Sometimes, it feels to me like I'm vapor. I do not exist.
That is, as far as the Army is concerned, I might as well not be living and breathing, because they don't care. Why? Because I am "only a girlfriend." I am not a wife... which means if something happens to the love of my life... instead of the certain knowledge that someone will show up on my doorstep to tell me, I am instead faced with the possibility that if they get around to it, someone might call me and tell me. Is it any wonder that when Ranger Man was gone I compulsively checked the DOD casualty news releases?
On the other hand, I rarely volunteer the information to people that I meet that I am an Army girlfriend, and I NEVER volunteer that I am a Ranger Girlfriend. There is something in society that lets people sympathize with wives, and associate a sense of sacrifice and almost heroism (by association of the soldier-husband?) with the wife, but girlfriends- maybe because we haven't "closed the deal?"- are merely the barracks whores. And Ranger girlfriends... well, let's say that people think that I should come complete with my own stripper pole...
I hate being a girlfriend! So- does that mean that I should rush into a marriage, knowing full well that I won't be able to live with my husband for at least two years, in order to sooth my mind? Or should I wait, patiently, losing more and more of my mind with each deployment and becoming more and more of a recluse as I am unable to share this huge portion of my life with people for fear of the "looks." I feel like I want to get married, because I don't think that you can impose civilian ideas of conventionality onto Military marriages, but I also would really like to be able to live with my husband once we're married. Being together and being separated is really hard!