Wow, I could write a book on this subject alone. I’ll warn you now that this will be more of a compilation of things that have happened rather than words of advice.
It Started with Airborne
I was lucky enough to live about two hours away from Ft Benning, so I went over and stayed each weekend during my husband’s training after AIT. I’ve been hanging out with the guys since then.
I’ve always been one who had a lot of guy friends so it never bothered me to be the only girl in the group. I went out to eat with a huge group during a day off one weekend. It was about 25 guys and me – I got many strange looks that day!
Just the other day, one of the guys told me “You think like a guy…sometimes I have to look at you to remind myself that you’re really a girl!” Not sure if that’s a compliment or not – LOL – I just laughed at him.
I like the fact that the guys don’t feel funny about “the wife” being around. Of course, I also know other Army wives who would rather sit home alone than have to hang out with the guys – it’s just not their thing. So it’s up to you what you do.
When I went over to Benning, I had my car and my husband had his truck. His truck comfortably holds two people (although we’ve had four in the cab) and I have a two-door sports car that can comfortably hold four people although we routinely had six or seven when he was in training.
I remember many occasions when the guys offered to ride in the trunk so long as they could go with us wherever we were going (and on several occasions that was the only “seat” available). It makes for fun stories.
The Southern Accent Helped
It was very interesting to me to meet people from all over the country. They of course had fun with my VERY southern accent and I had fun introducing them to things they’d never heard of – boiled peanuts, grits, and the fact that cotton does indeed grow out of the ground.
I always kid the guys that they let me hang out with them because they like the accent. “Fixin’ to” is a word in Georgia, that I use regularly (and I do have a college degree!).
The guys from up north and California in particular were amazed by this and would ask – what would you say if you were going to make potatoes for dinner? To which I would respond “I’m fixin’ to fix potatoes” – which they thought was hilarious.
Of course, I was also able to pick on them for some of their accents and sayings; like the one from Minnesota saying “Don’t you know.”
One thing to prepare yourself for if you hang out with the guys is their foul mouth. I am used to it now but for the innocent bystander, I sometimes feel sorry for them.
The “f” word is a normal part of their vocabulary. I’ve sometimes tried to count how many times they say it during a story and have literally lost count. Now, they aren’t all like this – but just be prepared just in case.
They really can’t help it since they hear it at work constantly.
We had the guys over to our house for Thanksgiving once with my very conservative parents. I told them they had to keep the language in check.
One of them continually dropped f-bombs and I continually kicked him under the table. Each time he had no idea he had said anything!
Overall, it is fun. Many guys come to me for advice about their girlfriend or girl of the week, whichever it may be. Just remember to keep your sense of humor in all of it and you’ll be one of the guys in no time.