Friday, July 27, 2012

Army Wives meet Doctor's Wives

I have all kinds of strange addictions. Last year I had an episode with Netflix, then I moved on to Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, and now I am back to Netflix. I just can't seem to stay away.

I find a show I like and end up watching episodes back to back until I finish the series. I will never be able to watch a current TV show again - I won't have the patience for it.

My guilty pleasure right now happens to be Army Wives. When it was first broadcasted (years ago) I remember thinking, great another "wives" show and vowed to not watch it.

What possessed me to start watching it now I do not know. What I do know is that Netflix has 81 episodes and they are all sitting in my instant queue. I save the laundry, the dishes, and most of the housework in the living room and kitchen until the kids go to bed and then I turn on my show. Truthfully, sometimes I also institute mandatory quiet time so I can catch some during the day too.

I am only in season two at the moment, but I can say without hesitation that I really like it. Part of the draw is the friendship of the women. Their lifestyle and varying degree of rank resonate with my experiences as a Doctor's Wife In Training.

There are 4 main women characters who are married to soldiers, and one lone man married to a female soldier. It will soon become very clear why I find myself so drawn to these women, they could be my friends. (Sadly, after 8:00 pm they are my friends - you are too).

Claudia Joy played by Kim Delaney is married to the post commander. He is the top dog, so to speak, at their army installation. She is involved in all the humanitarian and family projects going on, she is the first one to drop off baked goods, she is the most senior of the group, she is the person that everyone turns to for advice, she is experienced, she is dedicated, she is focused, she is kind hearted - yet she doesn't put up with crap. She is strong.

In my world, Claudia Joy is the attendings wife. The woman who has been by her husbands side during medical school, residency, fellowship, and practice. She has done whatever she could to help her husbands career flourish. She knows what her role is and executes it perfectly. Everyone wants to be Claudia Joy.

Denise Sherwood, played by the lovely Catherine Bell, has been married to Major Sherwood for 20 years. She married young, they had a son, and she has followed her husband where ever duty has called. She always wanted to be a wife, and even though she was just short a couple of credits on her nursing degree she stopped school to become a mother. She is innocent to the ways of the world in some respects, and yet something about her says that she wants to do more but the timing hasn't been right.

I my world, Denise Sherwood is, the fellows wife. She has put a lot of time in, yet is lacking some of the experiences that come with actually being "done". She is trying to keep things together at home and raise her kid(s) while her husband is away, and make things easy for the man who works so hard when he is home. She is trying to figure out who she is. I have always loved Catherine Bell, I used to watch her on Jag - way back when.

Then there is Pamela Moran, played by Brigid Brannagh, who is married to a special ops soldier. She is bold, and says what is on her mind. She can be explosive, yet she has a way of seeing everything very clearly and calls it likes she sees it. She doesn't sugar coat anything, and if you don't like it - move. She has a radio show on post where she gets to talk about whatever is on her mind. Her husband's job doesn't have set deployment dates. Instead, he gets a call in the middle of the night and then disappears, unable to tell his wife where he is going or when he will get back. They have two kids, and trying to explain their life is hard.

In my world, Pamela Moran is the junior residents wife in a surgical specialty. They have seen a year or two of battle, and are right in the middle of it, but it has been enough to know that the next couple of years are just going to suck - but what can you do about it. You put your game face on and plow through it.

Then there is Roxy LeBlanc, played by Sally Pressman. She is young and full of life with two little boys. She married her husband after knowing him for only 2 weeks and this is still their honeymoon period. I love their story. She is a firecracker and has the best lines. She is a southern girl who has had a rough life and has finally found true love. What she didn't consider was that the Army was like a mistress. Slowly she is starting to figure out that the Army comes first, and she isn't sure how she feels about that.

In my world, Roxy LeBlanc is the med school wife. Being a doctors wife sounds great, and you're all excited to help you husband study and get ready for exams. You are certain this is going to be an awesome adventure and you'll get to move to great places and see cool things. And then reality hits you.  The man you married isn't home and when he is he doesn't act like the same man you dated. He is stressed out and exhausted. As match day approaches you don't know where they are going to send you. It may be to a not so great place, and the things to see you may be seeing alone.

I am not going to talk about the guy, because he is nice and all - but I don't know any men like him, sorry Roland.

I love this show because I can see all the women I know (some of you, even) in these characters. I can relate to what these characters are going through because medicine isn't all that different from the army. These women support each other regardless of where they are in the chain of command, be it officers wives, enlisted wives, older children, smaller children. They understand that the life they have chosen isn't like the other people that they know. They have given up control of a portion of their lives for something bigger than themselves. They know that where they are now is only a stopping place, not a destination. They are Army Wives.

With a few minor changes they could easily be Doctor's Wives.

If you haven't seen it and are curious now, go see it for yourself and let me know if you see what I see.

Have a great weekend!


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