lessons learned, poor judgment, true crime

If I were in Skylar’s shoes…

Yesterday’s post about Skylar Mack has attracted a lot of attention. Or, it’s attracted a lot of attention by this blog’s standards. This blog doesn’t usually get that much traffic. Ever since I switched platforms from Blogger to WordPress, my hit counts have been down. I’ve been slowly rebuilding my audience since February 2019, but if I’m honest, I’m not in a hurry to do so. I don’t blog for popularity or money. I blog because I feel compelled to write down my thoughts.

I have always been a writer at heart. I’ve always kept journals, even if I haven’t always been in the habit of writing every day. Feeling compelled to write is just one of my innate quirks. I choose to leave most of my posts public because I genuinely enjoy interacting with most people, even if they don’t agree with me. I often learn from comments and interactions with people. But sometimes my thoughts and opinions attract contention, and while a little bit of that is okay, too much can be distressing.

Yesterday’s post about Skylar Mack came about after I’d had a Facebook discussion with some friends about her case. I had posted about it because I read an article about Skylar Mack’s predicament in The New York Times. Then I read some of the comments posted on The New York Times’ Facebook page. The vast majority of the responses left by the masses were really negative. Some of the comments were personal, mean-spirited, and nasty, with some judgments about her character that I felt were unfair. I also read that she and her family were getting hate mail and death threats. That seems very wrong to me.

I started thinking about how I would feel if I were in Skylar’s shoes back in 1990, when I was her age. Like Skylar, I am white and blonde, and come from a relatively privileged family from the South. I can’t help any of those things. They just are what they are. Skylar also can’t help being white or privileged. She’s prettier than I was, and I certainly couldn’t have been a pre-med student because I don’t have a head for math and science, or a stomach for looking at blood and guts. But other than that, we have things in common.

First, it occurred to me that when I was 18, I had the benefit of relative privacy. There was no widespread Internet usage in those days, so people who were arrested could enjoy a lot more anonymity than they can today. Yes, your name might appear in the local newspapers, but not everybody reads the paper from cover to cover and there was no social media feed. Had Skylar Mack been 18 in 1990, she probably would have been arrested in the Cayman Islands and no one would have ever known about it. She also probably would not have gotten a four month prison sentence, because there would be no reason to make her an “example”. Americans would likely not be reading about what was going on in the Cayman Islands and thus would not likely be affected by how strict the local authorities appear to be.

Next, I imagined how I would feel if I were Skylar Mack, being arrested for the first time and having it happen in a foreign country. It would have been mortifying enough if this had happened in 1990, when I was 18. I would have been ashamed, humiliated, devastated, and horrified, without any of what happened being leaked widespread to the media. But in 1990, I would have had the ability to take my punishment without dealing with the court of public opinion chiming in.

Then I started thinking about what it must be like for Skylar and her family to be reading the vitriol being spewed about her case by total strangers around the world. So many people, who have never even met her and know nothing about her, were making sweeping negative statements about what kind of person she is. It occurred to me that while Skylar Mack made a huge mistake, she’s also done a lot of things right. I don’t think it’s right to condemn a person simply for screwing up. Everybody screws up sometimes. I wouldn’t want people to treat me or someone I care about in that way. It’s also not lost on me that Skylar’s family is likely responsible for putting this story out there.

Then I realized that Skylar Mack still has something to offer the world, despite having made a blunder. She has reportedly wanted to be a physician since she was a child. She’s been on the way to making that lofty goal come to fruition. But she’s also 18, and 18 year olds don’t magically become adults with common sense or maturity simply because they have become legal adults.

I have known a lot of teenagers who were very mature for their ages. And I have also known people well into their 30s and 40s who still act like children. I suspect that Skylar Mack is a typical 18 year old, who hasn’t quite crossed the bridge to maturity and is a bit self-absorbed. But, prior to this incident, she’s been on the right track. She still has so many years to go. To read some of the responses on The New York Times, you’d think she should be beheaded for simply wanting to have a good time.

Next I started looking at what actually happened. Skylar chose not to quarantine, but her choice not to quarantine did not harm anyone, as she was not infected. Yes, she could have spread COVID-19 by attending that jet ski competition. She also could have spread it by going to the grocery store or riding a bus. COVID-19 is, unfortunately, a very wily virus that spreads like crazy. I don’t think traveling right now is a smart decision, and I agree that she should have followed the guidelines set to slow and hopefully stop the virus from spreading. But when it comes down to it, she wasn’t a spreader. She could have been one, but she wasn’t, and she was tested twice, then quarantined for the two weeks she was supposed to quarantine. I think that point deserves consideration.

