I am often amazed with how easily one can actually collide head first into a stereotype. I truly do not believe anyone is immune to this collision. Maybe it only occurs once or twice in a lifetime, or maybe you are constantly fitting the new stereotypes that are around. Some would say they are called “trends”. Yeah, okay, that is true to. I suppose sometimes it is trends we follow, but I still think even the trends stem from a stereotypical box we squeeze into first.
So you are out of shape and a “friend” suggests crossfit….WHOA NELLY in approximately 3.5 months you are now a crossfitter who will only invest your time and money in crossfit approved gear, and cannot talk to another human being without using the words: the box, burpees, protein, Tabitha, or form. You switch to veganism…well look out for all the horrific fb posts containing animal sacrifices, hormone induced chickens, documentaries about plants, and pure shame for anyone who eats, wears, or buys animal by products in any form. You get more than three tattoos and you are fighting a battle against those who look at your tattoos too long. I mean the list goes on and on. For the military spouse it is no different. The stereotypes that are predominate in the military spouse culture have been blogged about, debated over, and now there is a hilarious video of a Marines wife making fun of the lifestyle.
Why? Because as military spouses more often than not we fall into a stereotype of how our lives are and the mold we fit. It is hard to have a career because we move too much. I personally went through a plethora of stages (especially when we went overseas and there were not jobs). I crafted, I baked, I thrift store shopped, I played bunko, I drank too much wine, I obviously blog… Many wear their spouses rank, or revert back to high school where they may or may not harbor too many feelings of inadequacies so become “mean girls” or extreme gossips. Some become OBSESSED with being the hottest “wife” there is, some let themselves go to the extreme. Most complain about the hardships of deployments (yeah they suck, big time, and shit always goes wrong, and you have to do it all alone, and it isn’t fun or easy–but that is the life and some major suck-uping is needed). Some say they serve too or they have the hardest job (well we may sort of, maybe a little bit “serve” but only in the sense that we get bounced from place to place with no stable career of our own and that can be a pretty shittastic life choice!). Do we have the hardest job—nope…nuff said.
What does happen to even the most independent and self-sufficient military spouse–we all tend to fall into at least one stereotype or trend on at least one occasion during our marriages. It is almost an inevitability. We can pretend that we don’t, we can claim that we don’t…but that is like claiming you eat all healthy and track everything but not the entire package of Oreos you consumed while watching Greys Anatomy during the last deployment or TDY and then getting on the scale and being flabbergasted that you gained a pound after all your “hard work”. Denial — it’s a real thing.
What is my point? I have no flipping clue. I just know that falling victim to these trends or stereotypes doesn’t make you horrific person or a monster…it makes you human. I know that as a military spouse and a SAHM who doesn’t want to be a SAHM you try to find anything and everything to keep out of the depression zone, to put your anxiety at bay, and find your path that makes your life feel special to you, feel worthwhile. It is okay to follow the crowd or to be “unique”. After all if you truly look at all the “unique” people you will see they are all in a group too. Humans, we tend to like to be together even if we don’t want to be together! Just don’t be a douche…be kind. Check out the funny military spouses making fun of our life–it is well worth it!