Disclaimer: I was a sorority girl. Or maybe, I am a sorority girl? (I think it’s like the Marines: Once a Marine, Always a Marine. Once a Kappa Delta, Always a Kappa Delta.) So as you read this blog, please keep in mind that I think sororities are a good thing. Really, I do! Here goes:
Living on base is like being in a sorority. But with more babies and less boozing.
Okay, maybe about the same amount of boozing. But absolutely more babies.
For those of you who aren’t military spouses, let me offer you some very, very basic background: My husband is in a squadron, one of many on the base. Each squadron has a corresponding spouse club. My husband’s squadron is called “The Eagles.” The ladies in my spouse club are the “Lady Eagles.” It’s complicated, I know, but stay with me.
When all these squadrons deploy, the base is left with a lot of women (and to be fair, a few men) all organized into these pre-existing clubs. And sorority-esque antics ensue! Are you on pins and needles waiting to read about all the juicy drama??? All those women living in close quarters and seeing each other day in and day out? Hardly any men to keep down the crazy? Oh, you can see the Bravo show now, can’t you?!
Sorry to disappoint. Being in a sorority was freaking fun, so getting to relive some of that at a more… mature age… can be kind of awesome.
I can’t say that all spouse clubs create this kind of environment, as I’ve never been a part of another spouse club. But I’m willing to hypothesize that the certain set of conditions we experience at NAF Atsugi contribute to the sisterly environment: Living on base… In a foreign country… With deployed husbands. Put those together and what do you get?
T-shirts. Bad Girl Games. Dance parties. You’re a little jealous now, aren’t you? And you don’t even know what Bad Girl Games are. I’ll get there in a minute. But first, the t-shirts.
The hallmark of any sorority girl is a wardrobe filled with tees. Every pledge night, every fundraiser, every Greek Week, every “I just thought of a cute design so let’s make a tee with it because why not,” was commemorated with a t-shirt. Gotta have pride in your sorority, right? What better way to show it than sporting a different KD tee every day of the week, and two on Sundays?
At some point, all sorority girls must face that sad, sad day when they throw out their collection of precious tees. Those thin cotton shirts can only handle so many years of ellipticizing and charity 5Ks. But lucky for me, the spouse clubs have t-shirts, too! Yessss! I can once again proclaim my social allegiance on my chest! As of now, I only have one “Lady Eagles” t-shirt, but I’ve only been around six months. I’m confident that number will rise in the next couple of years. Good thing, too, because with all these babies around, I need some clothing that isn’t dry-clean only.
Now, the Bad Girl Games. On a campus setting, you’re bound to find some, um, friendly rivalry amongst sororities. Well on base, people are actually friendly, but still, a little competition can be healthy now and then. And so, the Bad Girl Games. All the spouse clubs get decked out in their AWESOME TEES, gather on a field, and duke it out in a series of games. Only one squadron can triumph. The competition gets fierce! And then it’s over and everyone hugs and smiles and takes a group picture. The next night everyone gathers again, each group has a theme and performs a skit or a dance, and the winner is announced.
Pause. Um, hello!? Greek Week, anyone? Mayfest? IT IS TOTALLY THE SAME THING.
This all culminates with the Bad Girl Ball. After all the performances, the evening turns into a big dance party. It’s basically a sorority formal without the dates. And let’s be honest, dancing with your sorority sisters/girlfriends is way more fun than actually dancing with a date anyway. Guys just don’t get Britney Spears.
The Bad Girl Games and Ball happen once a year, and this year that was two months ago. Why am I writing about it now? Well, first of all, most of my blog posts are on about two-month time delay. So there’s that. And second of all, I’ve been in California awhile and I miss my sorority girls! I mean, my Lady Eagles! And not just the Lady Eagles, all the ladies on base. I’ll be returning to Japan in a few days and am definitely looking forward to seeing everyone again. With a husband gone half the year, it’s a very good thing to have a group of women supporting each other and entertaining each other. Our hubbies come back soon (yay!) and the atmosphere on base will naturally shift some, but it’s nice knowing there is always someone around to grab a glass of wine with or throw together a play group for the kiddos or even just take a walk with to stay sane.
Or, uh, watch your kid when you’re recovering from jet lag. Just saying.