Digimon Adventure 01: Butterfly

Literally started tearing up hearing this version of “Butterfly” after so many years. This version of the song combined with that fanart describes anything that could be beautiful in my childhood. At risk of sounding like an overly dramatic lunatic, Digimon was my lifeline as I eased out of adolescence. I and my siblings grew up in… challenging circumstances, shall we say, and I credit the show and its fandom for bringing joy and hope into a very, very dark time for us.

It was our one bright spot. It filled our minds and hearts and imaginations with possibilities and goodness, when our real life was caving in around us. It gave us friends even if they were imaginary (the DigiDestined) and through the internet (other fans). It was our secret rebellion. It was our hiding place. It was the one thing the four of us could agree on.

It introduced me to fandom and others who created beautiful art and fiction. It allowed me to express my anger through ship wars instead of self destructively. It reawakened my desire to connect to our Japanese roots.

It’s a part of me in a way that I feel few people would understand. The DigiDestined made it. Taichi, Sora, Hikari, Yamato, Takeru, Koushiro, Mimi and Jyou–they conquered File Island and survived. And we did too.

Alan Rickman

When I was living in Brooklyn, I learned that Alan Rickman was undertaking the title role on stage at the BAM, in Ibsen’s “John Gabriel Borkman”. Although my entire exposure to Ibsen  consisted of a few plays in high school, it was enough to put me off for life (I loathed “A Doll’s House” with a passion that my friends still tease me about).

But I didn’t think I could pass up the opportunity to see Rickman in person–for over an hour–and not get slapped with a restraining order. Too good to be true! I was dirt poor, barely making my rent, eating ramen for 3 meals a day, and living in a ghetto part of Flatbush. But dammit! This is what I came to New York for! This is why I was carving out a meager existence, to live and work alongside greatness!

And when I realized that he was to share the stage with Fiona Shaw, the fangirl in me squeed to death! Severus Snape and Petunia Dursley live! Ibsen or no Ibsen, I was going to see that play.

I scraped, cobbled, and pinched together my $40 bucks for some nosebleed seats and dragged along a friend who though not a Potter fan, was certainly a Col. Brandon lover. And then sat there in the dark breathing deeply while thinking, Ermgah, Alan Rickman and I are breathing the same air! Which is more or less where my mind wandered whenever Ibsen’s pedantic character monologues threatened to strangle someone (usually Rickman, alas). (For anyone who cares about a critical review of the play, I agree that vulture.com’s review on it is spot-on.)

Anyway.

Seeing him in the flesh made me have a much greater appreciation for his past roles and wonder deeper; just what is it about him that garners so many female fans?

Empire Online recently ranked him 8 out of top 50 sexiest movie stars (reader’s choice), which is pretty incredible for a man with rather average looks over the age of 50. In fact, he was only beaten out by such perennial favorites as Clooney, Pitt, and Depp. I like how they described “Rickman’s rogues'” as being “united by the fact that they’re all strangely, unjustifiably sexy.” This is just it. Unjustifiably sexy. You can’t really put a finger on why it is. I only know that I feel more sex appeal in his performances than almost anything put out by stars half his age and twice as good looking. And usually he isn’t even playing a romantic protagonist.

To me, that’s talent. His acting is so nuanced that he’s able to glamour us mortals into thinking he’s smoking hot man meat, when anyone with an objective eye can tell you otherwise.

If you are interested in a light overview of his career, BBCA has a great article called Best of Alan Rickman, where it introduced me to the following gems;

1978 guys. Dang! My initial reaction was to get way too excited about the fact that this is what Snape would look like in Harry’s first or second year (minus the bowl cut), had Rickman been the same age as portrayed in the books (yes, it always comes back to Harry Potter), Secondly, he looks quite young for being 32, and I was thrown off by the fact that he kind of looks like a baby but has the same voice! It made me think about how he probably spoke that way even as a late teen.

