There is something about a “seasoned” Marine Spouse that I can’t help but love. As a Navy wife I sometimes pull on the role of seasoned spouse like I had dragged an area rug off the floor to wear as a poncho.
Yet the Marine spouses I know wear the seasoned spouse thing with panache--like Tiger Woods at The Masters.
Officer or enlisted, by the time these people consider themselves “seasoned,” they own it. They like it. They want you to enjoy it too.
I love people like that. So I was delighted at our Spouse Experience event at Camp LeJeune at the group of fortysomethings who designated themselves “seasoned. ”
They wrote up this list about the lighthearted ways that might be telling you that you are “seasoned” too—no matter how many years you have been married.
1. You RSVP and bring a hostess gift. When you are seasoned, not only do you respond promptly when you see an RSVP on an invitation, but you expect people to respond, too. Shocking! Some of the ladies at SpouseX confessed that they keep a drawer or box or cabinet near their wrapping supplies for last minute hostess gifts, too.
2. You write thank you notes on paper with snail mail and a stamp. When you are seasoned, you are happy to get thank you notes any way people send them (even by text). Yet you get a secret thrill from picking out a little card and actually putting it in the mail. CAUTION: Seasoned spouses may be dangerous around a Papyrus or Paper Source store.
3. You know what to wear to the ball, what not to wear, and how to act once you get there. A killer black gown or sharp-creased tux will do that for a person.
4. You can cook a gourmet meal on a hot plate and set up a house at the same time. That guy who wrote about the 10,000 hours it takes to become an expert at something must have been hanging out around seasoned spouses. Once you have moved 10, 15, 20 times (Mamie Eisenhower moved 35 times during her life as an Army wife), pulling off a move is a skill you can pull off in front of a live audience.
5. You know how to delegate. A smart Marine spouse accepts help when it is offered. A brilliant Marine spouse asks for help when it is needed. A seasoned Marine spouse carries off the fine art of delegation.
6. You remember what a KV was AND how to starch and iron a uniform with rolled sleeves. Just in case you are missing those things, the seasoned spouse wants you to know she can help.
7. You value the lifestyle and traditions of the Corps. Something about choosing to keep building a life with your Marine over the years makes a seasoned spouse value the Corps. Our SpouseX attendees said that they treasured the mentorings they had received and that they really don’t see the military as “a crappy job.”
8. You know you originated Semper Gumby, Hurry Up and Wait, and Nothing Is Set In Stone. Or at least that is how you remember it once you are a seasoned spouse.
9. You know it is never too late to attend a LINKS class. Just sayin’. You can sign up today. Really.
10. You and your Marine would do it all again. Even knowing what you know now--the good times, the bad times, the war times, the peace times-- a seasoned spouses see what the Marine Corps has expected from them, given them, taught them. When you are a seasoned spouse, you can look back at that and know you would do it all again.