Then I started thinking about the length of the sentence and what it would accomplish. Skylar Mack is a productive young woman who is (or was) on her way to becoming a physician. There could be a day when she’s treating people with COVID-19. Right now, we need people who are willing and able to work with the sick. She did not show the best judgment last month, when she chose to ignore the quarantine regulations. But again, she’s 18 years old, and apparently not fully baked yet. Science has shown us that most people’s brains aren’t fully developed until they are 25 years old. Skylar still has another seven years before she’s 25. It’s perfectly normal for her to have lapses in judgment. From the link:

The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.

In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.

In teens’ brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not always at the same rate. That’s why when teens have overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling.

Four months to someone who is 18 will seem a lot longer than it does to someone my age. Having had a look at the conditions of the jails in the Cayman Islands, it occurred to me that Skylar could have lasting psychological damage from being incarcerated down there. A 2018 article about the Northward Prison in the Cayman Islands describes the facilities as “filled to capacity”. An accompanying photograph shows a rather grim looking facility. Another 2018 article describes the women’s prison at Fairbanks as “overflowing”. I see no reason why those conditions would be different in 2020, although they could be.

So here we have a young woman who has never been in trouble with the law and is working toward becoming a much needed medical professional being locked up for months because she had a lapse in judgment– something that is scientifically proven to be very normal for 18 year olds. Her lapse in judgment, while disrespectful, irresponsible, and immature, didn’t actually harm anyone. She was not infected with COVID-19, as far as I know. So sitting in a prison cell would probably not do much more than give her nightmares and ruin what was a bright future.

Last night, just before I went to bed, I saw that the powers that be in the Cayman Islands agreed with me that Skylar’s punishment was too harsh. They reduced her sentence to two months, which I think is reasonable and sensible. She will get a taste of being incarcerated, but won’t have to languish in a jail cell until March. Plenty of people still think she should just sit and rot in jail and have her future ruined. I wonder if they would take an active interest in this case after reading the headlines. When February 2021 rolls around, are they still going to think Skylar Mack should rot in a cell? Or are they just blowing off steam and/or virtue signaling?

I could have added my own comment to The New York Times’ Facebook post. I opted to write a blog post instead, because I have found that people who comment on Facebook are not usually very deep thinkers. They have a knee jerk reaction to something, form an opinion, and spout off. And I am not interested in getting into a pointless argument with someone, especially a stranger, who makes sweeping assumptions about people without knowing the facts or even considering another perspective. That’s a waste of my time and energy, and does nothing more than raise my blood pressure. But I still felt the need to write, so I did.

One of my friends, whom I think leans conservative but wrote that she thinks Skylar should sit in prison, told me that she didn’t think my opinion was unpopular. She based her perspective on what her friends were saying. I could be wrong, but my guess is that a lot of “pro-Trump” types are aligning themselves with Eric Trump’s Tweeted comments about this case.

Let me make myself clear. I may agree with Eric Trump that the sentence was excessive, but I doubt we agree for the same reasons.

I think Eric Trump’s Tweet is likely less about genuine concern for Skylar Mack’s welfare and more about being a privileged and entitled American. That is NOT why I think Skylar’s sentence was rightfully reduced. I genuinely feel that Skylar’s originally amended sentence of four months was unfair and unproductive and could do more harm than good. I think she would get the point just as easily with two months in jail as she would with four months, and there might be fewer lasting effects that screw up her life. And my impressions of what people were thinking weren’t at all based on what my peers were saying; they were based on what total strangers by the thousands were commenting. I think many of those comments were made more out of anger, frustration, and not wanting to look like a “privileged American”, than any real thinking about what actually happened.

As an American who lives in Germany, trust me– I am very aware of how Americans look to others. I don’t want to look like that, either. But I also don’t think it’s right to punish Skylar more harshly simply because of where she came from and what she looks like. I have never met Skylar Mack, but I think she should get the benefit of the doubt, especially since she’s very young and this was her first offense. I’m sure she won’t make this mistake again.