I am wondering if that voice paired with his Spock-like face probably didn’t work in his favor, romantically speaking, at a young age. One fan writes about his characters; “He’s the handsome bad boy you just know you could fix, he’s the sensitive guy who’s overlooked, he’s the under-appreciated fellow you suddenly realize has been there all along, he’s the one you let get away.” And I think there’s a lot of truth in that, perhaps because he’s drawing on his earliest experiences. Mere conjecture on my part, but one can’t help but compare how he was clearly not cast as the charming and classically beautiful Mercutio or Romeo, but as the foil, Tybalt. I like to think that he plays such beautifully underestimated, underdog, and subtle characters because he was one at one point.

And while we’re on the subject of looks, I think it’s fair to say that in Rickman’s case, his features softened somewhat into a more conventionally handsome appeal as he grew older. I think of him in Die Hard and Sense and Sensibillity; yes, middle age was quite kind to him. Rather unfair when you think about it for women. How many women do you know actually reach their peak in looks once they’re nearly 50?

Since I am a recent fan and have really only seen his latest work, it’s evident how much he has grown as an actor when you look at him here. There is a work-in-progress feel about his expressions and inflections; you can see the bare bones of what he has evolved into today. A highly fascinating clip.

The second piece that interested me was this compilation of scenes from his role as Obadiah Slope in the Barchester Chronicles.

I clicked play, barely even registering what show or movie this came from, and by the time I finished I was hooked! I had to see more! If this isn’t proto-Snape I don’t know what is–down to the vestibule like costuming! Sometime soon I’m going to order the miniseries and do a complete viewing. I’m pretty excited.

It’s really appalling how this man hasn’t earned a single Oscar. Kind of sickening, actually. Fuel the rage with this article detailing his snubs.

Oh Mr. Rickman! I know you hate how the role of Snape constantly threatens to overshadow your past and present work, but your moving portrayal of him is precisely what garnered you new fans; ones that may take a more serious look at your other pieces once we’re done drowning our feels in Firewhisky. So try not to hate us  too much!

Re-read Deathly Hallows?

We’re almost halfway through May and for some reason, I’m getting the feeling it’s that time of year again for a Harry Potter marathon. I became a fan somewhere around the 3 Year Summer just before the release of the first movie, and I just miss not having some new release of Harry Potter book or movie to look forward to rolling into summer and fall. I was an avid midnight opener along with my group of friends, and it was just a great experience whenever something new came along. I definitely miss it.

That is, until I read Deathly Hallows.

How can I describe my experience of Deathly HallowsDeathly Hallows was like getting food poisoning from your favorite restaurant, and now you’re too scared to ever go back and eat there, even though the food was UH-MAY-ZING.

I have re-read every single book in the Potterverse cover to cover at least 3 times each (Prizoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix, my favorites, I read about 5 times over). DH I picked up once the minute it was released, and never picked up again. Ever.

There was just so much to hate! The never ending camping trip, the out of the butt concept of deathly hallows, the deaths that she chose (oh I can afford to kill off Fred; there’s two of him anyway), I pretty much hated James, Sirius and Lily after that book, “Not my daughter, you bitch!” EYEROLLLLLLLLLLLL, the anticlimactic showdown, not enough Neville, how Slytherin house got SHAFTED in the end (no one stayed to fight? lol wut?)–the CRAPILOGUE! Give me a minute while I continue wretching into my keyboard.

How many years has it been since that book was released? Almost six? Over half a decade and I’m still not sure I can survive a re-read! It was that bad.

Oh, I’ve gotten over DH… slowly.  Only after lots of therapy involving purposely forgetting large chunks of the book and reading about how much others also hated it (Ren Hen essays, FTW) so I knew I couldn’t completely be off my rocker. Also, the movies helped a lot. Although I’m a firm believer that the books are better than the movies every time (and unlike many Potterheads, I’m not a movie hater), this was one arena where the movies CLEARLY outshone the books.

