I’ve been a military spouse for fifteen years. I enjoy it for the most part. I’ve gone through multiple deployments. TDYs. Daddy dolls (using this daddy doll tutorial). PCS moves. Having a baby with a service member. But I notice I’m different in what I choose to do. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Possibly it’s because I’m rather shy. Or maybe I’m just weird. But it’s okay because I like weird.
Here are things I don’t do as a military spouse…
1. Go to many social events.
I’m not a fan of the balls, or the squadron parties. I feel awkward and never know what to say. Or wear. I can’t walk in high heels properly. I feel odd in a dress. I do go to some social events, but if I can skip one, I will.
2. Make fancy care packages.
It’s not for me. I understand people like to craft, and I am not one of those people. I did try it a couple of times to surprise my deployed husband, who would normally ask if I was drunk when he got the decorated military care packages because he knows I am not crafty.
3. Hold up signs that say “report for booty” when my husband returns from a deployment.
This isn’t my taste. It’s other people’s taste, but not mine. I used to NEVER hold up signs if I’m being honest, but then the other wives started showing up with these glittery shiny poster boards and I was worried my husband would feel bad. So I’d make a simple sign so he wouldn’t feel left out. When I say simple, I mean it. My latest sign was written in scented marker and said “Lots of things broke when you left. Please fix them.”
4. Be a direct sales consultant.
I think it’s great if people want to sell cookware, candles, clothes, and sex toys. I’ve just never felt the calling. If there was a company that sold books, I might do that. Not children’s books. Adult books.
5. Host parties.
Sometimes the people who do sell the candles and the cookware and the clothes ask if I want to host a party for them. I pass. Sometimes people think I’m being snobby, and I’m not trying to be, but it’s not my thing.
6. Attend those painting with a twist gatherings.
It seems that a lot of spouses want to meet at places like that. I just don’t like to paint. Or drink wine. Now if you invite me to a chocolate tasting, I’d down. Maybe. I am an introvert. But normally chocolate will get me out of the house.
7. Go completely nuts over Coach products.
They’re nice, but I’d rather buy a bunch of books. Or chocolate.
8. Feel guilty about asking if someone offers a military discount.
Hey, I’ve gone through last minute deployments, changed my entire life at the drop of the hat, moved to weird places, and gave up family vacations. So I always ask a business about the discount and for the most part, they say yes. If they say no, I politely say thank you. Some people have said it’s tacky to ask, and I’m not understanding why.
9. Make proper small talk.
Some people can mingle easily. My husband is one of those people. Me? Well, once I was at a squadron party and another wife went, “I like your perfume, what is it?” I replied, “I’m not sure, I rubbed it on from an ad in my Cosmo magazine.” She sort of blinked at me and walked away.
10. Go to the commissary on pay day.
I can’t. It makes me curse. I budget so there is money to avoid this at all costs.
11. Wash or iron his uniforms.
Some wives talk about the best starch to iron the uniforms and I’m all, “My husband does his own stuff.” I wash his regular laundry but he does his work items–it’s probably because he’s seen how I do laundry (violently) and how I fold (not well.)
So yes, there are things I don’t enjoy doing. But it’s okay. I’ve had military spouse friends who enjoy all the things I’ve listed. I like how people are different. Sometimes they even convince me to show up at their party and I end up having a good time. I appreciate how they get me out of my comfort zone. Especially if there’s chocolate involved.
What are things you don’t do as a military spouse?
Amber Myers is a proud military wife and mother to two kids who drive her to eat lots of chocolate. She blogs over at Airing My Laundry. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.