I also became so resolute about this case because I don’t feel like I should be expected to agree with others, simply because others have an opinion that is more popular. Yesterday, several people seemed to be trying very hard to change my mind or convince me that my perspective is wrong, ill-considered, or flawed. Believe me. I have read why so many people think why Skylar Mack should rot in a cell. A lot of those people seem very focused on retribution rather than rehabilitation or genuine correction. I don’t think that is useful, especially since those who are assuming she’s an entitled little shit won’t even care about this in a few days, but this will affect Skylar’s future from now on.

All I did was share my opinion. At the end of the day, that’s all it is… an opinion. My opinion has no bearing on Skylar Mack’s case whatsoever. I never once said she should get off “scot free”. It seems that the local authorities in the Cayman Islands must have agreed with me, to some extent, because they did reduce her sentence by two months. I think that was a reasonable compromise. But the way some people behave, you’d think that sharing and defending my contrary opinion merits some kind of “re-education” effort, as if I can’t possibly see how wrong Skylar was to do what she did. I agree that she was wrong. I just don’t think her mistake merits public flogging and character assassination in addition to a jail sentence and a fine. Several people tried to “correct” my opinion about this case, even though an opinion is all it is. I think the world would be a very dull place if people weren’t allowed to make up their own minds and express themselves.

Like I said, in a matter of days, virtually no one will be talking about this case anymore. But if that four month sentence had stuck, Skylar would still be rotting in jail and potentially exposed to dangers that could permanently affect her health and livelihood. I think that’s worth considering. So that’s why I’ve written so much about this case and expressed myself so stubbornly as somewhat of an ally for Skylar. Plenty of people think she should rot. I want to be among those who think she still has something to offer the world and can redeem herself. I think she could use the support.

Standard
musings, politics, tragedies

Death of a “friendship”…

I came across an argument between two friends yesterday, as I was hanging out in the backyard, drinking wine. One of my friends is a Trump supporter. The other, who until yesterday was friends with my Trump supporting friend, is a Biden supporter.

My Trump supporting friend, I’ll call Mary, had posted a negative opinion article about Joe Biden. It was up for awhile before the other friend, I’ll call Sherry, showed up and left what was initially a hesitant, yet respectful comment. Sherry basically wrote that while she generally respects Mary very much, she didn’t understand why Mary doesn’t support Mr. Biden. Sherry correctly pointed out that Trump has been accused of sexual assault by many women.

A rather testy exchange developed. I could see that the two women were starting to get angry with each other. Then Mary pointed out that under Obama, eleven missionaries contracted Ebola and had to be treated. Sherry, obviously flabbergasted that Mary would bring that up when so many people are dying of COVID-19, then asked Mary if she was a “fucking idiot”? Naturally, that really offended Mary, and she shut down the conversation. I can’t blame her for doing that, although personally, I agree with Sherry that the Ebola situation under Obama really pales in comparison to the disastrous way the coronavirus is being handled by Trump.

I’ve noticed that when these exchanges happen and someone gets unfriended on Facebook or blocked, the participants later kind of dust off their hands and say something along the lines of, “the trash just took itself out”. I do that myself, although there’s usually a small tinge of sorrow that I lost a “friend”, even if that person wasn’t really a friend. It just highlights how very fragile relationships have become in the age of social media and online communication.

This is just one very recent example of how people who used to be “friends” and or “loved ones” are being pulled apart by our heated politics. Some readers might recall I actually got blocked by someone last week after she started a fight on my page over Donald Trump. I wasn’t even the one who was taking her to task. And yes, after it happened and the person blocked me, I also quipped that the trash took itself out.

It’s a shame that relationships are so easily destroyed over something like politics. But we probably should know better since religion and politics, while often very interesting topics of discussion, are also the subjects one tends to avoid in polite company. That was always the advice given for cocktail parties. Never bring up religion or politics, because there will surely be a row. Of course, when people go to cocktail parties, they often drink. Tongues loosen and some things are said that shouldn’t be. I suppose it’s the same on Facebook, but the relationships are even more fragile because when you’re not looking at someone’s face and seeing their non verbal communication cues, you’re more likely to unload something you shouldn’t.

I don’t know Sherry as well as I know Mary, although I am “friends” with both. I “met” them both online on a messageboard for second wives and stepmothers. My observation about Sherry is that she’s very intelligent, but has a bit of a temper. Mary is older and seems very wise about a lot of things, but she also has a temper. Politically speaking, I align more with Sherry because I despise Trump and I’m pissed off at the Republican party for foisting his brand of craziness on the world. I’m pissed off enough that I don’t think I will ever vote red again.

