by Allison Struber, Guest Contributor
Military life gives us many opportunities to be labeled “the newbie.” It isn’t so bad in the beginning. There are certain graces offered and benefits received, however, there comes a point when the status gets…old.
We no longer need to be told why the big town event is a must-see nor do we need step-by-step directions to the grocery store. We have met Johnny (50 times) and yes, this place is different than our last home.
There is not a quantity of time that needs to pass in order to promote from newbie to local status, but when you think you might be ready, consider the following checklist.
You Are No Longer A Newbie At Your Military Installation When:
You have run into someone you know while running errands.
Your dog recognizes the street the dog park is on.
It has been over a week since you have thought about your old home.
You have joined 13 local Facebook yard sale sites.
You have found a babysitter that both the kids and you love.
You have enough equity built up in a friendship that you can ask for a favor – even if it is 7 in the morning.
Amazon delivery slows down because you’ve bought EVERYTHING possible for your new home.
Your hairstylist remembers you.
You have stained the carpet, dinged a wall or made your “mark” on the house in some non-desirable way.
You know when the local events are, have attended them and have shared your insights with someone who is wondering what to do in the area.
You know your neighbors‘ full names, including the names of their pets, their schedule (Awanas on Wednesdays) and the make and model of their vehicles.
You have been invited to at least 3 direct sales home parties and yes, Lularoe is an addiction.
You know which neighborhood kids can’t eat the peanut butter crackers, which ones can’t have gluten and those who eat only organic.
You are asked to volunteer on base.
Your friends pop by to say hi – except on Thursday nights because they know your show is on.
You can locate the bathroom in at least 10 public places and you know to hold it until you get to the BX because it is much cleaner than the commissary’s bathroom.
You no longer receive mail from the old tenants or letters forwarded from an old address.
Your new curtains are hung while your old ones are stored in a box because they MAY work in your next house.
You no longer have to go into the gas station to pay as result of entering the incorrect ZIP code at the pump.
Your garbage can is empty and it is not because it has been sitting at the road for 5 days, but because you actually have gotten the correct day for trash pick up.
You can have a conversation with passengers while driving because you are not glued to your GPS for directions.
You can throw away the items damaged from the move because you have received the claim.
You have attempted to grow a plant (it did not have to be successful).
Your shipping address is updated on Shutterfly and there are recent photos displayed somewhere in your house.
There are only 3 boxes left to unpack – and they are the ones that never get unpacked.
Allison Struber is a military spouse, mother of three and author of https://allie-beth.blogspot.com/. Inspired by her kid’s energy and her husband’s dry humor, she spends her days teaching character development in schools, volunteering and trying to figure out a ways to bottle up the sweet moments in life.