While standing over the stove cooking dinner, the husband comes home and announces, ‘well, I got my orders today,’ and my stomach does the clenching thing and my heart does the super fast beating thing and my breath does the holding thing. “There is good news, and there is bad news….” Of course. Because sometimes, life just isn’t fair; aka: your detailer is a dickhead.
Now I know detailers get a bad reputation. And I am sure it is an incredibly difficult job because they have a lot of people asking for specific jobs or locations for various reasons and they can’t always give everyone their first, or even second choice. It is a rough job. And it must really be difficult at times to know they are totally screwing over somebody. They must lose sleep. Their hair must turn grey. Or at least it better.
My husband got his very last preferences on one occasion – both job type and location. And he was incredibly unhappy in the job and constantly asked his detailer to get him out of there as soon as possible. When he was scheduled to rotate out to a different job, however, he found out that because of shuffling people around, he would have to stay longer at this job he was so unhappy in. Someone else could have been moved. To this day, I do not understand how someone could get emails on a biweekly basis asking to get out of this job and yet that is the guy you choose to make stay. It makes no sense to me, and honestly, when my husband asked his detailer why he was chosen to stay, he was not given a real honest answer, but some runaround bullshhhh. There was no real reason. He just got the short end of the stick yet again.
Because sometimes life just isn’t fair. You don’t get the duty station you wanted. You don’t get a solid commanding officer. You don’t get the job you really wanted. Your kid doesn’t get into the school you wanted. Whatever it is, it is important that we allow ourselves the time to go, “wow, this really sucks.” I think sometimes people are so busy trying to be positive about something negative that they end up in a weird state of denial. A friend was recently telling me about a rough time one of her friends is having with her husband’s career but instead of straight up saying, “yeah, this sucks and is unfortunate,” she keeps pretending as though it isn’t really happening. This denial can become very common in military spouses, at least in my experience. You find out you get your last preference and wives tend to go one of two ways: 1) YAY! FORCED SMILE, SO HAPPY, or 2) Well this is the worst thing to ever happen and I will be angry about it forever. And neither is one hundred percent healthy. Sometimes life just isn’t fair but we must openly acknowledge that before we can move on to the positive side.
You can’t always get what you want, as the song says, and that very frequently applies to the military world. So give yourself that mourning period if you don’t get what you wanted. And then pick yourself up and move on. Find out cool things about your new duty station. Reach out to people who have been there. Fantasize about setting the detailer’s desk on fire. And you will have a happier, healthier, corner of the sky.