But– I also agree with Mary that it’s not cool to go on other people’s Facebook pages, lose your temper, and cuss people out or call them names. I may not agree with Mary’s choice for a presidential candidate, but I know for a fact that she’s not a “fucking idiot”. I think it’s too bad that Sherry had to go there, even though I understand her frustration. I don’t know what all was involved in that exchange, other than exhaustion and stress over who is going to lead the United States come January 2021. But it’s a shame when people break up relationships over politics.

I myself lost a good friend– one I knew offline– over Mitt Romney back in 2008. At the time, I really was concerned about Romney winning the White House. In retrospect, I realize that he would have done a much better job than Trump has done. I still am not a Mitt fan, but I don’t think he’s as bad as I once did. And I’m sorry I lost a friendship over Mitt… although if I recall correctly, I was more pissed off by the disrespectful way my former friend was treating me than his political opinions. If he were to approach me today, I would be happy to speak to him. Sadly, I think the ship has sailed forever.

I don’t know how well Mary and Sherry knew each other offline. They live in different parts of the United States, so it’s likely that they only interacted virtually. I don’t know if they were ever close friends, although Sherry did start off by saying she “respected” Mary very much. It didn’t take long, though, before the respect went out the window and Sherry was asking Mary if she was a “fucking idiot”.

I really try to respect people’s rights to their own opinions. I may not always succeed in avoiding calling people out over these things, but in my heart, I do think people must have the right to make choices. It’s frustrating to see people I respect championing a man whom I personally think is very dangerous to democracy and the overall security of the world. It’s hard not to get angry sometimes when people keep trying to prop up Trump as being better than he is. But I also believe that everyone has different perspectives and they don’t generally form in a vacuum.

I will happily tell people why I dislike Donald Trump and would never vote for him. I just hope I never lose my temper and call a “friend” a name that debases them… This political season has been brutal. I’ve lost “friends” and “loved ones” to Trump’s politics. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get them back again. But maybe the ones who stick around are the ones I should pay more attention to, anyway.

Standard
musings

Wow! So close!

This morning, as I was transferring an old book review to this “new” blog, I noticed the hit count on the original Overeducated Housewife blog on Blogspot. I was surprised and a little saddened to see that I came very close to passing an impressive milestone on that blog, which represented almost nine years of writing. Behold!

Imagine… I would have hit one million views in 2019 if I’d just left this blog open for a few more days!

I know a lot of people don’t think writing is a productive use of my time. I’m certain there are people out there who think my blog sucks… Actually, I KNOW there are people like this. They mainly consist of folks who don’t like what I have to say or just think I’m stupid, arrogant, condescending, or whatever, but there are also others out there who simply can’t stand it when women share their thoughts, especially when the women are bright and articulate. I’ve run into this attitude a number of times, especially in the military community.

Bill and I were talking about this issue last night, as the derogatory term “dependapotamus” came up in our conversation. I’ve blogged about how stupid that term is a number of times, but for those who have come in after the opening credits, allow me to offer a quick explanation. There’s a group of people in military communities who refer to military wives as “dependas”– short for dependapotamus, since, according to the stereotype, so many women who marry military guys are fat, unemployed, and only in the marriage for the Tricare benefits and the opportunity to buy Coach bags at a discount at AAFES. There are even several Facebook pages and groups dedicated to making fun of so-called “dependas”. Although there is some truth to the stereotypes and sometimes the observations are funny or clever, it’s been my observation that true “dependas” are pretty rare.

The paradox of being in the military community is that a lot of people complain about “dependas”, who are supposedly fat, uneducated bitches who sit around on their asses, eat bon bons, watch daytime TV, spend their husbands’ paychecks, and cheat on their men while they’re deployed. And yet, if you’re not a “dependa”, and you’ve launched a career, gotten an education, make your own money, have your own ideas, and are smart, that’s also a problem. A lot of people in the military community– men and women included– are extremely threatened by smart women who express themselves, especially if they’re also attractive. So this group of people will try to tear down and silence those who threaten or offend them, whether or not other people feel the same way.

