Diary of a Woman's Misadventures in Iraq

The Juicy Excerpt

MARCH 12, 2005

I saw my first IED (improvised explosive device) go off today. It was detonated by the EOD (the bomb people). We were called out because they wanted to use the Psychological Operations “force,” (i.e. IED blocker), but it had been damaged from all the recent rain. My headset had suffered a similar fate. I can hear School Boy, but he can’t hear me … his dream come true and my worst nightmare. I kid.

Back to the IED: we waited almost two hours for them to send their little robot out to explode it. The much anticipated explosion wasn’t quite as loud or big as I expected. It could have just been because we were far away. All and all, I was a bit disappointed in the show. My husband is right, I am hard to please. I did, however, enjoy the Apache helicopters. They flew around looking for bad guys. In a place where there isn’t much plumbing and electricity, it really must wow the locals to see those things flying around.

We stopped by a few towns to look for their Sheiks. The first town was cool; they gave us Chi (hot sugar tea) and were very friendly. I took a few courteous sips before dumping it on the side. It was so bitter that I could barely stand it. The rest of the towns sucked. We almost got stuck in the mud, or should I say s#$%, again. School Boy had a run-in with an overprotective dog that he almost shot. Oh, and one soldier took off without telling anyone. Luckily, School Boy saw where he had gone (without his M16!) and went to get him.

After 4x4ing for what seemed like hours, we hit our last town. This guy in a white robe figured out I was a girl. He was persistent. He stared at me the entire hour and a half we were there. He gave me the creeps. Sometimes I can easily read people and empathize, but on the flip side, I can read the bad people too. He didn’t have good thoughts. I had the distinct feeling he would like to humiliate me in some way. And it wasn’t that he didn’t smile, because he did sometimes. But between the whispering, stares, and the way he treated the others, I could tell he wasn’t a good person. I couldn’t wait to leave there.

School Boy was being a royal pain in the a@#. I think he was grouchy from the 4x4ing and the long day. I asked him if he had an “off” button. He kept shouting randomly and cursing. I told him to stop because everyone was staring. He said they didn’t know what he was saying. Still, all it takes is one. Not to mention it annoyed the piss out of me. He mellowed after awhile.

While we were stopped at one town, an interesting call came over the radio. It was a full description of someone who went to see the medic and had what appeared to be a sexually transmitted disease. They said the patient admitted to being with a prostitute in the last three days. What the hell? How did that happen and why would they say it over the radio? Geez, tact people! Where would a soldier find a prostitute here?

School Boy got me ragingly pissed off today. He constantly twists my words around and makes me out to be this horrible person. I know he’s teasing, but he is getting way too personal for me. There is no one else to talk to so, of course, we “share” stuff everyday. Now it’s like he uses my words against me at some later date. I tell him about the separate finances thing and how I “earn” my own money, and he makes it seem like I’m a money hungry chic. I had the opportunity to marry someone very well off and chose not too. I’m not and never have been for sale. Is there anything wrong with liking the money I earn?

He’s never been divorced, so he doesn’t know what it’s like to be screwed over. Having separate accounts is not a totally unheard of thing. He says my marriage is more of a business deal rather than about love. Isn’t marriage a contract? Shouldn’t it be handled as such? I made the mistake of mentioning the maid and he pulled a Tomboy on me, making me feel guilty about having help. I work three freaking jobs and volunteer on two boards. Yes, I’d like a freaking break once in awhile.

Then he gets on me about the whole kid thing. I’ve been thinking about having kids lately. I happened to tell him that I think kids should have two parents and that the only real reason to get married is for the stability of the kids. Let’s face it, marriage screws people over financially.

Okay, maybe that came across the wrong way, but I think marriage can really screw people over. I just don’t see the point, except to create a stable environment for children.

Now he’s saying I got married just to have babies. That’s not true at all. I’m not one of those people. I just think a kid should have a mom and a dad around. I am 30 years old and don’t have kids, so it’s not like I would have kids with just anyone. As a matter of fact, I have a five-year rule. I have to be in a relationship for at least five years before I’d even consider it, and let’s face it, I haven’t even met that standard yet. I guess when he said that it made me think of certain girls I’ve known throughout my life who wanted to have one so bad, they off and married the first guy, popped out a kid, and are now single parents because the sperm donation is a done deal. I would never do that. I would never have a child with someone I didn’t truly love and cherish.

Why am I so offended? I know who I am and I’m not this monster of a woman he makes me out to be.

Am I?

Am I too uptight, and concerned about money and stability? Am I supposed to just throw away everything I worked so hard for … for love … a sometimes fleeting emotion? My God, I’ve gone through freaking panic attacks because I worked so hard going to school, working, and fixing my past mistakes with marriage. Am I just supposed to do it all again? No, I learn from my mistakes.

He has me on the defensive. I could verbally attack him, but I won’t stoop. He speaks about cheating “hypothetically” (he will never admit to ever having done anything outside his marriage and hides behind hypothetical scenarios). He says his relationship is so “perfect.” How can you cheat if you’re in a perfect relationship?

I felt like saying “yeah, I so yearn for the great relationship where my husband cheats on me.” How can you say that you value your relationship that much if you are willing to risk it all for a lay? What a bunch of bull@#$^. Well, I restrained myself, but it took a lot. Why am I getting defensive? He just made me sound so shallow.

I’m not shallow. I’m responsible. And maybe my marriage isn’t always perfect, but at least I admit it. Guys make me sick sometimes. I’ll tell you what. I’d take my husband, with what little he earns, any day of the week over a man who claims he is madly in love with me, and everything is perfect, yet he cheats behind my back.

Now I feel like crying. Sometimes I hate being a girl just because I get so emotional. I missed a pill last night, which is probably why I’ve been so moody. I’m just tired of defending myself. Damn, I wish he had an off button. Let me think about what I can do to calm down when he so frequently pisses me off. I could give it the old “I know you are but what am I?” This whole thing is childish and I’m not sharing anymore because he just uses it against me.