You have to giggle when reading this. It’s all in fun and we have to be able to laugh at ourselves. 🙂
THE WIVES CLUB AKA THE WIVES SUPPORT GROUP AKA THE FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP AKA THE FAMILY READINESS GROUP AKA THE CRAZY TRAIN
You hear so much negative talk about Wives and support groups. How women just can’t seem to get along. Now we all know that in a jam, we are all there for each other. It is some unwritten code of ethics. We complain about each other and our actions, but in a crisis we are family. So I was thinking, why is it so hard to get along in the first place? I don’t think we realize the melting pot that is the military. We have every race, background, and religion thrown into a room at a support meeting. Our husbands sometimes have very different jobs under the same command. And there are stereotypes with that. Not only do we have to deal with the stereotypes and judgments of our backgrounds, races, and religions, we take it a step further and break it down by rank, rate, division, and branch. As a nation we judge and stereotype so much. But, we as wives have done it. We have successfully taken segregation to a whole other level. It is not something we are proud of, but almost all of us are guilty of it some how at some point. Most of the time, without knowing we are doing it. So, I have thought about how we as wives see each other. Do we notice the color of skin? What about some ones religion preference? No, I don’t think we do. I think that we as a whole are very accepting to these huge moral differences. Instead, we break it down by our own pathetic stereotypes.
I have come up with a few and I’m sure that this is not at all correct. Some of us may not fall into any of these categories; some may fall into a bit of each. Some will have been different ones at different times in our military lives…. but this is what I came up with from my own experiences.
The optimist- that no matter how bad things are, they can see a silver lining. When the patrol has been extended, the car is broke, you’ve had more than one ER visit, and your kids have caused your hair to fall out, she will look at you and find something great. She will say, “I know we are extended, but we got mail, that is something to be thankful for!” And as you are about to crack, you feel one eye starting to twitch as you remember that you have to ride home with her b/c your car is broke. And on the drive home you sit listening to her praise and worship music …and you start to think, could it all be a front?
The commander in chief- A wife who doesn’t care how things are going, she is going to tell you what you are doing right/wrong based on her ample years of experience. She may not always be a rank wearing wife, but a lot of the time she is. She will stand up and take control of situations even if not needed to. She can be a know it all.
The observer- Quiet. Does not speak unless spoken to and just “watches” everyone. Probably plotting an escape route out of the room in the back of her mind. No one knows when she will be at a function or for how long. She just shows up every once in a while and when she does speak on something, people look as if she is speaking another language.
The Yes M’am- When ask how she feels just smiles and agrees with the alpha wife. It doesn’t have to be the same woman every time. She just follows the most dominant wife or group of wives. You don’t notice her much, b/c she doesn’t say/do much. She is kind of a wallflower. You will remember her as “the nice one” but never be able to recall her name.
The pessimist- She will tell you how your idea will go wrong in every way, shape, or form. She will quote that your ideas have been done before and failed miserably, so why try again? She makes your head hurt and you feel sorry for her. . .and her loved ones.
The young wife- Usually 18-21 can go little lower or higher…thinks she loves her husband more than all the other wives…usually more emotional leading to unhappy thoughts against the older wives for taking enjoyment in their husband’s absence. They are still figuring it all out and we have all been this wife.
The super mom- she is the one that has multiple children that all take part in an activity everyday, works or volunteers outside the home, bakes, makes meals that need more than 4 steps and are not just edible, but delicious. She not only wears matching clothes and has her hair combed every time you see her, but she has a gym membership, and actually uses it! On top of it all, she is always organized. She comes to the wives meetings with a folder and samples of crafts to do for a children’s party that isn’t for another month. She is also the fundraiser captain with a list of ideas that sound like fortune 400 company’s plan.
TROUBLE – We will just let your imagination go with this one. She is the wife that you really need to avoid.
The instigator- Young or old, they like to stir the pot, and watch it boil. Somehow she can always start an argument/disagreement between the commander-in-chief and another wife.
The rank wearing wife– Now, I’m not talking about the wife that is serving her country as a reservist or active duty member herself. I am talking about the wife that wears her husband’s rank. There are some wives that believe that they are their husbands. We as wives have no rank, but this woman would tell you different, talking down to others and making sure she is surrounded by what she considers “her equals”.
The wife of James Bond- This wife doesn’t know much about what her husband does, and the little she does know isn’t always true. Some service members like to exaggerate their job descriptions and duties to seem more important in their loved ones eyes. This leads to a wife being kept in the dark and thinking her husband is some secret agent when really he was cleaning all day. She will tell you stories that you know aren’t true, but you’ll never have the heart to tell her she is wrong.
A lot of women fall into a general category. They love their husbands, try to stay somewhat involved in everything, and have a casual approach to functions and other women. They are always hoping for the best, but ready for the worst. They take everything as it comes to them and get through it some how. They won’t try to take charge, but they are there helping. They will not be bullied by the alpha female. They will take the positive traits from a friendship and appreciate that woman for who they are, perfect or not.
What I have learned from this is that we as military wives are amazing women. We are able to look past what most of the world is focused on and have created our own private, safe, and chaotic world that only we truly understand. When you walk into a support meeting, you will not see clicks separated by race or religion. Instead, you will see our own corky judgments that exist only in our minds. These stereotypes are not terrible, nor are they permanent. We as military wives have been thrown together without choice or introduction. We merely walk into a room filled with women that we don’t know and they are our family. We will need each other. We will fight with each other, but in the end we support each other. I guess what I am saying is that if what I listed is our biggest “problem” we are going to be ok. These are personality traits that don’t always work as ying and yang. We need to take note of our differences more often and be more patient and understanding.
Don’t tell the “new young wife”, that it’s not that bad her husband is gone now for months without contact…. let her know you felt that way too. Don’t tell the wife of James Bond that her husband isn’t a supper hero . . .tell her that you are proud of your husband too. Don’t let the instigator get to you. Think before you speak…or better yet, sometimes there is nothing wrong with a smile and nod. You don’t have to always prove your point. And don’t wish that that super mom would fail. No one is perfect, even she has her flaws whether they are visible or not. I hope I made some sort of a point in all this. We are not as bad as our own negative publicity. Think about it. Who are you??
Question, Comment, or Topic Idea? Email Marie firstname.lastname@example.org