I ran into this situation about four years ago. It was Valentine’s Day 2016, and I wrote a review of the restaurant where we celebrated. Some guy in one of the local Facebook groups– not someone I knew personally, but someone who had made rude comments to me before about my writing and the name of my blog– posted this in response:

What was especially funny was that a lot of people had my back and told the guy to simply scroll past…

At first, I was a bit stung by the above comment. But then I thought about it and responded:

Yeah… kinda mean, but he asked for it.

Well, my snarky response apparently caused what some military folks refer to as massive “butthurt”. Because the next thing I knew, I was blocked. That suited me just fine. In fact, I don’t know why this genius didn’t do that in the first place. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I seriously don’t go out of my way to irritate people. If I bug you, by all means, block away! Don’t torture yourself reading my stuff! But… don’t try to silence me, either, especially if you’re in the military and value the right to freedom of speech, thought, or expression. If you’re serious about protecting those rights, you have to let people express themselves freely, even if you find what they say offensive. However, I also think that if someone is annoying, abusive, or irritating, you have the right to end the pain. You’re not obligated to interact. For now, anyway, we all still have a choice.

Wise words.

In any case, I wanted to make a point by sharing the hit count from my first blog. I came very close to a million hits on that blog. Quite a few of those hits were made by repeat visitors who don’t mind me or my opinions. That means some people value what I do, and that’s a really good thing, even if other people think I’m an arrogant asshole who regularly leaves shitstains in the form of multiple blog posts on the Internet.

With that said… I’m going to repost an article I wrote in 2015 about “dependas”… In it, you can see actual evidence of what I mean when I write about certain people in the military community and their attitudes toward smart women. It’s pretty sad.

Vaguebooking… and “dependas”

Recently, a retired lieutenant colonel named Dave Duffy wrote an op-ed for Stars and Stripes about how military families need to get over their entitlement issues.  LTC Duffy and his wife own a couple of smoothie shops and were recently called out for not offering military discounts to service members’  spouses and families.  Duffy’s piece was a reminder that business owners have the right to offer discounts to whomever they please.

Frankly, I agree with Duffy, although I think maybe he might be forgetting that spouses and family members are more likely to be buying his smoothies than service members are.  While he has every right not to offer discounts to them, in the long run, extending a discount to military family members might go further in helping him promote his business.  But overall, I get his point and agree with it. 

I grew up the daughter of an Air Force retiree who owned a business and I understand some of the challenges small business owners can face.  I also realize that it pays to remember who’s buying your product.  Duffy’s editorial spawned a blog post written by a male military spouse who pointed out that alienating spouses and family members is unwise.  While I didn’t agree with the male spouse’s entire posting, I do think he was spot on when he reminded Duffy and other readers that it’s more often spouses and family members who have the time to be sucking down smoothies. 

Both of these posts about “entitlement” issues seemed to have stirred up a hornet’s nest of responses.  Yesterday afternoon, I came across yet ANOTHER post about family members and spouses feeling “entitled”.  That post, written by Carl Forstling, spawned a huge number of Facebook comments.  I made the mistake of reading them and came away feeling disgusted by the number of people in the military who refer to spouses and family members as “dependapotamuses” or “dependas”.

A “dependapotamus” is a derogatory term used to describe a spouse (generally a wife) who sits on her ass and bitches about her “entitlements”.  A “dependa” is the shortened version of that term.  Basically, it refers to women who ride their husband’s coattails and try to wear rank while they sit around eating bon bons all day.

Now… I am not saying so-called “dependas” don’t exist.  They certainly do.  I think they represent a fairly small population among spouses, though.  It is really disheartening when a spouse or family member dares to make a comment on a posting about “entitlement”– and generally they are just asking for a basic modicum of respect– and some jackass in the military automatically refers to them as a “dependa”.  These guys– and it’s almost always a guy– refer to spouses and family members in the most vile manner.  It makes me sad to think of people like my husband having to work alongside people who have this attitude.  Have a look below for examples of what I mean.

Exhibit A: 

Why should I respect someone for sitting on their ass when their spouse is deployed? Give me a fucking break. They’re not doing a damned thing, and they knew what they were in for when they married in. Oh your spouse is deployed. You’re probably cheating on them anyway, and spending all their combat pay. Cry me a river.

