We went to a fast-food restaurant last week and the girl taking our order says, “I’m assuming you want combos, because he (gesturing to my husband) gets a free combo since he’s a firefighter.” I’m sure I gave her a strange look, then simply said yes, we’d like combos. Correcting a stranger’s assumption often comes across as petty and rude. It’s not something I want to participate in, and certainly not while I’m wearing my department’s name on my shirt.
This has happened on more than one occasion and it’s not just strangers. Initially it was friends at church and family who only see us a once or twice a year. Everyone seems to assume my husband is the firefighter and I just “help out around the station washing dishes and doing paperwork”. Grrr!
Whether you’re a man or a woman, support each other, because we’re all family.
***Update: This has continued to happen on a regular basis. People see the volunteer fire fighter license plate on my vehicle or my shirt and ask when did my husband join the fire department. I’m thick-skinned, but I won’t lie and say it doesn’t annoy me. Mostly I try to explain how female firefighters go through the same training and do the same tasks as the male firefighters. Sometimes it feels like we do more work, because a few of the guys are reluctant to sweep or mop, but that’s a whole different story.
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