Friday, December 19, 2008

Dear Officer Wives:

After some recent events, I am downright shocked to discover some of you are under the impression that those of us married to lowly enlisted men are intimidated by you. I would like to assure you that this is definitely not the case. Most of us have absolutely no clue who you are, nor do we care. The last time we checked, not a single one of you had earned your husband's position on the boat, so why would it matter to us what you thought of us? If you happened to show up on our doorstep to give us a baby gift or welcome packet, we would take it with a smile, say good-bye, and promptly forget what your name was. Since we can't remember your name, nor are we up on who everyone is on the crew, we will never discover whether you are married to a JO or the the department head of Sonar. If we run into you later, we'll probably have a hard time remembering where we'd met you before. If you come to a function and no one talks to you except other officer wives, it's not because you are the wife of so-and-so. It's because you aren't friendly and only talk to other officer wives. In the end, the only things we care about are the same things we evaluate any of our other friends by: Are you genuine? Are you honest? Do you mean what you say? Do you have bad breath? Now, if you start wearing your husband's uniform whenever we see you, we will probably get the hint. Be warned, however, that we will quickly close ranks and gossip about what a dope you are the minute you walk out of the room. You can chalk it up to our enlisted status. Which, by the way, means a whole lot of nothing because, just like you, we aren't in the military, either. Strip away the men and we are a bunch of women like any other. So, please, do yourself a favor and stop isolating yourself with the false notion that we are intimidated by...what, exactly? That your husband makes more money? That our husband's have to salute yours? Guess what, last time I checked, I wasn't required to salute anyone, including you. Get over yourself, and I suspect you'll find you have a whole lot more friends. Signed, A disgusted wife of an enlisted sailor

3 sonar pings:

The Mrs. said...

ah this sounds so familiar. Being mere enlisted swine (our pet name around the house) I do occasionally feel the sting from the O wives. One of my dearest friends is a Colonels wife, granted her husband is army and mine marine corps and we are friends through our past work not theres, but if an O6 (i think) wife can treat me as an equal why cant a CW1's? Thats always made me wonder.

Kristen said...

I'm genuinely curious (having been the wife of an officer who started out as an enlisted guy) about this: is the rivalry real or imagined? Does each "side" just THINK the other thinks something about them?

As an "Officer's Wife," I just sort of lived my life as myself, married to the guy who's my husband. He happened to have been an officer; I happened to have been his wife.

Could it have been that I was just not involved enough in the military wifedom? Is that why I never noticed it?

Jen said...

this is an awesome letter. :) i have yet to experience any kind of mixing of any ranks of any type because i seriously don't know any of the peeps in my husband's new unit. but what you wrote rings pretty true to what shane's said- he's an officer now, but was enlisted navy prior to this- he's got some stories. :) and he wasn't even married when he was enlisted!
i think that whole rank idea cuts across military AND civilian life- it's crazy. because like you said-rank, whether its money, position, power, what have you- really means nothing when it comes to choosing the people you hang out with.