Exhibit B:

I take offense at the continued use of the derogatory term “dependa”. It’s that bullshit that makes wives get their hackles up. We are more than simply “dependents” and it’s about time that we stop referring to spouses and children as such. To call someone by such a term is deliberately negative and does nothing to further any kind of discussion. It also discounts anything that spouses do for their families. This seems to be a term particularly used by men, though I’ve heard women use it, too. So since you’re a guy, I’m going to say this: all male soldiers who are married with kids would lose their shit if their wives stopped doing all the things they do and taking care of all the things they take care of during deployments and TDY assignments. Wives are much more than “depends” and while what we do seems like it’s not a lot, you’re not there to know when you’re gone. If I get sick during a deployment, I still have to get up and do all the stuff I do every day, sick or not. I still take care of the house, the kids and sometimes I get a moment for myself. I personally don’t want special accolades. But when my husband is deployed, my kids are sick and I cannot get someone to help me out by cutting my lawn so I don’t get a citation from the HOA or the city, simply because nobody in my neighborhood is military and doesn’t get that my husband can’t just “do it when it gets home”, I get pissed and think that I’d like a little recognition for the fact that I hold the house together when he’s gone and I’ve got no one who “gets it”.

And a response to Exhibit B: 

I notice you are overweight and obviously don’t take care of yourself. You are literally a dependapotomus. Of course you’d take offense.

Exhibit C:  

i spent 24 years in the AF. i was commenting on all that my wife did while i served and all the things she went through as a dependent. And yes, she does deserve the respect I give her because of it. Just because you are too stupid to understand what a military dependent goes through, doesn’t mean their service member spouse doesn’t. I have no lack of personal identity because I choose to share an account with my wife, which has nothing to do with the conversation, anyway.

Response to Exhibit C:

I’m pretty sure that she does deserve your respect… and she also has your balls in her purse. Anyhow, whether or not she is entitled to anything special because she changes diapers and watches Real Housewives while shopping for Coach purses online with your money is the topic of the question here, and when some dumbass military wife thinks she should be entitled to extra discounts or her little feelings are more important than everyone else’s because being a military wife is just the hardest thing ever, myself and pretty much every intelligent person ever, well… we just facepalm.    

The guy who wrote the above post got into it with a woman who claimed to be a very successful “dependent”…  Their banter was pretty epic.

Exhibit D:

Newslfash: I’m not a dependa, I’m labeled a “dependent’ because the military labels me as such. Beyond that, I don’t rely on the military for a thing. I have a very lucrative career and don’t need nor want my husband to “support” me. And I’d rather businesses save their discounts for the people who really need them, however, when they insist because they know my husband and me I accept and say ‘thank you’ then move on about my day. Want to label me over that? Go right ahead and see how much I care. 

The guy who wrote this article is clueless and it’s probably why he is still single. Come back when you have some real experience to back up this garbage.

The poster in Exhibit D and the guy who responded to Exhibit C got into quite the Facebook cat fight.  And then, some other dude named Jake jumped into the fray with this…

Well aren’t you just a self absorbed fucking cunt. Your husband probably married your stupid fucking ass for your money, damn sure didn’t do it for your personality. Every thing i hear from you is how much money you make. Go fuck yourself with it how about that? I’d love to say it your face if I could, i’d love to have a long heart to heart with your husband too about how much of a cunt he reeled in.

To which the well employed spouse wrote in Exhibit E:

LOL Jake. That all you got? Cunt? Really? HAHAHAHA wow. Big man you are calling a woman a cunt. BOO HOO. Am I supposed to cry? Get mad? All I can do is laugh at you. WOAH!! Hold on. He called me a cunt. OH NO! LMAO. What a child. 

Here is a piece of advice for you: Build a bridge and get over it little boy. I’d love for him to have a conversation with your CO. There are eyes everywhere… Oh, but wait you are a FORMER Marine whose checks were signed by THE NAVY. FORMER Marine. Huh. Like anything you write could ever matter to me. Do you really think that? 

Entitled much? Who are you to hand out passes? You’re just a pathetic little boy. Sheesh. Angry much? The VA offers free therapy for people like you. Use it. Please.

Good night now. Have a real life to go live… you should go get one for yourself, too. Oh wait! Almost forgot to sign off…

Signed,
“The Cunt”

And finally, we have Exhibit F:

Let’s just make it simple. Obviously there are too many damn dependa with lack of comprehension which the majority are claiming they should be entitled to something being married to a military personnel because they think they are special and have the toughest job. If you completely disagree, just write the congress. Afterall, you are married to the military. Otherwise, accept the fact that you ain’t entitled for shit you didn’t earn and get it over with. You want entitlements? Join the service. Besides, why bitch in whine in social media when you can talk to their chain of command and address your concerns? Do you guys even know FFSC, or MilitaryOneSource? Go talk to them and find out. Sorry ass dependas!

