I've been contemplating writing about my personal relationships from the time I was in Iraq to the present. I can't be the only female veteran who has lost love, found love, lost love again, dated, fell in lust, and done it all over again…right? Aside from the awkwardness of dating, things have only gotten more interesting with men after I tell them I’m a veteran.
I’ve seen how women react to male veterans…women are intrigued, they lean in close to hear all the stories these brave guys have to tell, they run their fingers up and down their arms as if they are soothing them, panties practically fly off, and then…well, there’s the reaction I get: “Oh, that’s cool”, “You got a girlfriend?”, “You don’t look like a veteran”, “You carried a gun?” And then for the most part, it’s just back to figuring out how to get into my pants.
I left for Iraq kind of, sort of, not quite sure, maybe in a relationship. My boyfriend of a year and I decided to see how things went while I was over there. I called him, he emailed and sent me packages. A few months into my deployment, I emailed him less and less. How many different ways could we talk about the same thing? Yes, it’s hot. Work was good. We got mortared today, blah blah blah. It’s not that I didn’t want him in my life, I just didn’t know how to keep him part of it. Some days I thought I would get a “Dear Jane” letter in the mail. It would’ve made both our lives easier.
When I got home, my quasi boyfriend jumped right back into relationship mode. We made dinner, watched movies, and rarely ever talked about Iraq. This satisfied him but not me. He didn’t want to know about what I did or what I saw. He wouldn’t look at any of the pictures I had taken. To him Iraq was just a speed bump; something we both had to get over so we could carry on with our lives.
He told me he loved me and I had no idea what love was. I would look into his blue eyes and he was filled with hope. My brown eyes were mat and inconvincible. I wanted to remember what home was like and feel alive when he touched me. This is what made me happy before and this is what I thought I needed to be happy again. He was a stranger to me now and I wasn’t who he remembered.
Our relationship went on for a few months. One night after dinner, we ended up messing around. I unbuttoned his pants and moved slowly down his stomach with my lips and took him into my mouth. I looked up at him. While life was good for him, I had an epiphany. After he finished, he got dressed and held me for a few minutes. I told him I was tired. He left. Sitting on the edge of my bed I replayed our relationship over and over in my mind. I realized he would be perfect for someone just not me. I called him while he was driving home and ended it. I told him we both knew this wasn’t what we remembered and it never could be. I hung up the phone and cried. Within minutes I recovered. I promised myself that was the last dick I would suck who didn’t want to hear about Iraq.
And so the story goes...