Even before we moved to our little town, people knew who I was. Or more correctly, they knew who my husband was. We had driven 7 hours with a cat and two children and were parked out the front of the wrong hotel in town (there were two to choose from, both with the word Murchison in their names and for the life of me I couldn’t remember which I had booked 6 weeks ago), peering into the window of the one which was closed. A local drove past and stopped in the main drag and said, you must be the new Police family; you’re booked in at the Pub down the road, don’t you know? Cheers for that we said and there it began. We walked into the (correct) Pub having dropped the cat off for the night and were once again greeted with Oh you must be the new Police family. Everywhere I went, the deli, the school, my new work I was introduced as the new Sergeants wife. Not even as Lisa as they didn’t know my name, just the new Sergeants wife. Just someone’s wife. My husbands job preceded every introduction and I was immediately judged and scrutinised as someone who is married to not just a Sergeant, but the Officer In Charge (OIC) in a very small town. It didn’t really bother me right then and there as the title does carry a certain weight and honour to it, but now that we have been here 8 months, I am getting completely shat by it. I miss just being Lisa. I miss starting a job and having a certain amount of anonymity. I miss being the person who decides to tell other people what my husband does for a living. Hell, I bet in the city, Police Wives can go weeks, even months, before they choose to disclose that they are married to a Police Officer. They can be Just Jane or Just Fiona; funny, witty and their own person with their own agenda. Not here. Even the new people who move to town and who don’t know me are introduced to me and once again, this is Lisa; her husband is the town OIC.
Every. Single. Time.
The first question people ask me when they meet me is not what do you do in town?; what’s your job?; do you have kids?; have you got siblings?; what sort of music/wine/facebook games do you like?; what are your hobbies?;where did you guys meet?; its What is it like being married to a Police Officer?
Every. Single. Time.
I am nothing more than his wife. If something happens in town that my husband has had dealings with on a Sunday night you can be guaranteed I have already heard about it from the teachers at school, the deli owners getting my morning coffee, the postmaster and my fellow Shire workers before my husband has even gotten out of bed on Monday morning. Yet, if I even dare to bring it up in conversation that same day or form an opinion on it, even on my private social media, I am/he is crucified because what if I had heard it from him? Having an opinion based on town gossip (which is inevitably based on what actually happened; it’s a very small town), can cost my husband his job. Its real and I am not allowed to have an opinion on a LOT of things that matter to me. I have to bottle in my thoughts and views due to ignorant assumptions that because I am married to a Police Officer, I somehow have inside knowledge. What rubbish. People just don’t understand how a small town works. It kills me to smile and nod like I hear nothing about town and pretend I don’t care about the real things that affect my life.
But I do. I have to. It goes with his job. Gives me the shits; I am better than that. We are BOTH better than that. People should know that.
I love my job at the Shire; I get to talk to the tourists (a passion of mine) who have no effing idea what Mr Point Five does. I chat about the town and point out the places to go, things to do. I recite the pub menu off by heart as its the only place in town for dinner at night if you want a break from your caravan and I chat with knowledge about the local history but even then, eventually, they say, So what brings you to town; what does your husband do? And we start all over again. But at least I get 5-10 minutes to chat about stuff other than what it like being married to a Police Officer.
So, here I am. More than a Police Wife.
My name is Lisa.
I have 2 children, aged 4 and 7. They are beautiful.
I am the Rates Officer in our tiny town and I work casual Kindy Hours.
I am 41.
I am terribly sarcastic and not very P.C.
I am proud but I do apologise when wrong.
I am passionate.
I don’t do selfies.
I am generous with my time.
I am an only child.
I choose very carefully who I love; I do not feign affection.
I do not tolerate idiots well. Or at all.
I love the V8 Supercars.
I read crime and philosophy books.
I like to cross-stitch and scrap although I haven’t done either in a long time.
I know the entire 90 minutes of Phantom Of The Opera. Word. For. Word.
I also know all the words to Dub Be Good To Me and most 80’s songs.
I think I rock at Singstar. Doesn’t mean I do 😉
I love cooking and can decorate a mean birthday cake.
The first cassette I bought was the entire Beatles Black Box Collection. Yes, I said cassette.
I would walk over hot coals for John Cusack. Or Nic Cage. Or Tom Cruse. Don’t judge – those dimples in Cocktail!
I have four tattoos.
I proposed to him.
I LOVE Christmas. No, I totally DO Christmas.
I volunteer my time on five different Committees in town.
I relish French Champagne but happily drink $5 bottles of bubbles as well. As long as its not Asti Spumante. I like my wines dry.
I love hugging. If I meet you for the first time and have a drink with you, chances are I will hug you goodbye.
I am married.
My husband is a Police Officer.
I am more than his wife and I have my own opinions which I struggle to keep to myself. But I’m learning.
33, getting engaged.
Very pregnant bridesmaid to my person, still 34.
(I put this one in just for the breastfeeding BOOB shot, aged 37 😉
41, above and below, this year. Cherishing very special and very rare time time with best friends.
Hi, my name is Lisa. So glad you got to know me for who I am. Pleased to meet you
Do you suffer from who your husband is too??