Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moving on with Jacquie: How I Humilated Myself At a Civilian BBQ

Today's guest post is by our expert on Navy Wives moving Jacquie! I know I've experienced this before and I'm sure you guys have too! 

photo credit: kirberich via photopin cc
Navy Wives are a breed of their own. Once you become a Navy Wife, you will slowly realize you are no longer a civilian. Many wives start out living on base, where you learn to depend on each other. It’s pretty easy to fit in on base because we are all going through the same things: missing our family and friends, adjusting to our husband’s new jobs, etc. Living off base is very different. You come in contact with civilians much more often and realize, you feel like an alien that just moved to town.   

My husband and I just completed our most recent move from one side of the country to the other and from base housing to off base housing. Our children even go to a civilian school. This past weekend, we went to a birthday party for my son’s classmate.  It was definitely one of the more awkward times I have had meeting new people.   

I am a New England girl and grew up not far from the city. I have always been a girly girl with a different hairstyle every day, fingernails and toenails painted, glitter and rhinestones. This weekend I was feeling especially girly and headed out the door looking and feeling awesome! The invitation was for an army themed party, which included a Nerf gun war for the kids. I should have known that my wedged rhinestone sandals, sequins shirt, and freshly painted pink nails would make me stand out.  

Photo by Jacquie
I walked through the garage under the entry way covered with deer skulls to the backyard where I found the other party guests. I gave them a cheery “hello” and received a laid back almost closed lipped “hi.” It was clear to me that I stood out like a sore thumb covered in sequins and rhinestones. The other parents were dressed in camouflage and sneakers or flat sandals. Most of the people seemed to know each other already and to me, their thick Tennessee accents stood out just as much as my rhinestone sandals probably did to them.   

Something that was validated for me after this event was that I am a total introvert. Some people who know me very well could see this, but others who I have met just a handful of times may be surprised by this. Just for fun, here is a good website to help you figure out if you are an introvert. Huffington Post articles on 23 Signs You are Secretly an Introvert.  

How do you fit in with other civilians while being in a place that may be very different from what you are used to? If you are an introvert like me, you may need some help. I did some research  and here is what I found: 

22 Tips to Better Care for Introverts and Extroverts (this one actually goes over brain chemistry) 

After I made my cheery “hello” and received a vague response from the others, I gave my introvert permission to retreat. I am glad I did because it gave me the chance to get to know the people around me in a different way. You don’t have to be the social butterfly. Just remember to wear a smile on your face and have open body language so you don’t look like you are having a horrible time.  
At the end of the party, and after noticing the similar funny quirks the woman hosting the party and I had in common, I thanked her for inviting us over and gave her my number. We made plans to hang out another time by the fire outside and let the kids play in the yard. THAT sounded like an awesome idea!  

Next time I will leave my wedges at home! 

Jacquie has been a Navy Wife for 9 years. She is the mother of two boys of 8 and 6 years of age. She holds degrees in Math & Science, Psychology, and has her Licensed Practical Nurse Certification. Jacquie has been writing since she was a child, and uses her experiences as a mother, professional, and Navy Wife to help others. 

Comment or Join the Facebook Discussion: What are your embarrassing social stories as a Navy Wife or Girlfriend?


  1. So the worst thing happened to me the first time I went out after one of our moves. We went to a party in base housing and I was nervous and trying not to be shy but it was good and I got to chatting with people.

    Everything was fine until the boyfriend of this girl I was chatting with got crazy angry at her. He kept coming and going screaming and cursing at her. She was a little young thing, so I sat next to her and tried to tell her to not worry about it, that he had probably had too much to drink and wouldn’t be so angry in the morning.

    Then suddenly wham! Something smacks me across the face! It turns out this angry drunk dude walked in and threw his phone, and it hit me right in the eye! I had a black eye for like two weeks. I was not feeling very social for a while after that. ;0

  2. Don't get down on yourself. All of us Navy wives have been there and done that at some point or another. Just remember the rest of us are as nervous as you. Karen.


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