An Outreach Program of MarineParents.com
Today, I was thinking about "tidiness of thought."
I had a silly exchange with a MFN moderator about where things "belonged" on this site, and mentioned that, while I was obsessive about conceptual organization - I hate topics mis-filed, half-assed explanations, sloppy thinking -- I am not much bothered by a messy house, unless it becomes extreme. My husband has been known to comment that I lied to him before we married, insisting I claimed to be neat. I carefully explain that I would have never said that -- I am very CLEAN (I hate a dirty bathroom), but I am quite clear that I am generally not very NEAT. Two very different concepts. He, however, is very neat, so I imagine he translated what I said into something that made sense to him, and is now quite sure I said, "Neat." Ah well, women/Venus, Men/Mars, and all that jazz.
As I was mulling over the difference between internal and external neatness, or tidiness of mind versus tidiness of environment -- yes, I am also easily distracted by a stray thought that has interesting angles...oh, look, there's a bunny! -- I couldn't help clicking on "Add a Blog." Then I realized this conceptual riff didn't have a whole lot to do with Marines, Marine parents, or the issues we struggle with daily. But, as I typed the Post Title " You Can Walk on By This One -- Nothing to Do with the Marine Corps --" I thought, "Well, maybe it does."
When you're somebody like me, and you are uncomfortable with illogic, it makes it hard to cope with Marine logic which often sounds SO illogical -- why get everyone up at o'dark thirty to prepare for an inspection that may or may not happen, then expect them to continue to sit until well past the time it's obvious that the inspection is not going to happen? My son says, "Because they can, mom." I hate that answer, because it's just so . . . so . . . illogical! There are supposed to be reasons for things.
When you are somebody like me, and you need to have a plan and an objective, Semper Gumby is not your friend. How the heck CAN'T they know what the leave dates are going to be -- they have to move hundreds of guys and thousands of pounds of gear -- you don't just suddenly decide that today's the day when you have that many moving parts . . . do you?
When you are somebody like me, who likes reason and order and efficiency of effort, the glaring failures of organizational leadership, irrational decisions, poor use of resources are like a constant drip of water on the rock that is my brain, which flinches every time another drop of insanity hits it.
So...because that constant dripping wears me down, and winds me up, and distracts me from what I'm supposed to be doing (maybe I'll tidy up my desk, hmmm?), I've tried to find the order and logic in the "Marine Way." If I can find a logical construct that makes all these Marine actions and decisions make sense -- even if I don't really believe it, or like it -- my brain can settle down.
So here's my take on Marine logic, for what it's worth.
- Marines are focused on the mission.
- Marines are assets to be deployed in support of that mission and, therefore, will be assigned, held, and dispersed at the convenience of the Corps for the good of the mission.
- Any extraneous civilian expectations of the mission are irrelevant.
"Needs of the Corps" probably explains it all with the fewest possible words. It's a very lean logical construct, with not much to it. But I guess it doesn't need much. Once you identify "mission," "asset" and, loosely quoted, "None of your damn business, civilian," it all makes sense.
Oh, good, now I can relax. I still don't like it. But at least it makes sense.