Once upon a time, I was in my personal Military Spouse Utopia. Living on two different military installations for five consecutive years had me surrounded by similar souls, help at every turn, and kids for my boys to play with in every direction.
So when we moved to a house in Northern Virginia far from the gate there was a bit of adjustment. It was hard to all of sudden not be with people like me. I wondered -- how do I find another military spouse to commiserate with me the pitfalls of military life?
It was very easy to pick out the military member while sitting out at swim practice; a haircut can pretty much scream “Hoo-RAH" without anyone uttering a word and most service members have a certain carriage. But finding kindred MilSpouse souls was a bit more difficult.
That is, until I opened my eyes and ears and began to notice the subtle and not so subtle signs of MilSpouses all around.
So how do you spot a military spouse from a mile away?
You know she's a military spouse when ...
- Her car is located in Virginia, has Texas license plates and has a sticker in the back window for a high school in Alabama.
- Her kids reply with “yes ma’am” or “yes sir” and you aren’t in the deep south
- She is well versed in Murphy’s Law and has no desire to ever meet Murphy.
- Her overheard conversations include phrases such as “When we lived Germany…," "…well then I told Tricare…," and ”…blah blah blah, TDY, blah blah…”
- She has no idea who to use for haircuts and dentists, but can point you in the right direction for the nearest Sam’s, Costco, Home Depot, Ikea, and U-Haul.
- She has dark green commissary reusable grocery bags mixed in with ones from Publix, Fresh Market, and Trader Joe’s.
- At a potluck her food is brought in a Polish Pottery dish.
- You never see her spouse.
- Her Christmas ornaments are from all over the dang place.
- She has a lifetime supply of Vitamin M (Motrin), in both liquid form and the pill variety.
- She has Longaberger recipe card holder next to a Partylite candle.
- She is not always the most fashionable. Her money goes instead to a massive replacing of every family member’s wardrobe from one that worked in North Dakota to clothes more suited for Florida.
- She is constantly checking for her ID.
- All of her pens are from USAA or a military credit union -- or are those cheap black ones with the gold lines that never seem to work.
What helps you identify another military spouse?