There’s a lot more where this came from, but you get my point by now.  Bill is now retired, so I no longer have a dog in this fight.  I have noticed, however, that spouses seem to be damned if they do, damned if they don’t.  If a spouse has a job or an education, she is belittled for that.  Last night in a local Facebook group, someone vaguely got called out for referring to their education.  The poster doing the calling out wrote this…

Nothing funnier than a venter who is hell bent on proving that their IQ is bigger than their Fat A$$

Now… the guy who posted this never actually identified the person to whom he was referring.  My guess is that I am the one he’s posting about, though, probably because in another post, I linked to this blog, which is called The Overeducated Housewife.  Of course, since the dude “vaguebooked”, I don’t know for sure if he meant me.  But I am going to assume that he did, just so I can explain something to the people who read this blog and think I am “bragging” about being “educated”. 

First off, if you read the comments above, a whole lot of guys in or affiliated with the military seem to have no respect for so-called “dependas”.  These are women who, according to them, have no purpose other than pumping out babies and living off their husband’s paychecks.  They are scorned and vilified by people in the military community.  Some vocal guys affiliated with the military seem to have this attitude about just about every military spouse.  I have to wonder where they get this outrage.  Some of the hatred reflected in their posts make it seem like they wish these women would all just fuck off and die.  It’s kind of chilling.   

But then, if you’re someone like me, you also get outrage and derision.  Apparently, it’s not cool that I went to school and spent two years abroad working in a developing country.  Clearly, I need to “remember my place” as a humble “wifey” to my husband.  I shouldn’t draw attention to my accomplishments, which have nothing to do with wearing rank, having babies, or riding my husband’s coattails.  I achieved them before I got married, after all.  

I am formally educated because I was trying not to become a “dependa”.  I met and fell in love Bill when I was in grad school.  I intended to have a career when we met and after we got married, but things didn’t work out that way for me.  So now I have three degrees, which we are still paying for.  I don’t need three degrees to do what I do every day.  If I had known years ago that I would be marrying a military guy and moving all the time, I certainly would not have bothered with grad school, so having this “education” is superfluous.  I don’t necessarily feel smarter for having it; in some ways, I feel dumber. 

On the other hand, I probably would not have met Bill if I hadn’t gone to grad school.  Maybe I’d still be waiting tables.  Who knows?  The point is, I got my education because I was trying to launch myself, not because I want to belittle others by lording my worthless degrees over them.  And it is very frustrating to have done all that and still get referred to as a “dependa”, even though some of the people who use that term would claim they aren’t talking about people like me.  The rest would just emphatically remind me that I’m “not special” and not deserving of any respect.  

I’m not really sure how spouses of military members can win.  It seems that you’re either an uneducated baby making machine who is trying to carve out an undeserved identity by marrying a military guy with “status”.  Or you are a pompous bitch who flaunts her education and reminds people that she had a life before she was married to a military guy.  Those who don’t fall into either of those categories are given a silent command to just sit down and shut up.  Seems to me if you dare to express yourself, someone will promptly try to put you back in your place.  The message is, “Don’t ask for respect for being a military spouse.  And don’t try to improve yourself, because you’re not special.  You married a military guy and that doesn’t entitle you to jack shit, including basic respect.”      

Anyway, yes, this blog is called “The Overeducated Housewife”, but it’s not because I’m trying to impress anyone.  I write blogs.  That’s how I spend much of my time because I don’t have a full time job, friends, hobbies, or kids.  Maybe you think I’m wasting my time or that my life has no value.  The title is meant to be ironic, though.  Though I have a good life and am very happy to be married to Bill, I can’t say that this is what I envisioned my life to be.    

The vaguebooking guy who made the above comment eventually followed up with this…

Just find it really comical how often people mention their education in an attempt to justify their stupid outlook or opinion

I don’t have a lot of respect for people who call someone out, but don’t have the backbone to be specific and tell the person they’re calling out what’s on their minds.  Maybe I have no right to say that out loud, though. 

(Incidentally, the vaguebooker was the same guy who was upset that I wrote about Valentine’s Day and felt the need to shame me for sharing my thoughts… Man, it really bugs him that I live and breathe.)

Standard