So, there’s been a wee bit on my mind lately. I can’t help it, the gears in my head start turning, and I’m just lucky smoke doesn’t start drifting out of my ears. Much to my chagrin, my thoughts aren’t always nice, not always supportive. Sometimes I wish someone could go back to me at the start of this military wife-dom and really tell me what I needed to know. Not the “Here’s an acronym list” but the real stuff. The stuff that no one wants to say, but that you need to be told. And crud. My filter just fell off. You know, the filter that tells you “Yes, that would be funny, but not nice to say.” Its gone. So here it is. To all of you brand-new wives, and some of the old ones who just haven’t gotten it yet….
Please, please, please:
Please do not make out in the back of a bar with someone who is not your husband. Really. It will get back to the other wives (if not your husband), and now we feel all awkward around you, your poor decision making, and the bad name you’re giving all of us. And then you’ll wonder why we no longer talk. We who stay faithful would really appreciate the destruction of the stereotype of the cheating army wife, and you’re just helping it along. Please stop.
Please take the rank off your ACU purse. Yes, I know they’re cute. Yes, I too would feel the pride of displaying my husband’s name, and his unit patches. If I had one. Honestly, I have nothing against the ACU purses, and have often thought of having one made to carry library books that I devour faster than my boys guzzle gallons of milk. Like I said, they’re cute. But please, it’s not YOUR rank, it’s HIS. Quite frankly, I don’t want your first impression of me to be my husband’s rank, and I really could care less what yours is. Unless you’re a soldier and it’s your rank. Then rock on. But seriously, when he gets promoted, do you change out the rank and “pin” yourself? Is it a large ceremony? Refreshments perhaps? You can see how ridiculous that sounds. Please don’t. Be proud of him, yes, but celebrate YOU! I want to know what YOU do! What YOU have accomplished! What YOU do with your time!
Please do not compare your husband’s 3 week field exercise to another’s year-long deployment. Especially when we’re 7 months in, more than slightly sex-deprived, and generally cranky. Trust me, we’ll eat you alive. It’s not funny, or cute, and no the routine is not the same. Nothing about it is the same. When it’s been months since you’ve kissed him and you’re finally breaking down to wash his pillowcase because it smells more like you than him, we’ll talk. When you’re watching an entire season of little league baseball go by and he’s missed it all, changing out drawers and seasons of clothes, changing snow blowers for lawnmowers, and flipping the months of a calendar with a sigh, then you can offer your advice. Until then, you’re just insulting the rest of us with your insensitivity. So just sit back, and be thankful that yours will be in your arms when mine is a fading memory. It is not the same. Not the same. You do this for me, and I’ll do the same for you when it’s your turn to ride the deployment coaster.
Sweetheart, when the invite goes out to a Formal dining out (a.k.a. BALL, baby!), please do not wear a dress that barely covers your bum. You will be talked about, and it will not be flattering. And chances are, it’s not the other wives talking. And yes, you could end up on one of those epic-fail motivational posters. Just ask the last girl who ended up there. This can be cured by a quick trip to clothing/sales and purchasing the super-boring, update-much-needed Army Wife’s Handbook. It’s kind of like reading Hawthorne while you’re hungover, but it’s got a lot of good information in there. Like proper dress code so you don’t get the “Oh, you poor thing” looks from the older spouses. They will give you the look. You will not be happy. Formal = Floor length. For the love of goodness, at least grab a dress that doesn’t show off your good-girl while you’re getting down on the dance floor. Please?
Please don’t go to the commissary on Pay Day. Really, you will thank me for this. Yes, the money is tight, yes the cupboard is scary looking. But really, the commissary on Pay Day is like the demolition derby of spouses, and people will seriously crowd you, delay you, and walk down the center of the aisle at 1 mph while stopping frequently. Then you’ll get stuck 20 min. in line to check out behind a woman who has a very unruly, (and rightfully bored) toddler. Chances are she will have her husband’s rank on her ACU purse. Oh, you’ll be looking for it now. Trust me, try to hit it up 2 days after payday if you can wait.
Please, when getting to a new duty station, date your new friends. Don’t just jump in with both feet and unload your deepest secrets on the first play date. I love other army wives. My best friends are army wives. But there are crazies lurking, and it may take you a year before you realize that one has leached on to you, and is sucking you drama-dry. Take the time, and find the good ones. The friends who stick with you no matter what, and the girls who know how to keep their mouths from running when you do share a confidence. Sookie is my safe place, (she knows who she is) and without her I would be lost. So ‘date’ around until you find your battle-buddy. You’ll need her.
Please don’t post stupid stuff on Facebook. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the “Don’t post your donut of misery, it’s an OPSEC thing!” Whatever. Seriously, if you have that thing set to a year after he left, it’s pretty much common knowledge, but whatever. You know what frosts my cookies? Women who post “Please pray for my husband! He’s out on a mission!” Really? How about pray that no one just forwarded that to people who are looking for your husband for all the wrong reasons. I mean, if you’d like the enemy to establish your husband’s patrol patterns by your facebook posts, feel free. If not, knock it off. It may be my husband who’s out with yours, and I’d prefer my husband not to get blown up. Again, that is. Same with posting your drama. Don’t complain about people and then get shocked when they see it. There is a land called Passive Aggressiva and you may be its queen, but it will bite you on the butt eventually. Kind of like laying out your husband via FB. Yeah, he’s going to see it, and so are the rest of us.
Okay, the filter is back on. So maybe some of that is just mean, or a wee bit too brutally honest. Maybe if you’re reading this, you do one of the above. Frequently. I never said I was right, just that this is what I often want to say. None of us wives are perfect. None of us have the real model “down” though I have met one or two who really do exemplify Army Wives. Chances are a couple of them are reading this (But only I know who you are… muwahahahaha!). We’ll call you Tigress and Running-woman, see if you can figure it out from there…
And as for me? Trust me, I have flaws. Wide, gaping flaws. I’m about as perfect as a Monet. Pretty from a distance, but rather a mess up-close. I just don’t have a humorous way to point my shortcomings out. Yet. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to it. 😉