Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Yesterday, I read an article about military service members and veterans using food stamps.  The article was about an important issue, but it was also poorly written.  In the course of reading it, I noticed that the author wrote this...

Retired military servicemen and women who joined up after 9/11 have a 10 percent unemployment rate, which also contributes to the elevated food stamp figures at DOD commissaries, and nearly a million working-age veterans lived in poverty in 2010.

Being an anal retentive editor sort, I couldn't help but point out that no one who "joined up" after 9/11 is yet retired.  Generally speaking, one must spend 20 years in the military before retirement is possible.  As 9/11 was less than fourteen years ago, the only people who could have retired after having joined after 9/11 are people who were medically retired.  I wrote this...

"While I don't dispute that some military families use food stamps, I do want to point out that anyone who 'joined up' after 9/11 hasn't retired unless it was for medical reasons. You have to serve for 20 years before you can retire. But then, looking at the sentence again, I think it could be just an awkward construction."

I thought what I had written was pretty clear but, apparently, it wasn't.

I got lots of comments from people... many of whom didn't quite get my meaning and a few of whom clearly don't know anything about the military.  One guy totally missed my point and told me about how when companies downsize, they typically offer people early retirement because it's cheaper and easier.  Yes, I know that to be true.  But that was not my point and it has nothing to do with military service.  It also has nothing to do with either the article or my comment.

Another friend, herself a veteran, pointed out that the military is now offering people the chance to retire after 15 years.  

Again, that may be true, but it was not my point.  So I said, "But are people who joined the military after 9/11 currently eligible for retirement?  That is my point. Unless there is a medical reason for retirement, they likely are not."  

Her response was, "They are as of 1 Jan 2015 if they take the early retirement."

I responded, "Really?  I thought 9/11 happened in 2001.  Doesn't that add up to not quite 14 years?"

And she agreed I was right, at which point I said I was relieved since it seemed like I had stumbled into the Twilight Zone.  I got a couple more comments that made me think people had finally gotten the gist of my original thought.

Then, I got this beaut of a comment from someone who has since been deleted from my friends list.

"I need to read the article but servicemembers who participate in active combat are entitled to services, not necessarily retirement. Getting those services can be a bureaucratic nightmare, says the social worker me. /rant"

There are so many things wrong with this very brief comment.  Let me first start with the obvious.  You say you haven't read the article.  If you haven't taken a moment to at least skim the article, and it's clear, based on your comment, that you haven't bothered to read other peoples' comments, why are you chiming in?  It's like walking up to two people and butting into the middle of their conversation with irrelevant comments on a subject about which you know nothing.  It's very rude.

Secondly, we were "friends", but you don't know that I, too, have a background in social work?  In fact, I have had an MSW for longer than you have?  Do you really need to tell me how much of a pain it can be to get certain services for people?  

Thirdly, we were "friends", but you don't know that I am a veteran's wife and the daughter of a veteran?  See the above comment for the fact that I don't need schooling on this shit.

I will admit, my annoyance mostly comes from the ego bruising I get from someone who is supposedly my friend, yet doesn't seem to know me very well.  Either that, or she doesn't doesn't care about who she's talking to...  It's kind of a form of narcissism to think your random and irrelevant thoughts are so important that you can just come on someone's Facebook page and spout them off in the middle of a thread like that.  But yes, I will admit that part of the problem is my own ego and the fact that this kind of stuff is insulting to me.  Sue me.

This former friend is someone I "know" from my days hanging out on a message board for second wives and stepmothers.  Like the Voice of Reason I used to blog/vent frequently about up until a few months ago, this woman has always gotten under my skin.  But when she requested to be friends with me a couple of years ago, I thought I'd be nice and accept her request.  I immediately regretted it.  Since then, I have put up with her ridiculous comments and chiming in on subjects about which she knows zilch and has apparently no desire to learn.  

I am not the only one who feels this way about her.  One of my other friends from that same message board once told my former friend to "shut the fuck up" because she kept yammering about stupid shit and was being both condescending and ignorant.  She and I both agree that this woman is super irritating.    

Here's another example of her moronic tendencies.  Back in December 2013, I posted an innocent article about a cute Luvabulls cheerleader who got a surprise marriage proposal.  It choked me up and got me all misty, so I decided to share it with my friends.  One friend commented that she wasn't even upset that the guy put the ring on the wrong finger.  Our "wise" former friend chimed in with...

"Europeans wear wedding bands on the right hand. This was beautiful."

I commented that these were not Europeans; they were Americans.  And she said, 

"I don't think its in the handbook that you have to be European in order to integrate the culture into your American life...if that were the case a LOT of "American" culture and custom wouldn't be considered American."

So then I said, "I think it's a lot more likely that this couple had a brainfart in all the commotion of this very public proposal. But, as you say, it's possible he meant to put the ring on her right hand. I doubt it, though. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter."

She couldn't let it go at that, though... She wrote "And that's okay."
To which I wrote, "I'm glad you think so."

And she said, "I do!"

And I said, "What a relief. Now I can get on with the business of the day."

Now see?  I didn't have to engage her and I know I shouldn't have, but why the fuck did she have to chime in on that thread and turn something cute and romantic into a pointless argument?  Why couldn't she just agree that the marriage proposal was heartwarming and leave it at that?

Some people don't mind when others are contrary and annoying.  I am not one of those people.  The older I get, the less I am willing to tolerate people who get on my nerves.  Life is just too short.  


  1. Why not just ignore the comments?

    1. That would be much too easy. Besides, then I'd have a less to rant about. But now that she's off my friends list, I have now permanently decided to ignore her.


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