Thursday, March 15

When Spousebuzz makes ya think.

I wrote this last week and now apparently have the ball to push 'publish.' Eeeek...I'm kinda nervous. Oh boy...

Do you rank judge? Point blank, do you? What if you say yes? What if you are lying to yourself and say 'no?' What if your honest - will be people subsequently judge you for judging? All these things swirl my mind with SpouseBuzz's recent article on being rankist.

I'll be honest - this article struck a cord with me.

But before I throw you under the bus, let me answer the questions myself. Do I judge rank? Well...sometimes. In the military, sometimes people get promoted when they shouldn't. You're left scratching your head about 'Umm...really?' Maybe you didn't see what the deciding factor was, but there are times where I'm not sure if they're meant for that next pay grade - so yes, I judge.

Where this article went was someplace different - it went there. The place were the demarcation between Enlisted family and Officer family should resemble the DMZ. Where "all" Enlisted wives are 20, lazy, immature, and squanderers of the paycheck and "all" Officer wives coat-tailed their way out of college in search of pedicures every Friday and the notion 'they're better than everyone else.' Because those are all true, right?

Because you'll never meet an Enlisted wife with something to say, who's chasing her own dreams of college and a career, who's husband is Sailor of the Year, and they're doing just fine. Just like you'll never meet an Officer's wife who happened to meet him before he thought of the Navy, who's willing to stay behind for her own career as her husband Geo-Bachelor's for a year some place far off, and they're doing just fine.

As someone attached to Mr. Wookie - who just happens to be an Officer - I can say that I  like to keep an open mind between the ranks. Yes, I'm happy to follow a lot of Enlisted family blogs. And yes, I read a few Officer blogs. In the realms of the Officership, there's not many of 'us.' And I mean 'us' by the fact that there really aren't a lot of awesome blogs that just happen to feature a CaveWookie in a flight suit. And when you think about the blogs that don't sign off as "Mrs. Lovin' the Meal Ticket," there are even few humble (and hilarious) blogs I'd bother read.

I'd like to think of myself as someone who breaches those lines of stigma, someone who will be kind, help out, and wish the best of luck to a fellow military-attached lady facing PCS, deployment, or home renovations. Because there's nothing saltier than a girlfriend/wife of 10+ years, more deployments than I have fingers on one hand, and the ability to pour a health serving of wine - and then recommend which teeth whitening systems will remove those wine stains after a 10-month deployment (because do share!).

I love and adore (and read) a plethora of blogs because I love the people and don't care whether their husbands are E-1, a girlfriend of an aviator (hey!!), Chiefs, striving for STA-21, the wife of a Major, Sailor of the Year, ERBing out, or content with their OCONUS station. They're human beings who deserve the same respect no matter what type of insignia is on their collar.

I'm just curious if I'm alone in this sentiment. As an Officer's long-time domestic partner, I don't know how people feel about the generic Officer's attached ladies. I don't know if we're all thought of evil snatches. I don't know if I'm thought of as an exception since we're not married so I'm not "meal ticketing" it up. I don't know if people feel awkwardness commenting on my blog because of my 'status' - or if they feel like I'm going out of my way when I comment on theirs. Truth: I comment on blogs I love to read - I've said it a million times. When you bore me, I'll stop following. If you're hilarious and awesome, you've got me. And if you rig a giveaway so I'll win, I'll probably give you a kidney. And at least a cocktail. Oh yeah, I don't know if people take my alcoholic humor to heart. No, I don't need rehab. Yes, I love a good glass of wine after a rough day at work. But my habits only involve cocktails every other night or so. There's no IV of Stoli...yet. Talk to me during deployment.

Although I will be completely honest - I used to be a massive stick-up-my-ass ROTC girlfriend. I used to think Enlisted were not worthy. I used to think even the "Officer Candidates" were chump change because they didn't do ROTC in the first place. Because apparently a ROTC girlfriend knows EVERYTHING. Oh, silly, silly me. I can't regret those thoughts enough because I know they make me look like a mega snatch. Thankfully I've found wisdom in graduating, experiencing long distance, reuniting, coming to terms with Uncle Sam, enjoying Mr. Wookie's career, and the life I thought was sooo glamorous a mere 5 years ago. Although it never helps when the public persona of a Naval Officer pumps it up to be kitten whiskers and angel farts. In reality, it's no big deal.

If I had to 'rank' myself, it would still be noob. While we've been attached for 8+ years, mildly associated with the Navy for equal time, we've yet to experience "the suck." So until I can paint a stripe on my deployment board, I've yet to earn my salt. Although it might not be a good idea to make me salty. Because I might just ask for tequila to go with it. And of course, a lime wedge.


  1. You are not alone in this thought! Chris asked me about someone's husband the other day and I realized I actually had no idea if she was an O wife or an E wife. All I know is that she's hilarious. The line drives me nuts. As do military spouses who act like they're in the military, like one spouse here who goes around correcting sailors on how they wear their uniforms... wtf?

    But now I'm digressing and I forgot what the point was. So I'll just end with this thought: if you need to experience a deployment to get your salt, then a tequila accompaniment might not be a bad idea.