Maybe I just had low expectations for the final movies after reading DH, but I felt like they certainly couldn’t do much worse than Rowling herself already did. Hell, they might even do one better since they usually cut out a lot of stuff anyway. And after seeing the final films I actually came away feeling like they salvaged the series for me. Since I refused to re-read the books, I simply let the movie interpretation take over and mush into the fragments that had stuck in my brain from the book. And on screen, a lot of Rowling’s shit looked passable. But maybe I’m just appeased because they clearly fan-serviced the Neville x Luna shippers out there (guilty!).

Only after the ending of the Potterverse and me taking off some time to attend to “real life”, have I bothered recently to start treading into the fandom again. And part of me feels like I need to, you know, be a mature adult about this whole thing and give DH another shot. Well, I certainly can’t for the sake of maturity and fairness… but I might be able to if it were to salvage details for a potential fic…

So here I am, seriously considering a re-read so I can figure out just what I would change if I could. Not that I really have the talent to create something to rival DH en serio. But I’m not above some shameless reworking for the excuse to let my favorites traipse into each others arms *coughHermionecoughSnape* (because I’m dirty like that).

Has anyone read any well executioned alternatives to DH? Doesn’t even have to include my ships as long as the character development and plot is believable. Will also accept links to message board threads or essays expressing dissatisfaction over DH, because I’m needy for validation. 🙂

Death Note: Write it Off (Get it? Ha!)

Just finished watching the entire Death Note series. Spoiler alert!

I have some mixed feelings on it. Originally I began with the manga, and I was super impressed. The beginning was smart, creative, and suspenseful. I loved the idea of a bored and mischievous shinigami tampering with modern humans, and thought Ryuk’s character design and quirks (the apples for instance) were great. I was curious to see if we would find out more about the shinigami realm, and if this opened up the possibility to other aspects of mythology also existing.

Once Light and Misa were detained however, the manga fell into a rut and I lost interest. I tried to stick it out but the long detention period and the whole “not Kira anymore” thing just seemed to turn the story in a totally different direction. No longer did it seem to be about a young genius with a supernatural gift (and sweet shinigami side-kick) outsmarting his captors’ next moves; it turned into some boring shounen police drama. Yawn.

I gave the anime a chance because I remembered how much I liked the beginning of the manga, and I know how occasionally a show or movie interpretation can differ for the better (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I & II! You saved book 7 for me!). What do you know, I got mentally stuck around the same time I dropped the manga! The only thing keeping me watching at that point was L. For all L’s weirdness (the slouching, the gross feet), I became pretty attached to him. Nay, attracted to him. Probably because Light, as his foil, was supposed to be physically and outwardly perfect but had an interior rottenness.

And then halfway through the series, they kill off L. Tha fuck?? Now why am I supposed to keep watching???

I haaaaaaaaaattttteeeeeeeeeeeeeed Light. I couldn’t even get fangirlie on him just based off his looks. He disgusted me to the core. I really disliked Misa. I felt sick about the fact that she was so in love with Light when he was clearly using her and had an abusive personality. The only thing that kept me going to the end was my stubbornness about finishing what I start, because I had already quit the manga once before. And I was crossing my fingers that Light would get what’s coming to him in the end.

Once L died, the show was needlessly complicated just to reach its final conclusion. A couple arcs were introduced that didn’t really inspire anything in me. That big corporation? Mello and Near… who cares?

Going back to Misa… there are a couple things about her that I don’t get. In the anime when they flashback the story about how Gellus saves her life, they show her with dark hair. She has blonde hair in the show. I’m assuming maybe this was before she took up a modeling career and lightened her hair, but it bothered me that such a large visual detail would go unexplained. Also, shouldn’t there have been three notebooks getting passed around? Rem gave her Gellus’ notebook first. And Light had Ryuk’s second notebook. Then when Rem died for killing Watari, Rem’s notebook was left behind and that was the one Light grabbed before anyone else came into the room. Three notebooks. I must be missing some detail here that makes it actually two. Help a sister out, someone!

