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Don't call me Ma'am

Call it a pet peeve or just me being anal, but I hate it when someone calls me ma'am solely because my husband is an officer. I will accept it at formal military things, but I despise it in casual conversation.  I am, in a way, offended by it at times.

What the crap? Offended by common curtsies. Yes. Somewhat.  I noticed my aversion to ma'am at Ft. Rucker.  I was trapped in military hell for a year.  All I wanted to do was get back to my career that was on pause for his training and my pregnancy. I was so ready for a badge and a gun and the craziness that is what I love to do.  I did not want to be reminded that in the eyes of the military I was nothing.  I was an accessory for my husband.  I was ma'am solely because he was sir.

Warrant officers would come over to study and for a home cooked meal frequently.  Two of them especially became close with us. I liked having them come around, but because of CJ's rank they called me ma'am ALL THE TIME. I asked one, Mr. Santos, to please stop, and he basically said it is military curtesy and he had to call me ma'am.  I rolled my eyes and said I had my own rank, and I didn't like the fact that the military's long standing, and outdated formalities took that away from me.

This was around the 3rd time I had been around him, and he knew I wasn't military so he jokingly asked what my rank was.  My answer of Detective took him by surprise, but it also got me out of being called ma'am.  He decided, and my husband agreed, that Detective was an appropriate and respectful title.  At their social before graduation CJ was introducing me to some people, and they were all calling me ma'am.  Mr. Santos quickly cut them off and explained to them that I was a Detective and I preferred that title to ma'am.

Maybe I'm way off base with this, but if a wife would like to be called by her title, or just the name her parents gave her what is wrong with that? To me it makes the wife simply that.  A wife.  No more than that.  Not a free thinking woman. Not a woman capable of making a name for herself without her husband. She is only what her husband is. No more and no less.

I know my hatred for being called ma'am is part of what makes me not the typical military wife.  It's not even close to the main reason, but it remains the easiest way to show why in military circles I do not feel like I belong.  In fact, I know I do not belong.  The facts remain though that I am a part of the circle, and I have to find my own voice in this place.  A way to not only cope with working and raising 2 children during a deployment, but a way also grow personally and possibly educate some.

Most of my blogs will not be rants about unequal treatment. Most will be the little ways I have triumphed over the weeks and soon months of being alone, and how to cope when you aren't having a winning moment, day or week. This post served to show that not every military wife is the same, and it is ok for a wife to think some traditions are dumb or even sexist. It is ok to not be perfectly ok with all of the military. Really, if being called ma'am is my biggest issue as a military wife I'm doing far better than many.


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