Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Ever wonder about that word, about ASSociation(s)? Who or what in an ASSociation becomes the ass? You for joining, members for becoming gossip mongers, the association for being or leading a stupid cause? Who or what is the ASS?

Many women that I have ran into over the past 9 years or so in the military choose not to join different spousal associations because they've heard or ran into a group that behaves like a bunch of asses. I am one of those women. I am so leery to become the 'joiner.' I have been burned or watched people get burned by the typical ASSociation. So I usually join tentatively. I hold back, keep quiet and check out the scene. That way if it is a true ASSociation I haven't opened myself up and revealed the vuneralbe underbelly of myself.

The only real disappointment I've ran into lately was a multi-service group. I played it safe, stayed on the fringe for quite a while. I started to make a few good friends, fell into an "administrative" type position within the group and was enjoying it. I passed out some advice one day and apparently the advice rubbed another admin type person the wrong way. What provided the biggest disappointment wasn't that I made a mistake, I mean yeah that sucks and I am sorry that I irritated and stepped on toes. But what disappointed me most was that I was never pulled aside and talked to, by either the offended party nor the head administrator. Instead I walk in to see a new policy on the wall and it wasn't worded very nice. Seeing phrases like "you may think your helping but you really aren't" is a crappy way to say it and honestly should have been brought to the individual doing the toe stepping first, then publish the new policy. That and telling them first would let the others know if they were the one making the mistake - which sadly because no one came to me, I could be an idiot jumping to conclusions. (Yes I've weighed that fact but pretty much got the idea that I'm not an idiot on this.)

Any member, administrative or otherwise could have given the advice as well. A regular member would have gotten a letter stating to play nice next time and it would have been done in private. What kinda stung was the fear I always have about joining a large ASSociation came true - friends aren't always what they appear to be. One of the offended party pretty much was a friend but didn't say a word to me. I would have apologized profusely and attempted to correct it. Instead in light of it, I pulled back and will go back to where I was - on the fringe.

So how do you deal with ASSociations? Do you automatically ignore them because you think that time and again they will prove to be a large number of asses? Do you work like me and take them on individually judging whether the group as a whole is okay while running around the fringe? Or do you just jump right in, join right up and don't even see the asses of the ASSociation while they drag you down the street dressed as a clown?


Bette said...

No good deed goes unpunished, eh?

Since right now I'm beyond the fringe (not a spouse), the ASSociations don't have anything to do with me, nor I with them. And the more stories I hear like yours, I don't think that will change even if I do get married.

Household6 said...

I really am a person that tests the waters each time. I'd hate to turn my back on a group without at least trying it out.

AND the most important part is that not every group and not even every person within that group behaves that way either.

I just ran into personal disappointment for me expecting a business atmosphere where you pull your employee aside and tell them they are behaving like a bone head. I mean seriously I can be bone head sometimes I just would have liked to have been told so before seeing it in public policy.

So at least give it a try and you will be surprised that there are usually at least 1-2 nice persons in each ASSociation. I just can't jump in ignoring all the asses until I find myself dressed like Bobo and wondering how in the hell did I end up in this mess.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually a military member and feel lucky to have a wife that won't be pressured by and even has a distaste for spouses clubs. I just heard some news today that 'the club' sent out a message about how dependents should be dressed and how children should act when going to the commissary. While me and my family are accustomed to dressing in respectable attire, I still do not like gall of some of these people trying to gain power through their serving spouse's rank or by their membership in the spouses club. Of course, I always hear horror stories but have never actually been in or seen a situation that angered me. Maybe these incidents are very rare.

My wife DOES go to spouses meetings (sometimes) and has meet a few good people there, but she will not be pressured to do anything or submit to someone that she does not like or agree with. I also look forward to the day that the military steps in to tell me or my family how to live during off-duty hours so I can unleash the fury. Having been enlisted for 10 years before coming to the other side--I don't have the same fear of retribution or willingness to please as I had before. Now I have less to lose in regard to my career-and a new priority-my family.