10 Reasons Military Spouses Are More Like Mutant Manatees From Hell Than Hippos


10.  Mutant Manatees from hell blend in with their environment.  So do military spouses.  We up and move at the drop of a hat, and blend in where ever we end up.

9.   Mutant Manatees from hell have tough, thick skins that are impervious to Sharks With Laser Beams.  So are military spouses.  We can take any situation and turn into unicorns and rainbows.

8.  Mutant Manatees from hell take really good care of their young, but sometimes when they misbehave, they eat them.  So do most military spouses.

7.  Mutant Manatees from hell have sharp teeth.  So do military spouses.

6.  Mutant Manatees from hell roam in large packs and eat a lot.  Ever go to a restaurant on a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday evening around a military town?  Nuff said.

5.  Mutant Manatees from hell were the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but they live in the water.  I don’t know how to tie this to military spouses, but some of us are really mad skills with a bow staff.

4.  Mutant Manatees from hell reside in Florida.  The largest bases in the military are Florida, coincidence, I think not.

3.  Mutant Manatees from hell can be slow moving, but they also can be really, really fast when in stealth mode.  There are some fast military spouses and some slow military spouses.

2.  Mutant Manatees from hell mate for life, except for some of them are mean bitches and they cheat on their husbands.  So do military spouses.

1.  Mutant Manatees from hell are an imaginary creature I made up (and someone else photoshopped the picture, I just found it on the internetz).  So are military spouses who are called Dependas– and they are photoshopped too.

Dear Dependa…


Hi, my name is Jodi. I am a military spouse, and a military veteran.  I spent five years in the military, and have been associated with the military for over 20 years between marriage, dating, and being in the reserves and active duty.  I am writing to you the people referred to as Dependas, and those who hate them.

You see, Dependa, you are making the rest of us look badly.  Your actions are reflecting upon us.  Whether you are marrying a person out of convenience, going to base with a bad attitude, or are just down right immature and behaving as such.  As someone who has been around the block it saddens me that your behavior is affecting the way the rest of us relate to other military members and their spouses.  I have some suggestions for you.

First of all, if you are getting married for “the benefits,” just don’t.  They really are not that great, and there are fewer and fewer benefits.  Military pay really isn’t all that and a bag of chips.  I have lived in base housing for two years and after living down the street from one of you, I will never live on base again.  Yeah, military guys are hot, we all know that, but please for the love of all that’s holy, think before you get married.

Secondly, don’t post your bullsh#t on the Internet.  I don’t want to know that your husband is deployed and you are available.  If you are not going to keep a dog, don’t adopt one.  Don’t bring your marital problems, your cat fights, or your hot mess of a house on public Facebook pages.  I don’t want to know that you and your husband are swingers, put that on other sites thank-you-very-much.  If you would be embarrassed if your Facebook posts would be read out loud on Jimmy Fallon, it doesn’t belong on Facebook.

If you are an officer’s spouse, keep your husband’s rank to yourself.  Guess what, honey?  There’s always some guy who outranks your husband.  You don’t get saluted when you come on base, you don’t get to butt in front of the person in uniform by virtue of your husband’s rank.  You don’t get any special privileges, trust me.  I have been a Lieutenant’s spouse, a Captain’s spouse, a Major’s Spouse, and a Colonel’s spouse—my poop still stinks, I still put my panties on the same way, and I don’t even throw around the rank I did earn.

Furthermore, Officer’s Spouse, you don’t outrank spouses.  When I talk to the spouses in my husband’s unit, I say this: “Rank amongst spouses is like chastity amongst whores, it don’t exist.”  Especially, spouses married to senior members, let the younger spouses run the FRG/Key Spouse program.  A great leader steps aside and let’s other people shine.  I know that when I was younger, I was scared of the spouses of my husband’s boss, and even the most down-to-earth spouse can be overwhelming to a brand new spouse.  Finally, when you have bad days, we all have them, just stay away from base.  No need to be witchy to the bagger at the commissary.

Now, to those Dependas who think it’s cool to point out and shame other Dependas.  Just don’t, especially when you are participating in the whole Mommy Wars.  It’s not your business why someone is a stay at home mom.  A person who is overweight is NO burden to you, so don’t judge.  If you are happily married and supporting your husband, then be happy. There’s no reason for you to point out that you are better than someone else.  You are not.  If you absolutely need to point out how much better you are, perhaps you should seek therapy.  Posting negative crap on Facebook just spread negativity—when you add a negative number to another negative number, you continue to get negative numbers—simple addition.  Unless you are absolutely perfect and Jesus Incarnate, you have no place to judge anyone else.

If you are an active duty Dependa, you need to stop too.  Really we all get it, there are Dependas, and they are bad people. Pointing out how horrible they are doesn’t make you look any better.  The military relies on the support of the civilians, who choose to fight for the military and its veterans.  Often the strongest supporters are military spouses, or Dependas, alienating them is not in your best interest.  Further, the military is not forever, once you get out and try to find a job, do you think your behavior online will convince people to hire you?  As someone who has been a manager and has hired people in the past, I look at social media accounts, if you are badmouthing your boss’ wife active duty, do you honestly think someone will hire you?  What if you are single and looking for love?  Would comments about someone else’s husband/wife endear you to a future mate?  I know many single women, who do social media searches on their boyfriends.