I was annoyed with how the series had no strong and interesting female characters, or else they were killed off/rendered useless after a couple episodes. Lame! That FBI chick engaged to Raye Pember was cool–for like 3 episodes. I also had hope for Sayu once she was reintroduced as an adult. Nope, she’s just good for notebook bait. And then unexplainedly ends up in a wheelchair, not to be heard from again.

Probably the thing that bugged me the most is how shortly before L’s death, the entire investigation team became aware of the existence of shinigami and they all touched the notebook and confirmed their existence. And after that, the team basically ignored the shinigami! Like… seriously? The entire investigation centers around this supernatural notebook, which shinigami know a thing or two about. I’d definitely be spending a lot of time watching the shinigami, getting to know it, and trying to ask as many questions as possible. Obviously they can lie too, but even knowing that is something. I just feel like that was a total wasted potential plot. No one tried to get on friendly terms with the shinigami, learn more about their realm, or even really thought about how remarkable it was that they existed.

It was hard for me to even have strong feelings about the ending. Light dies. Thank fuck, we can all get on with our lives.

Conclusion: Starts out really strong, L was a great and interesting character and I feel like killing him off so soon was a huge mistake. The rest of the show dragged on and on. There are worse things to watch though, if you’re bored. C+

Thanks, Kim!

kimye

[This Is What Kanye’s Face Looks Like When He’s With Kim. : dlisted]

Everyone seems to hate Kim Kardashian. Me? I pity her, now more than ever.

Bitch is knocked up with Kanye’s kid and he just looks like he wants OUT! This picture says it all; she’s trying to hold on and he’s over it! It’s like, even if she wasn’t his girlfriend shouldn’t you as a decent person be taking a more active roll in trying to help a giant pregnant lady up a curb?

Kim centers her identity around being physically attractive, and here she is “getting ugly” for some dude that doesn’t even give a shit! Getting pregnant with Kanye was a no-brainer way to earn a check for the next 18 years, especially when she’s already rich enough so she can just leave her kid with nannies full-time. If she was just gonna go for knocked up (as opposed to intentionally starting a family with a partner), it’s smart that she waited to do it with Kanye.

However, I just feel bad for her. I see her and think of a woman who only sees her value in terms of her own physical beauty. She’s only worth something as long as she’s good looking. And now her pregnancy has “ruined” that. Or in other words, she’s experiencing a monumental time in a woman’s life and she hates every second of it instead of embracing it and radiating inner beauty. Or whatever that mumbo jumbo about expectant mothers and “glow” is all about.

Not once during her relationship with Kris Humphries was I convinced it was real, but I do think she really cares about being with Kanye. Probably even thinks she loves him as a person, not just as a famous, rich guy (although I’m sure it helps). I mean just look at the weird-ass “designer clothes” of his she wears all the time. That’s love. Now she’s having his baby and he couldn’t give two shits and is already on his way out of the relationship.

From one woman to another, it pains me to see a female desperately clutching (literally in this case) to a dude who is checked out. Girl, He’s Just Not That Into You. Normally my advice would be to save your dignity and quit trying to win him over, but the punchline writes itself. This is Kim. There is no dignity left. Money, fame, beauty… and look at where she is right now in life.

She makes me realize my own good fortune as a member of the anonymous poors, married to a hard working and honest man. Thank you Kim, and I do mean that sincerely.

Rumer’s Beauty Look, A+

dlisted: “Rumer Willis Was At The GLAAD Media Awards Too.”

dlisted loves to make fun of Rumer “Tater Head” Willis, but I have no problem with her. Yes, her jaw is unfortunate in terms of conventional beauty standards, but so what? My face is too if I’m judged by that same marker. As far as I know about Rumer (which is pretty much zero) she may be in the spotlight because she has famous parents, but at least it isn’t because she’s running around as a delusional, entitled crack-head who thinks they’re above the law.

