So, today I was dropping my son off at school (3rd day of school) and I noticed a lady that was clearly American. I also knew that I had never seen her before. This is a very tiny town and I pretty much at least "recognize" all the American spouses here if not know them. So I marched right up and asked her how her son was adjusting to school and if they had been here long...bla bla bla. She said that they had been here less than a month, and had no vehicle and lived on the far side of town. So I offered my assistance if she needed it. Well...I was treated to something that I don't think I have ever experienced before (here anyway...I have experienced it plenty elsewhere in the Army). I was told that she was "the commanders wife" and she was fine. This was all said in an amazingly condescending tone. Well...I knew exactly what command she was referring to and if the two of us wives were going to wear our spouses rank mine far outranked her mate. I congratulated her on her status of "Commander's wife" and gave her my phone number and told her to call me if she ever needed anything.
As I was going about my day today I kept reflecting back on that incident. I could have spouted out my husband's rank to show how the whole military rank thing goes...but instead I was recalling one of my mom's favorite stories.
Since she is not here to type I will tell it for her (my mom tells it much better). My father was in the Army for a very long time so my mom was an officer's wife for a long time...even before I was a twinkle in my father's eye (as he likes to say). Well sir, the army was a different organization back in the 60's and 70's heck even the 80's. Ladies had calling cards that they left when they stopped by for a visit...ladies were ladies and men were warriors (I might be getting off onto a romance novel kick here in a moment, so if I do just smack your computer and I will start making sense again....maybe).
When my Dad was a lieutenant or junior Captain my mom attended a coffee (she had attended many before and many more after, but this is the one I am going to share with you now). The guest speaker was some General officer and there were about 200 ladies present all dressed pretty and sitting at long tables. The General got up and began his speech...but he halted and said "Ladies will you please go ahead and assemble yourselves according to your rank?" After a moment the ladies got up and began shifting seats and the chatter rose and little clutch bags and pillbox hats were scooted. Ladies knew so much about their mates...they knew when they had been commissioned and how long they had held the rank they currently wore on their collars...then they even began discussing awards their husbands had earned...schools attended...after about 20 minutes all the officer's wives had settled down into their seats according to their ranking. The General stood and observed it all from behind his podium. When the room was quite once again and all the eye shadowed gazes were once again turned towards him he leaned back to the microphone and said "Ladies, you have no rank. Your husbands do, but you do not."
I always remember that tale when I encounter a lady who is sporting her husband's mighty (or not so impressive) rank on her narrow shoulders. We, as spouses are not soldiers....hell, the only thing I command is my house and my truck. As far as commander status goes I have little attempted mutinies almost every other day with my little troopers (my kids in case I am loosing some of you). I can't get them to keep their rooms clean I can't get them to put their dirty dishes in the sink....It takes an act of God to get us out of the house on time....I am overwhelmed with my own command issues, I sure can't take on my husbands!
Obviously this does not apply to you who are duel military....I did that for a while and decided that that was way too difficult if I was going to be the best mother and wife that I could be. More power to you and my prayers are with you!
I really have so much to blog about, but I am just too tired to cover anything else right now. I have a really big project that is all but complete and I am really looking foreword to blogging about it, but that will have to wait until next week.