But at the same time, I definitely have felt the differences of being a service member instead of a spouse. When I was in ROTC, I was warned that some spouses would hate me for two reasons, 1. I was pretty 2. I spent a lot of time with their husbands. I wasn't even in my careerfield yet and I already had women hating me...great! It doesn't matter that while on alert, I usually have a sideways messy topknot, glasses, and a pimple or two speckling my face. It doesn't matter that when I wake up, there are probably tendrils of hair glued to my cheek from drool (yeah, that's a pretty picture). There are just going to be women who dislike me for just being in that position. It didn't matter whether I was attractive, ugly, or the highest ranking person that woman knew- I would be considered a problem. I haven't had to face too many jealous wives or girlfriends yet and thank goodness. Again, I think drool tendrils help, but that's just my opinion. If that day ever comes where I am in a battle with a spouse, I wish I could have a frank conversation in saying that I have zero interest in their signicant other and I am no threat to their happiness.
I am very much in love with my husband, regardless if we fight or if life is being particularly difficult. I am also fiercely loyal to him. I still notice when people are physically attractive, however, I'm the kind of woman who also remarks when another woman is also very beautiful. It's not a defense mechanism to call out every pretty girl on the block, it's just something I notice. The human body is a beautiful thing, and to be treated with respect- so should relationships. I trust my husband and he trusts me. I am not there to seduce your partner, I am there to provide nuclear deterrence.
I am far more concerned about my test scores and becoming a better missileer, than throwing a wrench in your relationship.
However, that's not to say that I haven't felt the effects of being a female service member and not solely being a spouse. The thing about being an officer is that I'm still a spouse, that just didn't stop when I become a butter bar. You may have seen my rant on Instagram about a recent e-mail sent to me by the president of our spouse's club. A little background- we live in a small town. There are a ton of mom and pop style
I was an active duty spouse. I am now a veteran's spouse. I am an active duty service member who is married. No where in there did I just stop being a spouse. No where in there did I stop needing an opportunity to bond with women in a similar situation than me. Just because I'm a missileer doesn't mean that I don't go to the commissary or BX. I was just there to pick up ingredients for a pumpkin cake and walked through the same checkout and tipped the same bagger that you probably did. It doesn't mean that I don't have the same worries that other military spouses have. We worry about bills and paying off my school loans. We worry about when is the right time to start having a baby (which if you've read my blog, you know I think about frequently). We worry about getting time to see our family back in Wisconsin.
That e-mail could have gone several ways. I respect that it's a spouse's space, however, I don't see the importance of the dividing line when it comes to wine nights, book clubs, and any other social events. To me it seems trivial, especially with so few opportunities for women. That e-mail should have provided resources or other opportunities, and ones that didn't include volunteering for a project that needed manning. That just annoyed me. Not that I don't like volunteering, but there are tons of already existing volunteering opportunities.
To sum all of this up, I'm simply disappointed. It has put me in a position where I recognize that there are few opportunities for female service members and instead of creating a liaison between the two groups, there's just a dividing line. It has also made me realize that maybe I need to create this opportunity. Maybe I need to organize wine nights, a bookclub, a rollerskating night, or any fun activity. This thought got me excited- the possibilities are endless! Then I thought about it further, would I exclude Hannah, Emily, Rhi, or Allie, just because they're spouses? No, that's not like me. I would want every woman affiliated with this base who needed a night of fun, to have that night and to meet other great women.