+Thursday, March 24, 2005+
I'm so sad right now I can hardly function. It's been a week today since I last talked to Matt, and I wouldn't mind it so much if I didn't feel like it was being rubbed in my face. I know it's NOT, I know it's probably crazy of me to even think that, but my heart aches because of it, and that's how I feel. I'll explain...

For the most part, the families of my FRG are from Reno, but there's a handful in Vegas and even one in Texas, so someone got the idea to start up a Yahoo! group so that we could stay informed and email each other for support inbetween our monthly meetings (and it comes in handy for those who aren't in Reno and can't attend the meetings). It was fine at first, I suppose, reading email after email of families pouring their hearts out; I opted to keep my responses to a minimum as I personally feel like some of these women are sharing too much information. I won't elaborate, but I'm sure you can imagine. There's parts of mine and Matt's relationship that aren't for the general public. I won't share them here, and I won't share them with the folks in my FRG because frankly, it's no one else's business.

But I digress. As of late, I HATE this "email support." I dread checking my email because of it. I'll have to log on and read how so-and-so heard from her husband 3 times today, and how such-and-such got flowers from her hubby for Easter. I know they're only sharing their happiness with the group, I know it's not meant as a "ha ha, my husband called and yours didn't," but for the same reasons I chose not to tell Matt's mom how often I heard from him while he was at Ft. Sill, I don't want to hear about how often these women hear from their men.

It's not jealousy, per se, and it's not causing any aggravation toward Matt as I know he'll call when he gets the opportunity and I know it doesn't mean he misses me any less (in fact, I get comfort from the knowledge that he loves me and misses me just as much as I do him), but it has come to feel like they're gloating. Matt and I can't afford the $4.99/minute it costs to make a call on a cell phone from Afghanistan. I cherish the times we get to talk on the phone and put just as much love into my letters and care packages as I do into our conversations, but it's an unfamiliar feeling that gnaws at my heart a little every time I hear about those few who have the luxury of talking to their soldiers almost every day.

What I should be focusing on is the vast majority who don't hear from their soldiers every day, the other families who can't afford the atrocious cost of an international cell phone call, the families whose soldiers have to wait in line for the phones just like Matt, but it's hard when I have to read about the rest in my inbox every day. I keep my mouth shut (or rather my hands away from the keyboard?), but I have to wonder if they ever think about how it affects the rest of us, and moreover, I wonder if it even affects the "rest of us" the way it's affected me. I don't know how to put into words what it is I'm feeling - I'm not mad at Matt for a lack of calls nor do I really think I'm jealous. I'm mad at the people who find it necessary to send out an email to the entire group every time they hear from their men without taking into consideration those of us who have to wait for a call because we can't call them, those of us who only get to talk to our guys when they have the time to stand in line and wait for a phone. Am I being completely out of line here? Perhaps what I should be doing is feeling happy for them instead of being selfish, but I can't help but feeling what they're doing is wrong. Before, the emails were all about how sad we were and how much we missed our loved ones, and now it seems it's become a contest of whose gotten the most phone calls.

Nonetheless, I don't really mind so much not hearing from Matt every day. I think in the long run, I'll even be grateful for it. We have more to talk about when he does call, and because of their inconsistency and the time I have to wait between them, each and every phone call is meaningful and special. A rarity is a hard thing to ever take for granted. And of course, we can't forget the old cliche that absence makes the heart grow fonder. :-) It's just that feeling of having it "rubbed in" that's made me uncomfortable, and I'm not really sure if I'm just being selfish and blowing this out of proportion or if there's any validity in the anger I'm feeling toward those who seem to have made a contest out of this.

Next week is my spring break, and even though I still have to work, I love spring break for allowing me to go straight home after work every night. Instead of sitting in rush hour traffic to go to the campus so I can spend a few hours feigning interest in rocks, I can go home and be lazy. On top of that, The Roommate and her boyfriend are going out of town, so not only do I get to come home after work every day, I get to have the house to myself for the week! I haven't yet decided how to celebrate this, but I think I will by allowing myself to be an absolute slob for the week. We'll see...

Any insight that can be given regarding my feelings toward my FRG's emails would be much appreciated, even if it's just, "Erika, you're looking way to deep into this. You need to get over it." At least then I'd know I'm being ridiculous LOL. I'm hoping to hear from Matt within the next couple days, and if not, at least I have a nice long boring class to write him a letter in! :-)

wishing matt was here @ 2:45 PM+

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