What in the world, Military Spouse? We know. The term “dependa” has not exactly been thrown around as an empowering, uplifting or positive description of a military spouse. We have seen the websites, read too many of the comments, and have shaken our collective heads at the negative stereotypes.
But here is the thing. The stereotypes are out there. Yes, most of them are downright ridiculous and hurtful. But some of them are simply poking fun at some of those quirky realities of life as a military spouse. Most of us, even if we realize they have been grossly exaggerated, can read them and laugh… because we sometimes see our reflection staring right back at us.
We all have a sense of humor, right? But we don’t necessarily LOVE the term “dependa” or many of the ridiculous creative variations of the name that have been the inspiration for entire Facebook groups or websites. So, our online contributors put their heads together to form another amazing Top 35 list that turns those stereotypes right on their heads and gives you advice you can actually use. Advice about how YOU can become the picture-perfect military spouse that never, ever irritates a single soul or gives anyone reason to snap a picture of you at the PX so that others can pick apart your life when they are bored at 3 in the morning and have internet access.
***Editors Disclaimer**** This piece is definitely in the category of humor. In fact, you could probably call this piece sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and even snarky. Everyone who contributed to this piece is a bon-a-fide ID carrying military spouse, adore the community and everything it represents. They had a great deal of fun with this piece, poking fun at themselves, the crazy stereotypes, and those folks (bless their hearts) who might just be a little too concerned with how other military spouses choose to live their lives. Humor can be a great tool for exposing ridiculous stereotypes. And if WE can’t poke fun and shed some light on just how WRONG they are… well, then who will? Please enjoy the humor… if you don’t find it funny, we won’t be offended… but we do suggest you drink a glass of wine (or 3) and give it another go.
Here we go, ladies and gentlemen!
35 Ways YOU Can Become a Stupenda-Dependa
(Contributors: Kate Dolack, Jen McDonald, Rebekah Sanderlin, Kristi Luchi, Erin Whitehead, Cyndia Rios-Myers, Stacy Huisman, Alisha Youch, Clarice Williams and Tia Johnson)
35. Keep your house free of any and all clutter (no matter how small your base housing) and white-glove inspection ready every single minute of every single day.
34. Have no political opinions, whatsoever.
33. Never, ever have twinkies or bon bons where anyone can see them in your home. The only way to enjoy these delightful sinful treats should be by mail-ordering them, hollowing out a secret cubby in the back of the closet to store them in, and eating them in the cover of darkness.
32. Don’t ask anyone, under any circumstance, about their service member’s rank. In fact, if you could just re-program your brain to completely forget that word altogether? Extra Stupenda-dependa points.
31. Do not ever wear flip flops, yoga pants or sweats. No, not even at home. No, not even while you sleep.
30. Don’t have more than two kids.
29. Open your cabinet and make sure you only have ONE brand of ketchup.
28. Park in the very back of any parking lot on base, even if you rate a closer parking spot. No one likes a slacker, especially if you are a pregnant slacker… or a slacker with infant twins.
27. Always work full-time and if you are not working 60 hours a week to contribute to the household, spend at LEAST 60 hours volunteering per week.
26. Single-handedly run the Commissary on Mondays to keep it open during the Sequester.
25. Homeschool your children AND all the third-graders on your base.
24. After having your second baby (remember ONLY have two) lose every pound or inch of flab within 5 weeks of delivery so your husband doesn’t have to be ashamed of your muffin-top at the base pool.
23. Don’t take advantage of that bagger at the Commissary. After he bags, tip him $20, then insist that you carry three carts of groceries out to your own car (in the very back of the parking lot), in the pouring rain, uphill, nursing both of your infant twins.
22. On trash day make sure you are waiting outside for the collectors to come by so that your trash can doesn’t spend a solitary second on the curb after they leave.
21. Don’t ever spend a single penny of your husband’s paycheck on anything that does not directly impact him. After all, it is NOT your money.
20. Never, ever speak to anyone in your spouse’s command. What if you accidentally hiccup? That could totally ruin their career.
19. Greet each new neighbor with a freshly-baked, gluten-free friendship bread kit, a casserole, houseplant, and a hand-stamped, homemade “welcome” card made of recycled paper.
18. Carry a scraper in your purse so you can help your fellow spouses by removing those ridiculous “Hardest Job in the Military” and “Half My Heart is Deployed” stickers from their cars.
17. Own one (and ONLY one) military themed tee-shirt which you only wear twice a year so that you appear “just proud enough”.
16. Own lots of tee-shirts that read “I am a CIVILIAN, I am NOT in the Military.”
15. When attending a ball, only wear a formal gown that covers all areas from your chin down to your ankles. Also… only spend $15 on this dress, but make sure it is in mint condition and has never been worn by anyone at a prom.
14. Learn every single acronym, regulation, custom or other piece of knowledge about military life so you never have to bother anyone with a stupid question.
13. Realize that you knew exactly what you were getting into when you married a military member. Suck it up, put on your big girl panties, and deal with it. And do it with a smile.
12. Get up every single morning with your spouse and make sure he has a hot meal, a bagged lunch, and a box of brownies for his entire unit before leaving for PT at 4 am.
11. Don’t even consider moving home to live near family with your two infant twins during deployment. You shouldn’t need extra support from those that love you. Remember, you knew what you were getting into!
10. Make sure you are wearing a full face of makeup, are dressed in slacks or a dress (minimum) and have perfectly styled hair whenever leaving your home. Anything less means you have little respect for yourself, and even less for your man.
9. Only call your spouse by the legal name given to him/her at birth. Don’t use any nicknames like “hubby”, “hubs”, “My Soldier” or any other nonsense.
8. Attend every single home-based business party you are invited to and always purchase something. But never, EVER decide to sell any of these products. That’s just annoying.
7. Only consider yourself to be a professional photographer after obtaining an advanced degree and having 20 years of experience where you don’t charge a dime for your services.
6. Never ask for a military discount.
5. When civilian friends complain about a 3-day business trip, smile and say “I am so glad you understand! That is exactly the same as a deployment!”
4. 1-year deployment looming? Have 52 weekly themed care packages packed and ready to go before you even say goodbye.
3. Never complain about medical care you may (or may not) receive. After all, don’t you know how “lucky” you are that we have “free” health care?
2. Love each and every duty station your spouse is ever assigned to. Period.
1. Never, ever…. EVER own a Coach purse.