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    Tuesday, December 27, 2005

    The Old Army vs. the new "relaxed" Army
    That hampster has been running esp. fast today - must be the caffeine again (love the Route 44 diet coke with cherry added in at Sonic).

    Back to the topic at hand. My neighbor has a son that surprised them by dropping out of college to join the military about a year ago ( they are very proud). He is now getting married this week to his high school sweetheart. They will be moving to Ft. Benning right after the wedding, where she will be away from her family for the first time and he will deploy for the first time.

    I told them to buy their future daughter-in-law The Military Wive's Handbook. I felt like and old biddy suggesting this purchase, but it sure has been useful for me. When I was dating hubby about 13 years ago, my neighbor lent me her then way outdated version. It talked about white gloves and how and when to remove them. I just about hurled at the thought of having to act prim and proper.

    Now looking back, I see how much I have learned as a military wife and how it affects me in my day to day life. I often mention stuff that military wives "just do" to my civilian friends and they have trouble relating. I guess I have been part of this life for so long, I now don't know another way to be. I am also reflecting because in about 8 months time I will no longer be an Active Duty Hooah wife, but an old biddy (I'll be 38) with a retired hubby.

    A few things I have definitely learned as a military spouse that I wouldn't have if I was a civilian wife:
    • a gazillion acronyms- I actually took a class to learn those and still get caught off guard every once in a while
    • the highest ranking official should always leave the party first
    • how to do a receiving line (leave your purse behind)
    • How to entertain and not become a mental case - when I was 7 days into this house I was (asked LOL) told I was going to be giving the next Hail and Farewell. I pulled it off- somehow. The last major one I did - we played co-ed Bunco and had pizza, beer and ice-cream sundaes (it was fun)
    • never get drunk at military functions (2 glasses of wine max)
    • RSVP & send thank you cards
    • that no matter how relaxed you are, young soldiers and their significant others will be fairly uptight in your presence
    • avoid talking politics and religion (these days I don't care, but early on - I never did - now they read my blog)
    • how to mingle and not be obnoxious or rude
    • it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed (today anything seems to go, but dress is always on the invitation and you should follow accordingly) Texas casual, semi-formal, casual, formal, change of command dress
    • don't ask - just do it! someone loses a family member - you tell them you are coming over with food and to take their kids to the movies
    • friends are your family away from family without the fuss - I just had a friend driving through town before Christmas. We were neighbors 11 years ago and have managed to see each other every few years and never have a awkward moment

    I just hope that the new "relaxed" Army (since this is all I know) still appreciates some of the things I have learned and follows suit. I was glad I didn't have to wear white gloves "old Army" but still had to "play grown-up" enough that I can now handle things with ease. Hampster is tired and must go make Potoato Latkes for dinner!

    By the way - I am in the running for a Milbloggie award - I am not going to pimp a bunch of votes this time - but if you don't mind - it is simple:

    HOW DO I VOTE? To vote, simply Register a FREE account with Milblogging.com. Sign in. Then, vote for your favorite milblogs by clicking "Add to Favorites" in your Milblogging.com account. It's that easy. You can only register one Milblogging.com account, but you can vote for as many milblogs as you'd like. I am in the Military Spouse category!

    Shared by Greta (Hooah Wife) @ 10:36 AM

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