(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Todd F. Michalek/Released)
Some days I have a love/hate relationship with the Marine Corps. And then there are the days when I have a HATE/HATE relationship with the Marine Corps. It’s on those days when I have to dig deep to remind myself that this life we have chosen is not always bad… and that even when it stinks, there is some humor to be found along the way.
So, if you are having an “Oohrah, I love the Marine Corps” kinda day, tuck this away for one of those “I never wanna hear that stinkin’ Marine Corps Hymn as long as I live” kinda days. ‘Cause I promise, one might be right around the corner.
And if you can’t find something to laugh about, you might be that woman on the news in your curlers and slippers who was found in Wal-Mart ranting about civilians that just don’t understand. I care about you… I don’t want you to embarrass your children on TV.
So without further ado, my Top 10 Perks of Being a Marine Corps Spouse…
10) Beautiful Glassware!
If you are about to marry a Marine, please read this before you register for your china. Don’t waste time looking at fancy glassware to serve up mixed drinks with your friends. First of all, most Marines prefer a can or a Dixie cup. But more importantly, after the first few Marine Corps Balls, you will have an entire set of cool glassware commemorating the various years of the USMC’s birthday. After 10 years of Marine Corps Balls, you will be drinking out of them at dinner. After 20 years of Marine Corps Balls you will be giving them as Christmas gifts. So register for something useful, like your favorite curtains in a variety of shapes and sizes… guaranteed to fit whatever base housing you move into next.
9) Cheap Chicken!
When all your civilian friends are paying $4.00 a pound for chicken breasts at the grocery store, you are getting a package of chicken breasts that have just been reduced to 20 cents a pound at the commissary!
My heart beats a little faster when I think of the 20 cases of kids’ Suave shampoo I bought at a case-lot sale two years ago. Each bottle ended up being like 40 cents. So everyone in the house, including the dog smells, like Strikin Strawberry! (Note: TMO will not move 20 cases of shampoo for you, so only do this at the beginning of a tour at your new duty station.)
Do you hate your neighbor’s dog that barks at all hours of the night? Do you despise the fact that your town has more tattoo parlors than good restaurants? Are you sick and tired of that one really annoying PTO Mom who seems to be perfect and always sends in $500 professionally wrapped gift baskets for Teacher Appreciation Day?
Never fear, my dear!
The Marine Corps doesn’t want you to have to suffer through all these things for more than… oh, let’s say three or four years.
Before you know it, your Marine will come home and say those famous three words: “We have orders.” And you can say goodbye to that duty station and start on a new adventure.
Don’t worry. By the time the Marine Corps decides to move you BACK to that base in three years, there will probably be at least one new restaurant and that PTO mom will have moved on too.
7) Mandatory Honeymoons!
We all know that the Corps likes to dish out mandatory fun for our Marines. But one of my favorite parts of being a Marine spouse is the mandatory honeymoon.
Thanks to our frequent deployment schedule, there are some spouses who get to welcome their Marine back home at least once a year. After you haven’t been together for seven or eight months, all those things that annoy you about your hubby seem cute again… just like when you were newlyweds.
By the time he starts to get on your nerves, he will be gearing up for that next deployment. And yes, homecomings can be a little overwhelming… but man, oh man, there is something to be said about the attention (and marriage lovin’) you will get from your Marine after he has been sleeping in the sand next to smelly men for seven months!
6) Bye, Bye Boredom!
As a Marine spouse, there is one thing for certain… you will never, EVER get bored of your house. Even if you are at one duty station for four years, it doesn’t mean you will stay in one house. You may start off in base housing, then decide to move off-base.
And the people that have rented that house next to you will be foreclosed on and you will have to move to your parents’ house for six weeks with your one-year old while your husband is in Spain.
Or you might move to Florida just in time for hurricane season, get a huge hole in your roof during Ivan and have to move to base housing- only to realize a year later that the schools stink in that area and your daughter is starting kindergarten, so you move out in town.
You laugh, but all this has happened to our family. We have been in our current house for two and a half years and I can already feel these white walls closing in on me. I may need to buy all new furniture…or knock down a few walls, or something.