Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good Friends are Hard to Come By

Its true. Especially if you are a Marine wife. Marine Corps society is class (rank) based. Marines typically have no problem making friends. They hang out with who they work with typically, and their friends tend to be close in rank to them, because thats who they work with. Sometimes wives think this rule applies to them as well. However, it does not. I could be besties with the Commanding General's wife if I wanted. As your Marine goes up in rank, it is clear that there aren't as many people his rank. For example, there are way more LCpl's then Sgt's. So that means there are more LCpl wives than Sgt wives. Now as I mentioned earlier, I do not believe there is a class system among the wives. Nor would I ever not include a wife because she was married to a Jr Marine. My quest for friendship is based on common interests, personality, and all the good things you want in a friend. But I do believe a lot of those characteristics are directly related to age. Let's face it, I'm not the same person that I was when I was 18 or 19. Going out and partying or drinking all weekend just isn't my idea of a good time anymore. Not just because I happen to be knocked up, but truthfully it hasn't been my idea of a good time for the last 5 or so years. That seems to be a characteristic of people around the age of 18-21 (well sometimes older). So people who like to do things like that will find me boring, a party pooper. Most of the wives in this age range tend to be married to Marines in this age range. Marines in this age range tend to be Pvt's, Pfc's, and LCpl's (and sometimes higher).
Another characteristic of most 18-21 yr olds is shit talking and drama. Now I want to make it clear, that I don't believe all 18-21 yr olds do this. I have a 16 yr old sister, and she doesn't do that. However, its kind of like breast cancer, usually only women get it, and its most severe if you got it at a younger age. I have attempted to make friends with some wives of Jr Marines, and had to almost immediately start distancing myself from them. I do not want to hear about some gossip you heard about a wife that you barely know. I also don't want to read you crazy Facebook status with you cussing out someone who "wronged" you. While I'm on it, I don't want to hear about the shit you think about any of the Marines in commanding positions. That is a quick way to never ever hear from me again. Mainly because I do not want my name attached to some ugly thing some trash talking wife said about the company CO or the 1st Sgt. Even if I did have an issue with any of the Commanding Marines, I would go to them first, before I began to say ugly things. Now, I have to be honest, there are a lot of wives who are in my age group and above that do this as well. I will not be friends with these wives. I will not partake in trash talking anyone. Because its mean! Its hurtful. Can you imagine how crappy that person will feel when they hear these horrible things that you are saying about them? An trust me, they WILL hear about it (because most likely the person you are having this convo with is just as back stabbing as you are). And if you aren't a complete rude, ugly, cold hearted bitch, imagine how it will make you feel when you find out that this person heard about what you said?! So, I just stay away from it, and wives who do it.
There is also another thing that can make friend making difficult. This is kind of from another perspective. As a wife of a Sgt. I found out that the majority of the wives married to this rank (and higher), have kids. Before I was pregnant, I found that it was hard to penetrate the Married With Kids Club. Even though I had the same views and characteristics as these wives, I still didn't completely understand them. And I love kids! But to them, its just not the same. Maybe it is a protective thing, or they think that someone who is not also a mother, might feel their kids are getting in the way. Regardless, it's hard to convince these women, that you are cool with their 3 yr old, and you totally don't mind hanging out with them anyway. Plus these women tend to be super busy as it is, especially if they work.
The last friend blocking I have encountered, is sort of similar to the first kind I discussed. And, (as I'm sure the Jr Marine wives are happy about) this isn't unique to just LCpl's wives and below! I personally wouldn't have ever really thought about this. But after talking to a new friend the other day, I realized that of course this happens. As I mentioned earlier, the higher rank your Marine is, the less Marines around his rank there are. That must make it very difficult for the wives to find friends. Why? You would think, they've been in the Marine Corps all this time, they must know everyone by now! However, all their friends have probably PCSed (permanent change of station) or retired (you gotta remember these guys retire real young at 35-40yrs old), or gotten out (not re-enlisted). So they must find new friends too every time they PCS. But the things that makes it harder for them, is their husbands are MstrSgt's, 1st Sgt's, maybe even Sgt. Major's. That means their husbands are in commanding positions. That is probably really intimidating for the lower ranking wives. What has her husband told her about your husband's work ethic? Does he think your husband is a skater? Will it effect their work relationship? So the other wives tend to treat these wives of higher ranking Marines really polite in person, and then avoid the hell out of them at all costs elsewhere. But these women are Marine wives too! Sure they've been through 8 or so deployments, but that doesn't mean they won't need to call a friend because they are having a bad deployment day every once in awhile. Plus, having a friend with this much experience might be extremely resourceful for you. She has literally been through everything! And she's been doing this for a while, she knows.
So my family day lunch with the company. It went awesome! There were a lot of Jr Marine wives, as I expected. They all already seemed to know each other too (but thats because I have only been here for a few months). Most of them have never lived anywhere else but California. A lot of them were also going to be going to their parents houses for the deployment. I was very happy to meet some important people. I met the company CO and the company 1st Sgt. It was neat to hear the great things they had to say about my husband. They expressed many times to me how happy they were to have him, and I told them how happy he was to be there. And it's all the truth! They were both very approachable and extremely concerned with how I felt. My husband has a great command, and I feel very comfortable with him deploying with these Marines. They have a ton of experience! The company CO is a Mustang Marine, so he knows what its like to be enlisted. Both Marines have about 8 deployments under their belts.
I also met 2 wives. One of them her husband is the same rank as my husband. They have a little girl and are just super nice people! The other wife we both met, is the wife of a higher ranking Marine. She seems like such a sweet and open person, and they have 3 children. We have all three already made plans to get together for dinner while the guys are out training at Mohave Viper. And I really can't wait! I think I have finally met some people here that are real. No trash talking! =) Friday was a very successful day.

1 comment:

  1. yay! glad you met people! And I'm glad I finally figured out how to comment. lol