Some dlisted commenters were picking on her makeup as being too light for her skin, but I think it looks fine. This isn’t a case of ghost face in my opinion. In fact, I think her makeup artist did a great job. These pics are high def and even under that scrutiny her skin looks flawless. Not an easy task! I like in particular the choice to use purple shadow on both lids. See how it brings out the green in her eyes? My own are not hazel enough to have that effect, but I’ve been thinking about playing with a bold blue myself.

I also really like her hair. I’m pretty sure it’s a weave, but it looks very well blended to me. The main thing I like about it is that the gradation is a very bold choice for ombre. I’m really over the barely-there “natural” ombre look. I’m still a fan of ombre, but only if it’s bold like this or with unnatural hair colors.

Big fan of the overall look; Rumer did well here!

Celebrities

I don’t really understand who purchases People magazine, or US Weekly, or Star and those types of things. Why buy stale news in the checkout line when you can find it all for free and with more detail and entertainment value through gossip blogs?

I’ve thought a lot about the celebrity phenomenon. I think it’s normal for people to be interested in the lives of others. On a basic level, it’s a survival instinct. Knowing what’s happening to those around you enables a person to make choices best suited for their self interest. I’m not excusing invasive photogs or rumor-mongering per se, but to me I can see the thread between where we are now and what it stems from.

In my case I never cared about celebrity gossip until I was about a sophomore in college. I stumbled upon dlisted with Michael K.’s infectious blogging style–a blend of entertaining self deprecation and queeny snark–and was hooked ever after. That is to say, hooked upon Michael K’s writing style. Even if he quit writing about celebrities and took up another topic, I would still read his blog. I don’t know if I would seek out an alternate source for celebrities or if I care about them in particular, since I don’t really bother with any other gossip blogs.

Anyway, every now and then Michael K. will post about something which I might have an opinion on, so I figured I may as well up my own post count by including my thoughts here about what he writes. I don’t comment on dlisted even though I have been following his blog for years and he has a very active community of posters. They seem to use the comment section as an internal message board and it gets tiring to sift through all the comments of people talking to each other just to read the opinions on the actual topic. I wish he would set up a forum instead!

Michael K. is my blogging hero, but I doubt that his style is something realistic for me to imitate. He updates several times a day, and is brutal with his wit. Both qualities I admire but sadly do not possess, haha. All this is to say I may be including more celebrity content in the future, but that’s purely based on how the inspiration strikes me. It will never become a main focus of this blog.

Chihaya Furu

“If you had told me a year ago that I would get this worked up about a cartoon of people slapping around cards with ancient poetry on them, I would have called you a liar. And yet, here we are..” -vexingthoughts*

This comment on a crunchyroll vid (where I’m watching the series) pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole thing. When you think about how obscure and repetitive karuta is, it’s kind of amazing that someone has been able to create a show with at least 2 seasons off of it. Not only that, but the show is damn good.

The show is so good, I’m kind of stunned. I’ve taken a break from the anime/manga world for a few years, and although I’ve drifted in and out occasionally, I have yet to find anything that gripped me as much as say, my former Digimon Adventure obsession (who am I kidding; still obsessed) or had the kind of artistic and story complexity as Cowboy Bebop. There are others that I’ve tried to get into because of their acclaim, but even they turn me off at some point due to lagging plot or uninteresting characters.

Chihaya  Furu is kind of in a different league. I suppose it would be categorized as a sports drama, but there are enough touches of comedy and romance to keep things moving. In fact, the momentum of the series is one of its most commendable points. At no time do I recall it dragging or going through an arc I just wish I could skip. The other thing I love is that each character is well thought out. Each one not only brings something different to the table, but interacts in such a way that really makes you feel for them.

All this is achieved without the crutch of fancy costumes, supernatural powers, or even a popular sports setting. Just ordinary Tokyo teenagers and their club. That’s good writing.

I noticed a lot of crunchyroll commenters praise how pretty Chihaya is. I think this is an interesting observation because really, what anime female isn’t?

(besides maybe Sora Takenouchi, you evil, two-timing bitch! *sob!* TAIORA 4 EVAAAAAAAA!)

