Since the debut of Army Wives (episode ten discussion thread coming soon), it's become my guilty pleasure. Usually, I only watch cable news. Recently, I found yet another show that has captured my interest, HGTV's Design Star. I love home design. In fact, my dream job would be that of an interior designer.
So, while watching Design Star last night, I amused myself by imagining a show along those lines, but one for wannabe milspouses. Contestants would have to prove their mettle by successfully completing a slate of challenges before they're allowed to become a milspouse, but there would be a twist. The show might look something like this:
Round One: Milspeak/Lifestyle:
Contestants will be given one day to study military culture. After the initial 24 hours, they must be able to carry on a lengthy, coherent conversation that includes frequent use of acronyms. They must also understand rank and be able to demonstrate that they can organize a bake sale at the motor pool (and know what a motor pool is), read an LES, fulfill their phone-tree obligation without distorting the message so that the original message, which stated, "our troops are now in Kuwait and will be home in one week - Wednesday, the 7th. They will turn their weapons in and proceed to the gymnasium, where we will meet them " doesn't come out on the other side as "our troops should arrive in Kuwait on the 7th and from there, it will take them a week to get them home. They will arrive on the 14th. You can meet them at HHC if you don't want to wait until they get to the gym."
Round Two: Commissary Wars:
The contestants are sent to the commissary on payday armed with a long list of groceries that they must purchase. Contestants must navigate the commissary without making another shopper angry, snapping at the kids (or another shopper), running over someone's foot with the buggy or forgetting to get cash back at check-out to tip the baggers.
Round Three: Moving Across Country:
The contestants must be able to clear quarters, make the long drive to their next duty station without incident, arrive at the new duty station, accept their household goods and get the new house squared away. No arguing with the spouse is allowed. All of the above must be accomplished within 72 hours.
Round Four: Jack of All Trades:
The contestants will be given a car with a flat tire, a home with a continuously-running toilet and a non-functioning hot water heater. Contestants must be able to change the flat tire without personal injury, fix the toilet and light the pilot light in the hot water heater without burning down the house. They will be given extra points if they can change the oil in the car and replace the hot water heater with a new one.
Round Five: Unwanted company:
Contestants must demonstrate their ability to capture the bat that is loose in the house, kill the snake in the backyard before the dog or children find it, get rid of the squirrels in the attic and the bird that has entered the house through the fireplace. All must be done without donning all-over protective gear, calling for back-up or saying, "ewwwww."
Round Six: Productive Use of Deployment Time:
Give the contestants twelve months and one to-do list. The to-do list includes getting in shape, taking an interesting class, home remodeling, getting the house organized top-to-bottom, getting the finances in order, putting a hefty sum of deployment pay in the savings account, taking up a new hobby and transforming the yard.
Round Seven: They're arriving two days earlier than expected:
The contestants have 12 hours to take a dirty, unorganized house and transform it into a gleaming model home. Shop for a sexy outfit. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with their spouse's favorite items. Make Welcome Home banners - and hang them. Whip off emails to friends and family which state in an ever-so-gentle manner that their spouse is coming home early and they would greatly appreciate at least 48 hours of being left alone - no exceptions. Scrub the kids and get them dressed in their red/white/blue outfits. Get hair, nails and make-up done. Drive like a madman to the post gymnasium, arrive before the buses do and appear to be composed.
The contestants who were unable to complete four or more of their challenges will be put into a train car, complete with a looking glass window. The train will embark on a country-wide tour, stopping at every military installation in the United States. At these stops, milspouses will be allowed to gawk and snare at those who were deemed not ready for prime-time.
The contestants who were able to complete four or more of their challenges will be deemed milspouse-worthy and allowed to marry into the military. They will be welcomed into the room with "Looks like we Made It," blaring from the speakers and will be awarded one of these:
The contestants who were able to complete all of their challenges flawlessly will be locked away, never to be heard from again....