I always enjoy the debate our readers have about what to wear and what not to wear to a military ball or a homecoming event. We have the folks who wanna wear what they wanna wear cuz they are hot enough to wear it.
We have the people who wanna school others on the bounds of propriety and argue whether the first group of folks is as hot as they think they are.
It’s the third group that gets to me. Those people volunteer that this debate is exactly why they do not attend military events—because they don’t want anyone to judge them.
That makes me sad, I think. I’m not the biggest joiner in the world. I am as busy as anyone else. And I love being in my home. But there are reasons to get out there.
Last week at SpouseBuzz LIVE at MCAS Miramar, we had hundreds of women who spent their Saturday with us (get ready for their Top Ten lists starting next week) . Being with them reminded me that getting together with other people in our military community for a workshop or a ball or a picnic or a Hail and Farewell is a deeply good (if not always jolly) thing.
So here are my top ten reasons to come out to a military event:
1.Come out because I am dying to meet you. I already know everyone in my neighborhood. I’ve heard their stories. I’d rather sit down and listen to you.
2.Come out because I am sick of TV and I’ve got in a terrible habit of turning it on just because I feel tired. I cannot watch Inspector Lewis one more time. Light a fire under me, won’t you?
3. Come out because no one is making you do it. The military doesn’t control families any more. Let’s do it to impress the kids with our glamorous lives that require the use of a ball gown.
4. Come out because I want to see the people my sailor spends his day with. I want to put names and faces together. I want to like you as much as he does.
5. Come out because when my husband and I get away from the kids we are totally different people. I like us as parents. I like us even more when we are just a couple.
6. Come out because I’m never going to judge you. I promise to envy your hot body. I promise to compliment your shoes. I promise to praise every red dress I see simply because I like red.
7. Come out because the leaves are starting to change and we could sit outside together and drink a glass of wine and wish we each had remembered a sweater. Nature is good for us.
8. Come out because we need to see other families who live the same lives we do. Make me feel like the separations and the weird division of labor and the crazy mid-PCS vacations are normal.
9. Come out because we both need a laugh.
10. Come out because (as Carson McCullers wrote) the heart is a lonely hunter. We belong to a society that gets a little more lonely every year. And when we get together the circle seems bigger, safer, friendlier. We need you.