Spouses of deployed service members can sometimes be a little touchy … at least, I sure am! I realize that I’m this way and I’ve been working hard to develop a thicker skin. However, there is one comment that irks me more then anything else, and it is normally said to me by other military spouses:
“No offense, but I wish that the jets were always deployed. I hate the jet noise! I hate when they’re home!”
I’ve heard versions of this comment at least 50 times since we moved here, and the comments, of course, always come from the lips of those whose loved ones have nothing to do with the jets on this base. Normally these comments come from the medical staff spouses, the intel spouses, and even helicopter spouses.
At first I’d get mad and not say anything, or straight up tell them that their comment IS offensive, and that they should keep their opinions about my husband’s deployments to themselves. That sure shut-up some rude ladies, but it’s not the nicest thing to say.
Recently I’ve begun telling people things like, “Well, I love the noise, because that noise means that my husband is home! If your husband’s job was related to jets, you’d sure appreciate the noise, too!”
I thought that this kind of comment would get my point across in a nice way, and maybe these very rude ladies would stop making comments like that to me … but being nice hasn’t worked at all. By being nice, I think that I open the door to them thinking that they should further elaborate on how much they hate when the jets are “home”.
Last night I was subjected to a lengthy conversation about jet noise by two ladies with whom I was having dinner (never again!). Because my first approach didn’t work and the conversation continued, I then tried something else:
“Well, it’s too bad that your husbands’ jobs have you based on a JET BASE. When you live on a jet base, you hear jets. It’s how it works. Maybe next time you’ll be based on a sub base, or on a carrier base.”
This, of course, didn’t work either, and the two now-obnoxious ladies continued.
I tried to change the subject to when our husbands were finally getting home, which also didn’t work. Comments like “I wish the jets just stayed on the boat the whole time” and “I can’t wait to leave” were tossed around. Yes, actually, I can’t wait until you leave too,
you jerk. I feel like a lot of the women who make comments like this to jet-spouses have a sense of entitlement, like it’s perfectly appropriate to say stuff like this to us. It’s probably along the same vein as when people, whom I don’t even know, ask me when Michael and I are going to start having kids and then tell me that I’ll regret it later if we don’t have children just like their loud and unmannerly children.
The truth is that I, too, dislike the jet noise because it’s very loud and it can be startling. However, I also dislike the helicopter noise, and how low they fly, and that some of the guys in the helos watch us on the ground through binoculars. I’d like to think that I’m too nice and classy to tell a helo wife that I’m bothered by the noise their husband’s helos make, and that I wish they’d all stay out to sea — because, if I said that, it would be a lie. I’d never wish a deployment on another family.