Many troops eventually stop going home for the holidays. Why you might ask? Usually it is because they deem it not worth the effort after meeting these 5 types of people.
- Can’t wait to see you (doesn’t try)
Tons of friends, family, and romantic interests will say they are so excited to see you, but will conveniently find excuses when the time comes. This is especially vexing when you spent a ton of money on a ticket, and traveled hundreds (or thousands) of miles to come home, and they can’t seem to drive 20 minutes to meet you. Having to watch old friendships fade away is one of the sacrifices you’ll make that recruiters don’t tell you about.
- The trophy holder
This typically is the family member that wants to show you off like a prized goose. They want you to wear your uniform on every trip and errand so they can brag about how proud they are. This might seem innocent enough, until it becomes performative. Eventually, it will seem like they are fishing for compliments of “how hard it must be for them for you to be away.” You’ll eventually explode when asked to don your dress uniform once more, because you are on leave and “don’t want to shave or wear that damn thing when I’m hung over!”
- The rival
This might be an old friend or enemy from your youth. They will try to take every opportunity to passive aggressively insult you to soothe their own insecurities. They will brag about their accomplishments or minimize yours. Example: “Someone mentioned you have a spot for Ranger course? I heard the French Foreign Legion training was waaaay harder.”
- The old flame
Whether this is an old crush, or the one that got away, there will always be that awkward pull when you’re in the same bar. Much like drinking cheap vodka, it may seem like a good decision to entertain conversation with them. However, the emotional hangover will remind you why things never worked out in the first place. Don’t worry, you’ll find out the person they ended up dating was a loser, and you dodged a bullet.
- The big talker
This might be the most annoying one of them all. They swear up and down they are gonna do something huge with their life. They might join the military, or travel the world, or make their fortune with a new ploy. In the meantime, they would really appreciate borrowing $20. (Don’t worry, they’ll pay you back) The most frustrating aspect of this type of person is they take advantage of the soft spot you have for them, and you want to see the potential for them to live up to the lofty goals they preach about. Unfortunately, actions rarely match promises and year after year they never deliver.
At some point, I noticed only a handful of people ever actually came out to see me. I was always the one putting in the effort. So, I started planning holidays at fun destinations, and the people who cared about me the most came out to enjoy the experience. Certainly made for a much better experience than spending $800 on a ticket to go home just to be disappointed by the 5 types of people above.