Moving too much will make you stupid. Talk to any geographic bachelor about their convoluted decision to move to the new duty station while leaving the family in place and you, too, will sense that brain cells have been irrevocably burned.
It ain’t exactly our fault. This week I wrote a quiz to help military families like mine figure out whether or not they should/would/could live apart during their next PCS move. The more geobaches I talked to, the more I started thinking that my husband and I were idiots to buy a house in the first place. Why wasn’t General Dempsey jumping up and down in the back seat of the Realtors BMW shouting, “You are in the MILITARY! You are gonna MOVE! You cannot predict when WE will move YOU! You can’t be sure that this is where you will retire! Stopitstopitstopit!!!”
That kind of thing might have been helpful. No wonder my husband and I are conducting our entire marriage by phone, living on I-95 and gaining weight on Hot Pockets.
Then again, when you are in the military, renting a house can be just as dumb. The rental agents know to the dime what your BAH is and charge you $300 more than that. The house you can afford to rent is 87% ickier than the one you can afford to buy—and it has a purple kitchen and a carpet that smells like German Shepherds eating…what? …pickles? Landlords have a terrible habit of deciding to sell your house when your service member is deployed, you are nine months pregnant and you own an entertainment center that takes six strong men to move.
Then again, military housing is no better. Even if they do have housing for your paygrade, there is a two-year waiting list and your orders are only for 18 months. So you have to rent a house and they don’t have a house in the same district as the post housing so even if you do get housing you would have to make your kids change schools and is that even worth it? Not to mention how the minute you get your grandmother’s china unpacked and the hockey equipment sorted out in the garage that the Housing Office calls and hey, guess what!
Forget about it. I’ll leave the kids right here and go buy Barbie van to park in front of my husband’s ship. I’ve got just enough money left over to buy Hot Pockets for everyone.
Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan?? The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage available on iTunes, Amazon, and on www.jaceyeckhart.com.