Today I went to Target to get some crap including a few chocolate bars for a care package for a friend. (I ended up eating one of the chocolate bars later, but never mind about that.) So I'm hanging out in the aisle with all the treats and another woman is there, and she asks me something about Valentine's candy. So we start chatting (I can't really start a conversation with a stranger but I can keep it going) and talking about why we're buying treats. She said that she was putting together a care package for her son-in-law who just started his second tour in Iraq. Sigh. And then she started crying.
It was so sad and so hard. I wanted to just freak out about the war and about the President, but obviously didn't. I mentioned my time as a government contractor in Japan and told her about the types of bases I worked on so she could know that I understand just a little. Every time she almost got it under control, she would start crying again. She said he's not even a month into this one-year tour, and that even though he's done it before, this time it's worse. I asked why it felt worse, and she struggled to speak and then said quietly, "Because the situation over there is worse." Yes, it is. Hopeless, hopeless. It was so clear that there was nothing to say, no comfort I could offer, and since then I've been thinking about how it's rare that there are really no words to say. I just told her to cry all she wanted and to get it out because there's no reason to keep it all inside. We ended up talking for about thirty minutes and exchanging info so we can get together for coffee soon.
Hateful President. Hopeless war.