As Adam and I are coming up on our one-year anniversary, I've taken some time to reflect on our relationship — particularly the things people have tried to "tell" me about dating someone in the military.
I don't let my identity revolve around making myself a military girlfriend and the military isn't my life — it's just his job. But it's a job that helped bring us together and, for that, I'm forever grateful. However, I like to identify myself through my own actions, accomplishments and challenges.
But some people just don't get that.
This is an actual compilation of things people have said to me over the course of this year.
1. "So you'll be getting married soon? That's what everyone in the military does, anyways."
While I can't refute the statistics, it's really none of your business what I do or do not do.
2. "How do you feel about resigning yourself to a life of being underpaid and underemployed?"
Holy none of your business, Batman.
3. "People don't want to hire someone they'll only have for a few years — max."
I cringe at this one.
4. "But you never see them."
Well, yeah, while he's in another country. But the rest of the time he has a normal job so I do kinda see him on a normal schedule. That's how jobs work.
5. "Long distance relationships never last and you're no exception."
This one in particular hurts and I probably will never forget this person saying it to me.
6. "Wow. It must be hard being apart."
It's not exactly walking in a winter wonderland and a barrel full of monkeys.
7. "I just don't think you'll be together very long."
This one also still hurts.
8. "So... like, that show 'Army Wives', right?"
I wish. Have you seen Claudia Joy's sense of fashion? Amazing. She's also a lawyer. Beauty, meet brains. But that's a TV show.
9. "Don't worry about him cheating on you, there're no pretty women in the service."
Thanks for the concern.
10. "Have you cheated on him?"
Thanks for at least being blunt about asking.
11. "Aren't you afraid he'll be killed?"
I don't even respond to this anymore.
12. "It stinks he's missing Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years/Graduation/insert holiday here."
He's not missing it, he's just not here. Life is all about how you look at it.
13. "I just don't know how you do it."
I get up, I walk out the door and I live the life God intended me to live — man or no man.
14. "What do you do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
It's different if you're asking because you're trying to figure out how to occupy your time. It's another story when you're just trying to be nosy.
15. "Well, in my opinion..."
Halt. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I didn't ask for your opinion.
16. "I would never let my boyfriend be in the military."
Lemme break this down for you. A) this was his choice before I came into the picture. B) this is a choice that he has decided on for himself. And, C) would you let your boyfriend be an accountant? A reporter? A professional video game player? Do you not realize how bratty you sound?
17. "Are you just going to live off him and his income?"
Hi, yes, I work. I have a great job. Two, in case you were wondering. Two that I love very much. Ask me about them because I'd love to tell you what I do for a living.
18. "You will be OK" or "are you sure you're OK?"
The mileage on this one varies but don't ask people you don't know if they're OK because some, like me, will hate you for it. I'm not OK when I look you dead in the eyes and say that I'm not.
19. "It's just all so romantic."
He's romantic. Not his job. Romance is in the person, not the career.