I had a conversation with another wife on the boat yesterday that got me thinking - and a little annoyed. She mentioned how her husband had warned her about Navy wives when they were first married, and as a consequence, she didn't socialize much with the other wives. I laughed at first, and knew what she was talking about (although my husband, while repeating the stereotypes, hasn't cared if I socialized at all with them). Now, however, I'm annoyed at it all. There is a definite stereotype: Navy wives are fat, catty, gossipy, and unfaithful. (I suspect this is true for other services, too, as I've heard similar stories from other military wives.) I'm not irritated so much about the stereotypes as I am about the guys who perpetuate them and warn their wives not to get to know anyone else because of them. These are, after all, the same guys we were warned not to date or marry from our civilian friends because of all the things they "knew" about Navy guys. Stereotypes always have an element of truth to them, and I can't say I've never met anyone who fit the bill, but in my four and a half years of being a Navy wife, almost no one I've been friends with has. We are just like other people; we just chose to marry a guy with a weird work schedule. So, the next time your husband says something like that to you, don't believe it! If you take a chance and get to know the other wives around you, you'll discover what I did: that we have a really unique, amazing, instant bond that most civilian wives will not get the privilege of enjoying. And when the boat deploys, it's this bond, more than any other, that has always gotten me through it. It's not the people who still have husbands at home that I want to spent time with when he's gone; it's someone who is in my shoes, someone that needs the same emotional support and can trade off babysitting or meal cooking, or just wants to sit and talk about stuff. Navy wives are a pretty amazing bunch, if you just give them a chance.