Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A little bedtime story for you...


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.

10 comments:

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Best story EVER.

Me thinks that the commander's wife is going to struggle living in your parts. Generally those who cannot stand on their own two feet have trouble with situations that are a little new and different. I'm guessing your situation a little on the "new and different" side.

Keep us posted on Little Miss Thing.

You know in a way it actually kinda pisses me off too. I've been told more than once by friends of mine whose husbands are enlisted soldiers that I'm "not that kind of officer's wife." I think that's a compliment. In any case, women like her sure give wives who are just trying to do their thing a very bad name.

kvinta said...

I LOVE your real story!!
It exactly shows that you are what you DO and SAY and ACT, not what you or others may think of you. Great!

And imagine the new lady's horro when she finds her(self) husband outranked, 'cause she _will_, being so focused on ranking.

*giggle*

The Army of Four said...

People with that attitude have a special place in my heart. Mwahahahahaha. Not really. ARGH! I admire your restraint!

Kristin L said...

Way back when, there were actually areas on an officer's report where a commander could add in comments about how his wife was an asset or liability to his career. I am so glad that is no longer the case and my participation (or not) is wholly voluntary. I've had several occasions when someone married to someone higher ranking than my husband has made assumptions about my age and abilities. I try to stay quiet because sooner or later she always finds out that I'm older and with more work experience than her. It's a little passive/aggressive victory, but one more example of how silly it is to try to wear someone else's rank.

Erica said...

My husband outranks your husband!!!!!!!! Ok, not really! I just HAD to say it! Cant wait to meet her:)

the Campfollower said...

I knew I was not the only one to run into these ladies! Ha! Erica, my dear I am sure you will run into her before too long. It is a tiny town and with her husband being an commander and all...well we will have to start inviting them to our little weekend dinner parties! We can bask in her splendor. Can you believe that the sun has gone down and it is still over 102F?

Sarah said...

great stories!

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

Well now, guess she'll have to learn things the hard way, eh? LOL

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the military and married military and am so happy that my dad, who was enlisted, kept us as far away from that sort of thing as he could. We never lived on base. My husband was AF and in computers so rank and such really did not matter to us. That sort of thing is much more in army and warrior areas than what I experienced. But I still learned a lot being a brat and we still called the worst people we knew 'civilians'.!!!

Brigitte said...

thank you for this heartwarming story, had to tell my husband - who laughed out loudly! Never felt like the "commanders" wife - and never will!
hugs Brigitte

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