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What’s your worst “dependa” moment?

Common general stereotype: military wives are dependant, out for discounts, and young/educated. No, not everyone sees us that way, but it’s a mindset that lives deep, whether or not others realize it. It causes off-handed comments, glares, and an overall attitude of “This military discount isn’t for you.”

My worst “dependa” moment took place two years ago, at the eye doctor. Before my appointment, I told the secretary I needed a contact prescription. She said it came at a fee. A prescription? It costs? I questioned. Things escalated and comments were made. Among them, that my mom probably had taken care of all my eye appointments in the past, so I didn’t know how it worked and that it was time to grow up.

LET ME TELL YOU I grabbed my ID, did a stroller wheelie turning out the door, and left, without the appointment (and left the scathing-est of Google reviews).

I get how it looked to her. She thought I was young. (I was 30.) I had a baby at my appointment. (My husband was to keep him, but had a last-minute call from work, because, well, army.) And I was fussing about fees. But come on, who pays for a prescription?

In hindsight, I’m sure she meant the lens fitting fee, but in the moment I was too angry to even consider this.

Though, consider it I should have … because my Mom hadn’t been making my eye appointments since I was 15. And, before I was married, I was in charge of my own vision insurance (and bills). For seven years.

Today, more seasoned as a spouse and not so fresh off of a c-section, I’m wiser. Calmer. When I walk into an appointment and get that, “She has Tricare” look, I hold my head high and don’t engage … unless there’s an actual dispute. I know I have a good job, that I’m not as young and naive as some would think, and I know that being a milspouse is one of the highest honors a civilian can hold. Even if not everyone sees it that way.

And with that, I continue to support my family, my country, silently in the background, one awe-ridden moment at a time.

Has anything like this ever happened to you as a milspo? How did you handle it?

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