*ahem*

But even I have to admit there is something about Chihaya’s character design that is very appealing. She is pretty without looking fake, or unrealistic, or even really that revolutionary. One thing I noticed was how the animators were not afraid to play around with her hair styles. I counted at least 5 different hair styles (6 if you include her kimono modeling pic for Kana-chan) that Chihaya wears throughout the series, changed appropriately to accommodate her activity. That really impressed me because how many different shows have we sat through where the chicks all have the same hair the whole time? Just about every one.

The other interesting thing is how the writers handled the concept of Chihaya being a beauty in the first place. Yes, she is regarded by other characters within the show as being easy on the eyes, but it’s simultaneously “explained away” by the fact that her older sister is an aspiring model. Almost as if the show is saying to the audience, “Yes Chihaya is a kind person and is good at karuta and pretty BUT THE PRETTINESS ISN’T HER FAULT! It runs in the family, she can’t help it!” I do kind of appreciate them doing that. I’m sick of shows where the girl is pretty and it’s like, so what? I like how her looks (and that of her sister) can be a sort of secondary plot device.

Speaking of beauty; Team Taichi!

Of course he shares the same name as my all time fave Taichi Yagami so I’m already biased to start. But even still, I like him way better than Arata. I just wish Chihaya would wake up and see it! Concerning character design I’m not crazy about his pink hair and he’s a little too run-of-the-mill pretty for me, but there’s no denying it; he’s attractive, hard working, and devoted to Chihaya. Hot in my book! I like how he still knows how to make fun of her on occasion, and fights with himself about being in love with her even though she doesn’t give him the time of day, romantically speaking. It means he has a friggin backbone. Favorite Chihaya x Taichi moment so far; the birthday tart scene. Yum. 🙂

*At the time of this writing, vexingthouts’ video comment on episode 14 of Chihayafuru has 64 “likes”

Orders to Iwakuni!

A couple weeks ago we found out that the Mr. got orders to Japan. At the time it was Okinawa. Still exciting, but not our first choice. Just found out a day or two ago his monitor was able to change the orders and send him to Iwakuni instead. In the words of an overly excited anime character;

YESSSSA!

Iwakuni was our top choice for a couple of reasons. For one, I’m not really a beachy, tropical island kind of person. For another, we hear it’s a pretty small base. This is good because he and I have had a lot of conversations about cutting down the workaholic-ness in his life and also because we would like to live off base and immerse ourselves in the culture without too many obviously jaded people who hate military personnel because they have to put up with their constant crap. Thirdly, it’s a helluva lot closer to Tokyo than Okinawa is. Since one of my main goals is to conduct as much family history research as possible, the closer to Tokyo the better.

I do have some concerns about making enough friends. Sometimes out here in the desert I feel rather isolated as it is, and I’m surrounded by English speakers. How am I going to fare with only a handful of English speakers and minimal Japanese? I mean, I would love to make some Japanese friends when I get there but how does one even go about doing that without coming across like a creeper?

I’m considering upping my usage on italki to maybe make some friends before I get there. At least improve my language skills, right?

My First Encounter with Rankism

When I first got married, I had some worries about cliquishness and rankism that I was loathe to encounter upon joining the milspouse community. From the way some bloggers and online communities talked, quite a few spouses seemed to have their feathers ruffled over spouses “pulling rank” on each other or exclusionary behavior. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I survived high school didn’t I?

I was relieved to discover that so far, almost everyone I met was perfectly lovely and nice. It did seem strange to me that socializing didn’t pick up much within our unit once the guys deployed, but I chalked it up to a combination of many wives living in the next town over, and another large percentage that simply went home.

For Easter I was invited to a brunch in the next town over. I carpooled with one of the wives in our unit, whose husband happens to be my husband’s boss. On the way over she talked about how it was important that I don’t “pass things on to my husband” that she might share with me or I might hear, because of our spouses working relationship. Well, that conversation was a little awkward because she continued in that vein for almost the whole car trip, but I did see her point. I do understand that between her and I specifically because of the boss/underling relationship we can’t be as open as we might like with each other, but that was never news to me.

