Thursday, February 21, 2013

Because we're not them...

     A lot of people seem to bemoan getting older, but I, for one, welcome it. As I age (not my body, just my mind. I have amazing genes.) I find that I am able to take a thought and roll it over in my mind, and have the ability to see all sides of it. There are probably some lucky people born with this ability, but mine seems to grow by leaps and bounds the older I become.

     That being said, I may piss some of my fellow military spouses off with this, but then again, I have never been one to care what others think about me - it's a gift. Stop comparing yourself and your life to non-military families.

     I know, I know, when we see a friend post on Facebook how hard it's going to be while their husband is gone for a few nights, we roll our eyes and think, "Oh please." We can cook dinner while entertaining a toddler, folding laundry, and make a callout to our fellow wives all with one hand tied behind our back. See, that's the thing. We know we can do it. We laugh at the women who have to wait for their husband to come home from work to kill a spider, or hang a curtain rod for them.

     I am guilty of this. Way back in 1997, Adam was at Ranger School for three months, during the summer. I was 23 and bitter. I would sit in my living room every day and see couples walking by, hand in hand, and in my head I'd be saying, "Fuck you." I was very eloquent when hurt, as you can tell. I was jealous. Jealous that they were with their spouses, and I wasn't. I couldn't just pop over to my mom's house or my sister's, because they lived 1,000 miles away.

     Then comes Facebook. I admit, I used to tell civilian women to suck it up, in the most polite way I could. Didn't they know what I was going through? My worry trumped their worry. I was playing the martyr and the victim. I can look back now and realize this wasn't very nice of me, but sometimes it was extremely frustrating to see women who complained about their husbands, while I was just hoping and praying every day that Adam would return safely.

     Who are we to tell someone they can't miss their husband, even if he's headed to a business meeting in Miami? We don't know what's going on in their lives. Maybe they have a sick child, or are the main caregiver to a dying relative. It's not up to us, as military spouses, to be the all-knowing of what it means to miss someone. There are spouses, military and non-military alike, who use social media to garner sympathy for themselves. That gets old, sister. Sorry your kids have a vacation from school for the week and you have to be a parent. If I happened to read or hear my mother say that when I had been growing up, I would have been devastated. Luckily, I was an angelic child who never caused my mom any trouble. (No comments on that last sentence, please.)

     So, my fellow spouses, especially my Ranger wives, let go of the bitterness. Just think about it - you're married to a square-jawed handsome badass who even Chuck Norris is afraid of. There are very few of us who can say that. Be proud, be brave, and don't compare yourself to anyone else - this is your life.


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