Saturday, March 12, 2016

Behind every good man...

You've heard the old saying.  "Behind every good man is a good woman."  I don't know if that's always true.  Not every man is into women.  I also think that people can be successful on their own.  We'd never say "Behind every good woman is a good man" because people would be outraged by that.  It's kind of a sexist saying.  At the same time, perhaps there's truth in it... somewhat.

This morning, I awoke to a discussion on Facebook about "entitled officers' wives".  Someone's friend's husband just made the O6 list.  I take that to mean he was selected to be promoted, not that he's actually been promoted.  So, because he made "the list", she's started parking in spots designated for colonels.  Bill made "the list" in 2010, but still retired as a Lieutenant Colonel because other people who were on the list were promoted instead of him.  That's life.  It just goes to show you that just because you make the O6 list, that doesn't mean a promotion is automatic.  It's hard to make colonel.

Anyway, some of my friends have a problem with this woman's decision to start parking in a spot designated for a colonel.  For one thing, they point out that the "wife" doesn't have a rank and thus has no right to park in a special parking spot intended for a colonel.  For another thing, they lament that there is not enough parking for the rank and file, especially here in Stuttgart.  I have no quarrel with either of these observations.  Besides, even if you are a colonel or the wife of a high ranking officer, if you are able bodied, it's probably best to let someone else have the close parking spots.  Most of us could use the extra exercise anyway.

However, once again, this issue brings up another issue that I've written about more than enough times on this blog.  So many people in the microcosm of military life have so little respect for the lowly military spouse.  It's true that in recent years, the military has been trying to do more to show appreciation to spouses.  That mostly comes from recognizing what spouses of people in the military go through.  For me, personally, being an Army wife was mostly easy.  I don't have kids and I had already gotten my education before I got married.  Though I had expected to have a career, the constant moves made it pretty much impossible to work in my field.  We could afford my not working, hence my ridiculous lifestyle.  And, I'll be honest, there have been many times when I wonder if I could have made it on my own.  I like to think I could have, but I honestly don't know.  I grew up taking care of myself, but I'm not necessarily a "go getter".

I realize that my experience as a military wife is not the norm, though.  A lot of spouses have to deal with their military spouses being gone for months.  They move frequently, with kids, dogs, family heirlooms.  Moving is very stressful and disorienting and you have to learn how to be resilient and resourceful.  With every move, there's the process of settling.  You have to find a new home, school, doctors, dentists, go to car repair shops, and, if you're lucky, a few friends who can commiserate.  Frequent moving was a challenge for me and I don't even have any kids or a particular desire to be near my family and friends.  Imagine having a couple of kids, especially one that has special needs of some sort.  For a lot of military spouses, that is reality.  I don't think it's wrong to recognize that life for a military spouse can be difficult, depending on their circumstances.

I have seen some really stellar military spouses who have supported their military husbands and wives.  Some of the spouses have their own careers and some end up more like me.  I have also seen some spouses who were shamelessly entitled and acted like parasites.  Like anywhere else, you run into all kinds in the military.

I guess I just think it's too bad that there are so many people who want to attack what other people are doing and how they're behaving as they go about their most mundane day to day business.  Is it wrong for a colonel's wife, not with her husband, to park in a spot designated for a colonel?  Perhaps it is.  I wouldn't do it myself.  But is it really necessary for people to get their panties in a huge wad over it?  Yeah, it's tacky for spouses to have a sense of entitlement, but this is an age old problem that isn't going to go away.  On the other hand, as long as this problem exists, people are going to get upset over other people acting entitled.  So maybe I shouldn't get my panties in a wad over it, either.  Especially since there are so many other things in real life that I could be worried about.  


  1. It would seem in this specific case that either a spouse (husband OR wife) does have the privilege of parking in the spaces reserved for various ranks, or that the spouse does not. If such is not the case, it's sort of a flaw of the system and not of anyone who interprets it either way if the issue hasn't been clarified. If it is ambiguous, however, I suppose people have every right to put their own spin on it. I agree that most of us would do well not to park so close.

    1. I think technically spouses aren't supposed to park there.


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