me? And if so, what would they do? It's not like my mom or AWTM can pop in on me from the Midwest to make sure I'm still breathing.

A friend of mine, her neighbor slipped and died in the shower. It took three days for someone to find her, and it only happened that quickly because another insightful neighbor noticed her newspapers piling up.

I don't even get the paper.

I know, I know, completely morbid thoughts. But I'm sure this is something that single people all over the world have to worry about, not just military spouses on deployment. It just really hit me how isolated I am. No one in my city would notice I was missing.

People on the internet would probably notice first.

There's a blogger out there who goes by the name of Green. LAW and I noticed that she hadn't posted in a while, so we left a comment. Then we sent emails. Neither one of us knew her last name or her phone number, and LAW and I sent emails back and forth, hoping that Green was OK. It was a relief when she finally replied and realized how worried about her we were; she was just busy with Real Life and hadn't been online. David Boxenhorn and I did the exact same thing when Amritas hadn't posted in what felt like an eternity. I had half a mind to research his parents' phone number; can you imagine that call? "Hi, I know your son through the internet. He's not dead, is he?" But when someone from your online family doesn't show up for a while, it can be a red flag.

Please, if I don't blog or email, someone check on me.

Oh, and when I called my parents to voice my concerns and to give them the phone numbers of two friends in town who could peek in my windows and make sure I'm still kickin', my dad further cemented my dufus-ness by telling me that I can't really die from a spark on a car battery.

Good thing it's not possible to die from worry either. I'd be long dead.

(And you guys better throw me one of those My Name Is Earl funerals.)

Posted by Sarah at July 30, 2008 09:05 PM | TrackBack

Now don't go and get all maudlin on us!;D
Seriously people who live alone should have an in- town phone buddy they call every day at a preset time, that way someone will notice. Many of the elderly do this, singles and wives left behind should do it too.

Posted by: Ruth H at July 30, 2008 09:20 PM

I talk (or email/chat/etc) with Heather every single day. She knows where I am and what I'm doing almost all the time, or has a general idea. She also has contact numbers for people all over the place to check on me.

I think everybody should have a Heather. :)

Posted by: Sis B at July 30, 2008 10:43 PM

Sarah, I may not read your blog every day, but I do check on mine to see if you have posted on yours, kind of my way of checking on you....I'd notice if you disappeared....it's only normal to feel the way you do....you need a battle buddy....I'm surprised that this was not something that was put out within your unit prior to the deployment, Lord knows we are told to drill it into our families heads about how important it is to ensure we are checking on one another....that families have battle buddies just like soldiers.

Posted by: A Soldier's Wife at July 31, 2008 12:24 AM

ASW has it right. BBs are invaluable. we didn't get them assigned in our unit, but I strongly encourage you to get one. We did a briefing for a NG unit deploying, and they are setting up a roster/phone tree and BBs - its easier that way...


Posted by: LAW at July 31, 2008 05:12 AM

I worry about this too when DH is deployed. Just thought you might feel better knowing you're not the only one. I don't really know the neighbors, am not really friendly with anybody from DH's command, and my family is at least a few hours away... When I was younger, a woman I used to work for had a friend who died after slipping in the bathroom, too. That's always in the back of my head, especially now that I'm not as coordinated.

I am thinking of training one of the animals to call 911, just in case.

Posted by: Ann M. at July 31, 2008 07:27 AM

Here S,two of the great tributes from that

"Man, Josh could make me LOL. I'd always be ROTFLMAO. And he was there when you needed him. He'd never give you a BRB, or an AFK."

"He always sent the best forwards. And when you sent him a chain letter, you knew he'd pass it on. Excuse me. Hello, this is technical support. How can I help you today? My name is Mary Smith."

Posted by: maryindiana at July 31, 2008 12:19 PM

Sarah - its so interesting that you say that b/c I often think, worry, etc about people when I notice they haven't posted in awhile. And then I think "is this weird, they dont even know me" But I feel like I know them!!!

You should definitely get a "buddy" With my job, my computer is on all the time - I'd be happy to be your buddy - we could "meet" on IM :)

Posted by: Keri at July 31, 2008 01:00 PM

I can attest that this is a problem for single women too. I had a job once where one of the guys got a little grabby while we were working. Ok, a lot grabby, like second date stuff. He wasn't the nicest guy on the planet and I worried if I told the boss what happened, he would find me and make me regret it. No one would have noticed I was missing for three days so I quit at lunch without giving a reason. Someone yelled at me for "letting him get away with it." I told them that maybe the next woman he groped would have a gun-totin' husband and wouldn't be scared like I had been.

Can you ask your dad if getting a jump start right at a gas pump is stupid? I would have kept driving if I hadn't been on fumes.

Posted by: Jacki at July 31, 2008 10:24 PM

Ok, Ok! I'll post!

...And thanks for worrying about me; I feel loved :)

Posted by: Green at August 1, 2008 11:55 PM

Hahahaha. That is too funny. My neighbor went thru that exact thing last summer. I had a few technical difficulties when mine was TDY last summer for 4 months, but thank goodness for my quick acting neighbors on either side. And a daddy who raised 3 daughters and no sons. Yes, I'm "that girl." If I can't do it right - I will redneck it until it can be done.

Posted by: Darla at August 9, 2008 10:19 AM