Also stop extending the definition of a Dependa.  People who make brag bags, OK I get it, they are irritating, ugly, and not something I personally would wear, but are they really Dependas?  Women who have Vera Bradley, or Coach bags—Dependa?  I know plenty of non-military women who like these things.  How does what one person spends their money on hurt someone else?  And finally, those who are getting more vocal about the whole bullying thing, they are over-sensitive, and therefore are Dependas, right?  I don’t like the word retard, my son is delayed.  I have seen how retard hurts him, so I don’t like it when people use that word.  Does that make me a retard, too?

Finally, if you are thinking about getting married to a Dependa, particularly you, young E-1s and E-2s.  Think about it before you get married.  If you are marrying someone as a convenience the DoD is starting to crack down on the convenience marriages.  Putting an ad on Craig’s List could very well get you courts martialed.  Living in dorms is a Right of Passage.  Just ask anyone who went to college immediately after high school.  It sucks, but it’s short lived.  Getting married for the BAH, the housing, or to get more freedom is not a good reason to get married.  Someone will end up getting hurt, and it will probably be you.  Women who marry men for money usually end up screwing them over.  And you know as well as I do, that your buddies will try to talk you out of it.  I have seen it, and I have been the one trying to talk a young airman out of a bad relationship.  Listen to them.

Well, Dependa, that’s about all I have.  You are getting far more attention than you deserve.  You have monopolized military publications, you take over the comments section, and you are just the bane of everyone’s existence.  If you are the ones pointing out Dependa flaws, please do what you advise non-Dependas, ignore them.  They aren’t really hurting you, but you are hurting others in the process.

I Love The Zoo

My dad always followed his dreams.  One of my big dreams is go to on a photo safari.  It has been a dream since I was younger and used to visit the Minnesota Zoo.  The Minnesota Zoo was one of the first zoological parks to institute realistic animal enclosures.  Since we are honoring my dad the last few weeks, I took some decidedly wonderful photographs of the animals of the Animal Kingdom Safari ride and subsequent Jungle Walks…

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On June 3rd, my dad had a massive heart attack.  I got the phone call around noon, and I rushed as fast as I could to be by my mom’s side.  When I got to Orlando, I found out that my dad’s brain had been deprived of oxygen for over 90 minutes, and it was by the grace of God that a nurse was able to perform CPR for 20 minutes until EMTs arrived, but it was ultimately too late.  He was in vegetative state, and the ventilator was pulled on June 4th.  My dad passed away immediately.  For those who cannot make the memorial service, here is my Eulogy:

My dad taught many life lessons, and today I am going to share with you the top ten Life Lessons he taught me.  There is a theme, so please sit back, relax, and see if you catch the theme…

Lesson 10:  “Let’s Go Fly A Kite:” In the book and movie “Mary Poppins” is about Saving Mr. Banks.  At the end of the movie, Mr. Banks realizes how enjoyable, and fun his children are.  My dad never thought that my brother and I were a nuance, but we would always find time to either coach our teams, camping with Y-Guys/Y-Princesses, and sometimes I would even run in a track meet and see him at the track cheering my on during a race.

Lesson 9:  “Life Is A Highway:” My dad was a typical man.  He would never ask for directions.  He had the propensity for getting lost.  One time we traveled from Orlando to NASA by way of Daytona Beach.  He started stating that getting lost was going on an adventure, and we went on A LOT of adventures.

Lesson 8:  “You Have a Friend In Me:”  Everywhere my dad went, he would talk to anyone who would listen.  He frequented O’hana’s and the Polynesian so often, he befriended Sue, a waitress, and Walt, the bartender.

Lesson 7: “Feed The Birds:”  My dad loved bird watching, he would sit in the porch in Minnesota, or in the Florida Room, and try to identify the birds.  When John and I were younger, he would take us to Grandma’s work at General Mills and feed the ducks in the winter.

Lesson 6:  “Be Our Guest:”  My dad loved to entertain.  He loved to host parties.  When he wasn’t hosting a party, he would make one of his famous watermelon boats (by the way, I know how to make them too, I learned from the best!).  He would also volunteer to be kitchen help at weddings, or graduation parties.

Lesson 5: “Heigh Ho Heigh Ho:” His favorite movie was “Snow White.”  I always debated what dwarf my dad was.  He used to always wear Grumpy clothing, but he was not Grumpy.  He was often Sleepy, sometimes Doc, but never Dopey.  Right now, I believe he is Happy.

Lesson 4:  “Bella Notte:” My favorite movie was “Lady and The Tramp,” and I loved Spaghetti we always used to go to Kelly’s On The Ninth after Saturday mass.  “Lady and The Tramp” was the first Disney movies we saw in the theater.

Lesson 3:  “When You Wish Upon A Star:” My dad always used to wish that my son would come out of his autism.  He truly believed that Disney was magical, and that Disney would cure all that ails.  Every time I hear that song, and think of how much he wished for his grandchildren (I included names, but for privacy, no names).

Lesson 2: “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes:”  On my wedding day, I had told my mom that I wanted to be Cinderella, which is odd for me, as grew up as a tomboy.  My mom and dad made that possible.  For our daddy and daughter dance, we danced “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.”  A few weeks after my wedding, my mom told me that she had found my dad in the basement listening to the Cinderella Album crying.  He finally remembered the significance of the song, and told her, “Now, I know what that song meant.”

Lesson 1: “When my dad was a young man, he found his aroma lacked a certain appeal.  He could clear the living room after every meal, he was a sensitive soul, though he seemed thick skinned, it hurt that his family never stood down wind…”  I will leave you with this final thought– Hakuna Matata, it means no worries, and my dad would want everyone in his life to have no worries, so Hakuna Matata.