What was the first lesson you learned as a military spouse?
Mine was "Hurry up and wait." Hurry up and get to your next duty station. Wait for housing. Hurry up and get hubby's gear together for a last minute TDY or deployment. Wait for the infinity + 1 changes in orders. Hurry up and write your packet. Wait while the board sits into an overtime that would make the Guinness people run for their files in an orgy of excitement about a new record.
But then we got the news - hubby made his promotion! And with a line number that is more than respectable. And I was so excited I surprised him with a Chocolate Stampede dessert at dinner.
Then I got worried. A new rank? Does this mean that now (cue Wicked Witch of the West laughter) I have to be a *gasp* grown up?
I don't know how to be a grown up. I mean, I'm an adult; but it's just not the same thing. I can vote, but I probably don't have the requisite amount of maturity to lead a group of plumbers to a leaky pipe. I know that it is hubby's job and not mine, but the military is still a place where the family makes a difference; what I do will matter.
I even asked people, when I notified them of hubby's selection for promotion. "Tell me how to be a grown-up, because I don't know how."
The first answer I received was, "Well, first you have to stop wearing hippie clothes." Give up my hippie beads? My scarves? My gaudy and dangly earrings from India? Well, sheesh! Why not just take my soul, why don't you!
Another suggestion was, "Try not to laugh so loudly."
Yeah, okay, I know. I sound like a mortally wounded donkey in a state of hoarse dehydration. And I probably have the decibel level of a Audioslave concert. But how does one actually moderate the level of their laughter? Especially when something is really funny. I simply can't do it. I tried once. I tried to hold the laugh in and all that I managed to do was blow snot out of my nose.
And speaking of that incident, it probably isn't very grown up of me to mention it. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of this.
My favorite was the family member who told me, "Make an effort to always look presentable."
Rather a double edged comment that, eh? You mean the velvet leisure pants and camouflage tank top I'm currently sporting aren't refined enough for someone trying to be a grown up? Does that mean I have to fix my hair every day, or are ponytails through the back of a hat (a SpouseBuzz hat, of course) acceptable? And are you trying to graciously tell me that it's time I started wearing make-up?
So this leads me right back to the beginning. When do I have to be a grown up? How does a person go about doing that? And can I put it off for just one more promotion cycle? Because I just don't feel ready to give up my toys yet.