19 February 2011

The Fab Five

Earlier this week, a friend posted an article on Facebook about the 5 friends Oprah says every woman must have.  You can read that article here.  I thought it sounded interesting, so I read on.  Truthfully, I read it to see if I had any of the friends that Oprah says I should have.  I do, but as I do with any advice/self-help/opinion pieces I read, I try to decipher how this pertains to me as a military spouse.  You know what's coming next, right?  Without further ado, I present The Five Friends Every Military Spouse Should Have, according to Amy. 

The Senior Advisor - No offense to all of you "senior" spouses out there, but you know who you are.  I have been fortunate enough to have a handful of these in my almost 13 years as a military spouse and am even more fortunate that hardly any of them are on Facebook or blogger.  I wouldn't want to have to admit  that I consider them a "senior" anything.  The senior advisors are your friends, but they are also your mentors.  They usually have older kids, a higher-ranking husband, and really cool furniture they've gotten from their overseas duty stations.  These ladies are never short on good advice, a calm demeanor and some sort of yummy baked good they just so happen to have made that morning (and seriously, HOW do they DO that?).  Their door is always open and they always have time for a toddler-crazed stay-at-home mom with a quick question.  If you don't have one of these in your military spouse arsenal...get one. 

The Decorator -  The decorator is one of those women that makes living in a different house every two years look easy.  Her furniture ALWAYS fits and LOOKS GOOD where ever she puts it.  She can pick up an ottoman at IKEA, a rug in Texas at a flea market, some curtains at Target and make them work in every house she lives in until they retire.  And, painting?  She makes it look like a breeze.  The decorator will paint every room in every house they live in even if it means she has to paint it back before they move.  The decorator most likely also has a husband that gives her semi-free reign to decorate as she pleases, thus making her even more valuable.   Husbands frequently go along with decorating changes if some poor sap down the street has had to endure it too and they can share fabric shopping war stories.  The decorator is always willing to come help you move a couch or give you her opinion on a new coffee table.  I love a good decorator friend.

The Fertile Myrtle -  Everyone needs at least one Fertile Myrtle in their friend bank. The Fertile Myrtle has numerous children, numerous pets and an unlimited supply of patience.  NOTHING fazes the Fertile Myrtle.  Your toddler spilled milk on her rug?  No biggie.  It matches the spill one of her children placed there earlier this morning.  You need someone to watch your two kids at the last minute because your babysitter canceled?  Puh-lease!  What is two more kids when you already have four or five of your own?  The Fertile Myrtle is happy to oblige.  Her theory is the more the merrier and she honestly believes that to be true.  The Fertile Myrtle is who you thought you wanted to be, but 2 kids and a deployment later you realized there was no way that was going to happen without winning the lottery and hiring a full-time nanny.  You might not aspire to be a Fertile Myrtle, but you need one as a friend.  Trust me.

The Anti-Spouse - The Anti-Spouse is a different breed.  She is the one that says things like, "I don't know what my husband does, because we don't talk about his job when he gets home."  She may not even know what the inside of his office looks like, because she's never been there.  To her the Army (or Navy, or Air Force, or Marines) is just HIS job, not THEIR way of life.  He does his thing, she and the kids do theirs.  It may seem strange to you, but it works for them. You can hold endless conversations about fashion, child-rearing, dieting, relationships, just about anything and the military will never enter the conversation.   The Anti-Spouse always provides a good reality check if you find yourself using more acronyms than actual words in a sentence.  Warning:  Do not confuse The Anti-Spouse with The Angry Spouse.  The Angry Spouse is a sad, bitter woman full of endless complaints about the military.   The Angry Spouse is usually not happy with her marriage, her children or even the produce at the commissary, and she will find a way to work her discontent into every conversation.  Stay away from The Angry Spouse.  Or better yet, find another Angry Spouse and introduce them to each other.

The Battle Buddy - The Battle Buddy is by far the best friend for a military spouse to have.  She is your go-to gal for all things, all the time.  Need a pair of earrings to match your formal dress?  She'll bring over her entire jewelry box.  Think you might want to train for a 1/2 marathon?  She'll lace up her running shoes and train with you.  Need a good cry because you haven't talked to or gotten an email from your deployed husband in a week?  She is at your door with a kleenex 3-pack and a movie to occupy the kids so the both of you can cry in peace.  The Battle Buddy is worth her weight in gold.  If you are extremely lucky, you may find a Battle Buddy at each duty station.  If not, don't worry.  There is an unwritten rule that once a Battle Buddy, always a Battle Buddy, even from thousands of miles away. 

So there you have it.  My unofficial guide to The 5 Friends Every Military Spouse Should Have.  Thoughts?  Comments?  I'd love to hear them!  Unless of course you think of ME as your senior advisor.  You can keep that thought to yourself.  :)


Jen Jorstad said...

Love it my friend! :)
So which one am I?? DEFINITELY NOT the Decorator!
Ri said I need to have a blog like this, but I'm afraid that what I'd write would get me arrested--or the kids taken away... Hmm, maybe I should start now!
Miss you MUCH!

Sarah said...

I love that you have an Oprah label. So you might be 4 out of the 5 for me. You're so versatile!

Trish P. said...