As in every event of our lives, there are people who will impress, and there are those who will well, not impress. I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend both.
Most (and I am going to stress MOST) MilFams are just like every other. Courteous, kind, friendly, respectful and dignified. They are open to conversation, and are as welcoming as an old friend. This, I must say, has been a great relief. I have felt like most of the MilFams are just like neighbors! Always willing to help, and definitely there when you need them most.
There are others.
Now, to avoid offense and conflict, I will preface with this:
I truly do my best to reserve judgement at all times. I try to keep my comments and looks in check, and I try to seek good in all people.
With this said, if this post is offensive to you, I apologize. If you disagree, please let me know! I am open to all new perspectives!
Nonetheless, after this weekend, I have spent a lot of time going over the events. If you are interested, you can read the summary of the Strong Bonds Retreat here.
When Romeo told me that we would be participating in the Retreat, I was very excited. I was also a bit apprehensive. When I was packing, I was extra careful in packing outfits that would be appropriate for spending time with the mixed company of Romeo's peers. I made sure that I did not pack anything too revealing, or too tight, or that I did not pack anything that would make Romeo embarrassed to be associated with me. I did all of this very purposefully, thinking that would be the appropriate thing to do.
And thank God that I did.
Upon our arrival, and at our first session on Friday night, I noticed some people were dressed to go out for the night. Obviously, that is fine. I get it. It's Friday night and we're in Myrtle Beach, it's completely normal to want to go out. Some people wore skirts or shorts, and some wore dresses. NBD.
The next morning, when we walked into the session, I glanced around and was APALLED. There were women walking around in micro-clothes. Yes, we are at a beach resort, but YOU ARE NOT ON THE BEACH. When I say micro-clothes, I'm talking tiny. Sundresses that if someone needed to bend down to pick something up, the whole world would've known who your bikini waxer was. Shorts that were so short, that I swear I don't know why someone would even bother to wear them. Shirts that were so tight, that I could've told you the bra designer from across the room. I was shocked that 1) any woman could walk past a mirror wearing these outfits, and still be wearing them, and 2) that any husband would be okay with his wife dressed like that in front of a room of other men! Now do not get me wrong, most women were dressed appropriately. It appears to be the few that have branded themselves in my mind that are haunting me still.
Next, as brought up in my last post here. there was a bit of open debate during the weekend sessions. Couples were truthfully and honestly calling each other out in front of this room full of people. And please understand, when I say calling out, I mean seriously "he said" "she said" nonsense. Now, I am about as far from perfect as physically possible, but I know better than to pick a fight, especially with the person that I sleep next to at night, in public. First of all, how childish can you possibly be? To not be a big enough person to confront an issue in private, that you need to create a spectacle in front of strangers? And second of all, is there ZERO respect or dignity?
I am not one to judge any one else's relationship, and honestly, some of the arguements that were brought up were truly familiar. In the same breath though, I don't even like sharing positive information with new people, let alone something as personal and private as a family conflict.
Finally, when Romeo comes home from the range, or the field, or just a long day at work, I half expect to hear him talk like a soldier. I expect it, but I certainly make it clear that I am not okay with hearing an expletive between every word. Ladies, what on earth has happened? I heard more women swear this past weekend, than I have heard EVER. LADIES do not speak like that! I will not apologize for shooting dirty looks when I hear someone curse. It makes me uncomfortable. I do my best to keep those words off of my tongue, and I certainly expect that other people, especially in mixed company, can have the common courtesy to do the same. Even worse though, is that it seems that the men in the group this weekend had NO problem keeping their foul mouths at bay, but it was the WOMEN who sounded ridiculous!
In summation of this rant, I know that this may seem to attack MilSpouse Wives, but I truly believe that there is a standard to uphold. Not just as a MilWife, but as a LADY! When did we stop having the self-respect to represent ourselves in a dignified fashion? When did we stop clothing ourselves in a tasteful way? When did we stop treating others with the common courtesy that they deserve? When did we allow ourselves to become so disrespectful to not only others, but to ourselves? And most of all, where has all of the class gone?
Not to get on a feministic tangent, but we have spent years and years trying to build a foundation for ourselves so that we can be respected as equals. How on earth can we expect to uphold that standard when we have no respect in ourselves? After spending time observing far-too-many women who are either dreadfully uninformed, or seriously lack pride, I feel as though we need to step up and be responsible for who we are representing ourselves as. Especially as a MilSpouse, we are a portrait of the people who stand behind our Soldiers.
What would you want that to look like?