Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why am I trailing?

I hate the term "Trailing Spouse." For those of you not in the Foreign Service, that is the term bestowed on the Spouse who is not an employee of the Foreign Service but has to move anyway. And it is a stupid term. As if we're lagging behind towed along behind the boat where all the fun people are. Like we're a fishing line. That completely doesn't describe my first overseas move during which I was bribed to move. Seriously. Husband practically had to beg me to move because I was not going back to that country that tried to kill me which was where he was assigned. But of course I went because I was not about to send my three children to that place to fend for themselves. And also, I happen to like living in the same place as Husband, and of course, it turned out way better than the first time and the country and I made our peace and it didn't even try to kill me. Then came China, but that's another story.

But anyway, I hated being called a trailing spouse and I hated the attitude of people who always assumed that the Spouse would take care of all the family stuff so the employee could work unholy hours and never see their family. And I also hated the looks that employees would give me when they asked what I did and I would say I have three children and I teach English and they would turn their backs on me and find someone else to talk to.

Thank goodness not everyone was like that or might never have joined myself. Because here is the thing, for all you people who have forgotten. The Foreign Service attracts really talented and smart and capable people. And guess who smart and talented people are attracted to and fall in love with and marry? That's right, Bimbos! Oh wait, not really. That's smart and untalented people with superior schmoozing ability. No, the smart and talented ones want relationships with people who are also smart and talented. So we should never assume that when we are talking to the "forward leaning spouse" (I know, that's awful, too, but it's better than "trailing") that he doesn't have a nursing degree and can set broken bones during a battle or she isn't a PhD in nuclear physics (Both actual spouses that I actually know.) OK, some of them are bimbos, but the bimbos are always the most fun at the Marine Corps Ball, so we should accept them, too. But stop with the "trailing." It's a stupid term. Accompanying? Possibility making? Agreeable? Doesn't get to bid but has to travel anyway spouse? I need to work on this.

Husband just fixed the couch which apparently broke because Child 3's elbow got stuck in it. No, that doesn't make sense to us either. But Child 2 is reading Pride & Prejudice in English and I am so happy! Because I can totally help her with that. She asked for help with Geometry and I said "triangle" because that's about all I remember from Geometry. And randomly, here is a picture of one of Child 3's favorite things.

Because good hair is always better than a brownie.


  1. "Trailing Spouse" sucks. But it's still better than "Dependent Spouse." At least a trailer is able to stand on her own two... er, four wheels?

    Artemis the Dependent Trailer

  2. I really hate the term "trailing spouse" too. It sounds kind of like "camp follower" to me.