A former Navy brat and present day Navy wife, Sarah Smiley knows better than anyone that weddings and funerals even childbirth! take a backseat to Uncle Sam. And it'seems that every time the young, nationally syndicated columnist gets comfortable with her routine, her husband is sent away for an unexpected deployment. What follows is a true test of strength and wit that even Sarah's nit picking mother in law couldn't have prepared her for. From raccoons in the attic to getting locked out of the house in cowgirl pajamas to developing a crush on her handsome doctor, Sarah learns that growing up means taking a leap and sometimes going a little overboard. In this memoir, she exposes it all with candor, heart, and a whole lot of laughs.
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1 . Couldn't put it down
Posted February 13, 2010 by Nikki , NDBeing a military wife myself and having my husband deployed overseas right now, I could relate to this book. Its one of them books that is hard to put down. Because your mind is always wondoring what will happen next. The ending was good but I expected a little bit more from it. She also was very selfish with the circumstances she has to deal with. But overall a great read. Would definately recomend to others
November 09, 2005
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Excerpt from Going Overboard by Sarah Smiley
I THINK MELANIE IS TRYING TO
The next night I left my husband. I kissed the tops of our sons' heads ' their wispy baby hair sticking to my lipstick ' squared my shoulders, and walked out the front door, only stopping to collect my keys from the bead-board telephone stand in the kitchen.
Well, OK, so I wasn't really abandoning them, but it must have felt that way to Dustin when I waved over my shoulder and left him with a hungry newborn and a two-year-old wearing a silver colander on his head like his favorite cartoon character.
I was headed to a Spouse Club meeting, which is the Navy's answer to keeping military dependents occupied and informed. Navy pilots like my husband are organized into "squadrons," and their significant others are lumped into "Spouse Clubs." Membership isn't required, although thirty years ago, when my mom became a Navy wife, service members were "graded" on their spouses' participation. Back then, it was also called the "Wives' Club," but that's considered politically incorrect today, in case female members of the squadron have husbands who'd like to be occupied and informed.
Besides the name, however, not much else has changed since ' well, since never. The Spouse Club is and always has been a cross between a sorority and Habitat for Humanity. On the one hand, there is the group's notable contributions to the community ' raising money for underprivileged families, doing volunteer work, providing meals for single sailors at Thanksgiving ' but one cannot ignore the Club's other side, which is kind of like a Parent-Teacher Association gone horribly wrong.
It doesn't help that our husbands, in their professional lives, are segregated by rank, a notion that is supposed to be overlooked in the Spouse Club but never ceases to be an irritant. Every so often an argument breaks out about "seniority," which none of us spouses are supposed to have anyhow.
In fact, there's an urban legend in military-spouse culture about an Admiral telling a group of wives to arrange themselves according to rank. The women shuffle around murmuring things like "I think my husband is senior to yours" and "My husband is a Commander. Isn't yours just an Ensign " but once they are lined up from the "most important" to the "least important," the Admiral says angrily, "Wrong! None of you have rank! Only your spouses are in the military."
Alas, this story, admonishing as it may be, hasn't stopped the constant bickering among some wives about whose husband bosses around whose. It'll take someone higher than an Admiral to change the natural instincts of women.
Basically, imagine drinking wine and playing truth or dare ' while planning a bake sale ' with your husband's boss's wife, but having to pretend she is "just another friend," and that her husband doesn't have any influence over yours. That's what the Spouse Club is like.
Of course, the Spouse Club's primary function is to be a support system for family members left behind when the troops are deployed. In this way, friendships formed within the Club are truly indispensable and border on the familial.
But the Spouse Club is also an excellent source of information for questions ranging from "Can I call my husband while he's on the ship "(No) to "Why do the other guys call my husband 'Dancing Bear' " (You don't want to know).