Yup, I’m a Bitch. And Proud of It.

My husband is in the military, which makes me a “military spouse.”  Sometimes I’m cool with the title, but honestly there are a lot of times when I wish I could just say “my husband is a mechanic” and leave it at that.  Today has been one of those days.

Good ole Facebook brought me to the Military Spouse Magazine, and their website http://baseguide.com/.  It’s not all bad, they do occasionally have good info on Tricare benefit changes or have polls & articles that are at least worth a once-over.  But a few weeks ago they published an “article” titled “How to Talk to Civilians (Without Going Crazy)”.   It’s a list of a few suggestions for military spouses talking to non-military spouses.  I would first like to point out that military spouses ARE civilians.  I am not in the military, my husband is.  Therefore I am a civilian.   So lets evaluate this shit-list point by point (I have nothing to do for the next half hour).

  1. Drop the acronyms and lingo.” Okay, I’ll give them that this is kind of a big one.  Most non-mil spouses don’t know what PCS or TDY are.  But my husband talks to me in full sentences that I don’t understand because they are so full of acronyms and lingo.  Also a lot of the acronyms & lingo are different base to base.  For instance when we left MD we had to deal with the PPO (personal property office) for our move.  When we got here, it’s TMO (transportation something or other office) (movement, I think it’s movement).  Anywho, I do kinda agree with this one.  ”We just moved here” makes more sense to the majority of people than “we just PCS’ed here.”  Then again, because we are Marines and keep getting stationed on non-Marine bases, I usually have to explain things anyway.  Like what the JSF is. One example this article gives is to explain what the commissary is.  The military is not the only organization in the world that uses the term commissary.
  2. “Be prepared for the public. Military spouses have two stereotypes: selfless saints or sluts living high on the government dime.” Really??  Really?!!?  Saints or sluts??  That’s all we get??  I think you forget: entitled bitches, regular bitches, officer wives, enlisted wives, dependapotamus’, baby makers, cheaters, nurses, lawyers, teachers, wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc.    We are just spouses.  There is no perfect group of people.  I do think military spouses get stereotyped for being cheating whores.  But, to be fair, there’s a reason that’s the stereotype.  I have lived in housing.  There IS A REASON for that stereotype.   I think a truer scope of how non-mil spouses see mil spouses would be:  cheaters, entitled bitches and ungrateful bitches.   No amount of sugar coating it will make it better.   I personally have been called ungrateful when I complained about the housing company never fixing the leak in our roof that caused mold to grow in our house.  I was told by a non-mil spouse that I should just fix it myself and be happy I have a house to live in for free.  But of course we were renting so I can’t fix the roof under the terms of the lease and my “free” house cost us almost $1700 a month.
  3. Carefully consider before you challenge longtime, local traditions.” This one I kind of agree with, kind of the ole “when in Rome” attitude.  But honestly, what kind of uppity person thinks everything needs to be done their own way?
  4. “Whine cautiously. Don’t complain often about your life, expecting your civilian friends will “get it.” This is the first of two that make me want to punch the author.  How hard is it exactly to understand that your spouse is gone and life is harder?  My friends get it.  What kind of friends would they be if they didn’t understand?  They wouldn’t be MY friends, that’s for sure.  I have never understood why military wives think their life is so much harder than that of others.  A girlfriend of mine travels all the time for work, and I mean all the time.  I literally can’t keep track of where she is on a weekly basis.  She’s engaged but has no children.  If she chooses to continue her job after having kids, it will be just as hard on her spouse and kids as it is on me and my kids when my husband is gone.  My life isn’t any harder because my husband is military.  When he’s gone, he’s gone.  It doesn’t matter.  He’s NOT HOME.   Granted, I might be a smidge more stressed if he were in Iraq or Afghanistan as opposed to Chicago.   And what about the spouses of firemen and police officers?  They send their spouse to work in dangerous conditions EVERY DAY.  My husband is only occasionally sent into dangerous conditions.
  5. This is the one that makes my blood boil:  ”Don’t dismiss civilian spouses’ complaints. Military spouses deal with things routinely that other spouses find devastating, like moving away from friends, finding a new job, or being out of contact with your spouse for more than 20 minutes. Learn this phrase: “It must be very hard for you.” Practice saying it sincerely. Nod with empathy. Pat the person on the back. Then call your military girlfriends later and laugh.” This paragraph is why military spouses get a bad reputation (that and the cheating thing).  For one thing, military or civilian, moving IS devastating.  Every move we make as a military family is away from friends who become family, away from jobs, further away from our real families.  And we have to do it ALL THE TIME.  You don’t get used to it.  It doesn’t get easier.   And “being out of contact with your spouse for more than 20 minutes?”  Are you fucking kidding me?   The last sentence is the absolute worst.   It has literally made me embarrassed to be a part of this particular online community.  I have stated so on their Facebook page and the actual website.  To encourage ANYONE to laugh behind someone’s back is so incredibly degrading and childish. It’s an embarrassment to the entire military spouse community.  It’s an embarrassment to the entire military community.

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