I'll never forget the first time one of my friends told me she packs away all of her husbands bathroom items (razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, deodorant, brush, shampoo, soap, etc...) the day after he leaves for deployment.
I had NEVER of heard of this and frankly it had never crossed my mind. However, looking back I can kind of see her point. If looking at that stuff everyday for weeks makes you sad or upset, then why not pack it away? I imagine we all have things that change in our habits once they "are gone". For instance, I keep one of his t-shirts out of the wash for as long as possible. It smells like him and is strangely comforting.
So, while the fact your bathroom vanity and shower might be void of any trace of your loved one (which is entirely okay), here are five things that signal my spouse is deployed:
My laundry shrinks by 2/3. Even without a uniform my spouse has more clothes than me and whenever we leave the house is often the best dressed. (I need to work on this I know.)
There are no pork chops in my refrigerator or freezer. Personally, this is my least favorite meal and his favorite. Although I have been tempted to buy pork chops at the commissary just to feel closer to him. I know...crazy.
Having to put the extra plate I just grabbed out of the cupboard back. This has actually caused a mini breakdown before.
The postal clerks at our local post office know me by name. My budget also takes hit since care packages can get pricey if I'm not careful and creative.
My friends become like my second spouse. I see them more often and even talk to them until the wee hours of the morning. When the deployment is over we almost feel like we have all broken up with each other.
How are things different in your life when your spouse deploys or is away for a long period of time? Are you having cereal for dinner regularly? Is the TV on all night? Maybe you sleep with your cell phone? Share your "signs" in the comment section!