  2. You always make me laugh! My best friend is an enlisted wife and i'm an officer's wife. I try to not judge ranks, but I've also seen ... patterns ... that make me wary of different people in different circumstances. I'm usually much more comfortable with the enlisted wives. They are more real and open.

  3. To be completely honest, I think I could care less. This might just be because of the fact that I grew up with my mom in the medical community, and doctors were just people....not "DOCTORS" like many others think of them. I feel the same about officers and their S/Os. People are people, some make more money or have more responsibility than others, that doesn't mean that I feel awe or distain when it comes to other husbands' rank.

  4. Holy shit! I'm supposed to be getting pedicures every Friday?!! HAND ME THE PHONE! From my very limited experience living on post and actually meeting other army wives I must say it sucked. I was on the receiving end of yuckiness, whether it was rankism or I smelled I'll never really know. I was the only officer's wife on post (it was a small post) and none of the other wives would talk to me once they found out my other half was OccDoc aka their husband's boss. Seriously? OccDoc even offered to 'order' his soldiers to have their wives be friends with me - um, how is that helping? My solution? Move off post and start a blog. Done and done. Now I have Mil Sig Others of all ranks and sizes that I consider friends. Yay! Win win for all!

    Side note: I cannot wait to get away from all this bs. So excited to be on the other side looking in!

  5. This post really made me think. I don't feel I've had the 'stigma' of being an officer attached lady, but then again I'm not around post or boyfriend's unit that frequently. I agree with you, I just don't know. You're not alone at noob status.

    Also- freaking love your snark and alcohol jokes. For real real should we ever be around the same area, drink is on me ;)

  6. You know, I am going to be honest here for a second, and it won't be a popular opinion I'm sure. But, I get legitimately embarrassed sometimes that I'm an enlisted wife. My husband is a great man, he had to leave college and baseball when his dad died to take care of his mom who fell apart and after a couple years of that joined the Army to get back on track and take care of me. How in the world am I embarrassed about that? But, that stereotype of what an enlisted wife is really gets to me. And, how people sometimes treat me because of it. Then, what is even worse is I definitely see a lot of that stereotype actually living, breathing, and walking around. And, I can't help but think, ah crap there is a reason there is a stereotype. And, I can't really get upset at that can I when I know people who throw urine on their husbands in the middle of parking lots downtown on a Saturday night. I judge that too.

  7. Mrs Wookie, I've been reading your blog for awhile and this is a great post. I read alot of military blogs and my husband is no longer in the military -- Sometimes I miss the strong friendships that develop and wonder what our life would've been like if we'd made the decision to stay in for 20 years like many of our close friends. From my vantage point, some of the same judgement goes on in society daily - at work, at the stores we all shop at, cars we drive, jeans we wear, size of the diamonds on our fingers.

    When my husband was in the CG, he was an officer and is an academy grad, so I always felt like I was being judged..and being truthful, I am sure at that time, I did some judging (lets face it, I was 22 and just out of college. I thought I was the bees knees for being engaged to this guy)

    I guess the real question is how we let the judgement (or lack of judgement) impact our daily lives, and friendships.

    Great post!

  8. Ah! I saw this the other day and I have to say, there is a lot of rankism that goes on out there but the people who matter don't give a crap. I'm about to go back to school and soon I'll be an enlisted wife with an MBA *gasp!*. ;) No two couples or situations are alike. I'm sure there are some (to steal your phrase) snatchy officers wives out there, but there are some snatchy enlisted wives too. My biggest problem with it is we forget that we're all in it together ladies! (and some gents). EVERYONE has a tough time during deployment, the rank of your spouse/partner/boyfriend/whatevs does mean shit when he's gone. If he/she's gone, it sucks. Period.

  9. For starters.. I HATE the fact that so many people think unless you've gone through a deployment you just don't understand, anything. We were the couple at our last post that had not gone through a deployment. It was like these topics would come up.. and I'd have no say. Automatically you are reduced to nothing when your opinion "doesn't matter". I HATE that. At the end of the day, we are all spouses/fiancees/girlfriends/special people and we all go through similar situations whether our significant other is stateside of overseas. Period end of story.

    Another thing.. I'm the wife of an enlisted. Honestly. I've never ever ever thought twice about commenting on your blog. (Cause I feel like I can relate to you, I guess? :D) When we lived in Maryland there were not that many officer wives but the one that was there I got along with fabulously.. it has been so hard for me to adjust to the fact that my husband could have gotten in trouble. Our next base is Fort Gordon, GA and it is an AIT base. So there will be a ton of students there. My husband has ALREADY (and we just found out last week about our next post) informed me that he can get in trouble and lose rank if he hangs out with any of them.. which basically means I will have a hard time be-friending any AIT spouses. I just don't get it. At all. People are people.. we are all in it together. Separation of rank is just silly.

    And that's my opinion I am sticking to it.

  10. Oh my gahhhh, I did not realize that comment was so long. SORRY! I guess I had pent up emotions about this topic?