Military Monday: Making it Official
Post will be late today, because I am off with C to get enrolled in DEERS and TriCare and all that good stuff. Check back tonight for a full post!
Ok, so I’m a day late posting this, but I hope you’ll forgive me– yesterday was both my birthday and the day that C and I had to sit in numerous lines waiting to get papers (some of which have to be mailed before anything happens).
Not the most glamorous birthday, eh?
However, I now have a military dependent ID card which enables me to shop at the Commissary/PX, use the recreation facilities, and generally do things on post without getting into trouble.
That line was the longest. When we walked into the very crowded waiting room my first thought was, “Hmm, glad we have all afternoon for this.” Especially since that office is only open until 1530. That’s 3:30 pm for you civilians 😉 We were number 92, and number 74 was just being called when we sat down.
The wait itself wasn’t bad (thank you efficient people at this office!!) but there are little things that I kept noticing that were contributing to what might nicely be called ‘culture shock’. Namely the fact that FOX “news” was on the TV in the waiting room, and the majority of our fellow waitees were watching it with rapt attention.
Welcome to the south? *sigh*
Our number was finally called, and we were ushered into the backroom, which I overheard one of the federal employees calling ‘Narnia’! Not a bad metaphor– it was a maze of cubicles that looked the same from every angle, but we followed the man who had called us back to his desk and had a seat.
Honestly, I knew I was going to like this guy when I spotted the ‘see no/hear no/speak no evil’ monkeys on his desk 😀
He joked with us about married life, and my birthday, and all his little machines, all while typing information into his computer at a furious rate. We had to furnish marriage certificate and licenses and he did the rest. They even take the picture right there at the desk!
20 minutes later we were out the door and on the way to the TriCare office, which of course is not anywhere near the DEERS office. Think of it as a scavenger hunt that you need to complete in order for your spouse to be eligible for benefits.
The wait at the TriCare office was even shorter, which shocked me given the experiences I have had with HMOs. I guess the trick to efficiency is to limit options– as in, we had none. Sign the papers, and shoo! Done.
That left C and I with the rest of the afternoon to do as we pleased, so we popped into the Commissary (grocery store) to pick up a few items. Not gonna lie– I’m pretty stoked about the prices there compared to the grocery stores off post! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bottle of good olive oil for 2.99… And it had a coupon for a dollar off that! C was laughing at me exclaiming over the low prices, but I know he’ll be just as excited about a low grocery bill as me 🙂
He did a great job of making my birthday feel special, despite the waiting in lines all afternoon. We went to a fabulous dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse (which is a lot like Texas Roadhouse, right down to the peanut shells on the floor), and then to see Captain America, which I really enjoyed. Did anyone else feel like the ending was a cop-out, though? I know they’re setting up for The Avengers and all, but geez…
More importantly, we picked up C’s wedding band at the jeweler (yay!), and halfway through dinner I realized that in the whole time we’ve been together, this is the first time we’ve ever been able to celebrate my birthday in the same place! It was a really nice feather in the cap of an already pretty good day.
Bring it on, 26… I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.