Once we got to the house, I was glad to see that I had met almost everyone before at various events. In fact they were all people I thought I might like to get to know better. I was just thinking about how nice it was that we all could come together because I hadn’t seen some of them in a while, when a turn of conversation left my mind racing to figure out why I felt like a chunk of puzzle was missing. The group began discussing a low key “party” they were throwing for a friend of mine. Now this friend of mine is probably the only spouse I have seen consistently since I got here; maybe once or twice a week we’d get together. Needless to say, we were pretty clued in on what was going on in each other’s lives, so it seemed odd to me that this group of women was planning this party for her and I had not heard a word of it before now. I thought maybe it was a surprise party, but no, it wasn’t. And then they were talking about all these other get-togethers and times they had hung out and suddenly I had the strangest sensation of no longer being in the room anymore, but being rather like a light fixture or chair.

I realized they had been hanging out without me for months.

I took it a little personal at first. It became very clear that this was “their” group and they were very tight and not looking for any new members. It seemed that I had been invited as a kind of sympathy gesture, because I had no where else to be on Easter, not as a “hey we like you and would love to get to know you better” thing, which was what I assumed.

I was still trying to process everything on the ride home. I was still genuinely surprised about the fact that I had not been included in any of their past social events. Our husbands were in the same unit, they were deployed together, and we were all “on the same side of the fence” when it comes to general rank division. I was starting to think that it must be me. The wife of my husband’s boss took the opportunity again to reiterate the difference in position between her husband and mine, and their working relationship (which I previously acknowledged to her I understood) for most of the ride back. I thought it was a little unnecessary by that point. That’s when it dawned on me.

She was telling me that I needed to be socializing with spouses of my husbands rank.

I thought back to everyone present at the Easter brunch and sure enough, everyone in that close knit group was the same rank. I thought back to those wives I counted as friends within the unit, and they too were that same rank. With the exception of one wife who moved after the unit deployed, I couldn’t think of anyone I was friends with who was the same rank as my spouse.

This was not something I had previously considered. Yes, I have always been generally mindful of the friendship divide as far as befriending those on the same side of the general fence, but I kind of felt like beyond that it was overkill and kind of a non-issue. Especially because the rank difference is not even big. At my husbands next promotion, he will be the same rank as all these other people. It just seems overboard to me, especially during deployment.

I went home and decided that I would create my own group of friends. I asked my husband to send me a list of all married guys in his unit of his rank. The list was very small. As I scanned the names I became a little angry. I knew maybe two women from the list, and both of them had moved away for deployment. The rest I had never seen show up to any events. They either didn’t live here, or were the type that liked to stay away from spouse networking. Well, no wonder I wasn’t hanging out with the “right” wives!

Oh, the cherry on top is that after I got home, my husband’s boss’s wife bombarded me with several texts along the same line of what she had been talking about in the car the whole day, as if over an hour and a half in the car hadn’t been enough. I mean, I get it, she has a bit of a controlling worrier personality, but the whole thing just seemed very unfriendly even though I know she’s a nice person.

As for my friend, I didn’t say anything to her about it for a while because I knew she was probably in a tough position. As luck would have it, the topic naturally came about later and she admitted to me that she has been having a hard time not letting me know about the gatherings. You know, I get it. But the kicker is that she felt restricted because my husband’s boss’s wife had actually said something to her about hanging out with me! I personally feel like that’s going too far, especially when my friend’s husband is not my husband’s direct boss.

What I suspect is really going on is that her husband is complaining about my husband to her, and she shares it in her group of friends. This is nothing new. My husband is quite an acquired taste, to put it politely; I’m not stupid. I understand her need to vent to people for her husband, but I don’t know if her subtle attempts to diplomatically say “stay away from my friends” is the way to handle it.

I never interpreted choosing the right spouse friends as meaning choosing spouses of your same rank. Is she right or am I right?

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