d.a.r. brought up an interesting issue in a comment that I'd like to clarify a bit here:
Maybe I am coming from a different background because of the special ops thing. But I know that there is a small group of guys that Ranger Man works with regularly, I know they know who I am- and therefore the wives at least have access to the knowledge that I'm not a flavor of the week. I don't expect to be acknowledged by the wives of guys in a different battalion, or by his officers' wives (he's an NCO), but I do expect that if we are at an event with a close-knit group of guys, that I will not be treated like the stripper he picked up the night before.
ESPECIALLY if, as in d.a.r.'s experience, they've seen me multiple times. We just got to here to this post, and Ranger Man just left, so I've not had this same experience. But as far as I'm concerned, if a girlfriend is making the effort to go to FRG meetings and show up at events, consistently, then 'real' spouses have no excuse to delineate between the themselves and the girlfriend. At that point, it is OBVIOUS that she's not the stripper/hooker/whatever flavor of the month and they should treat her according to the effort you put forth and the showing she makes of herself in the same lifestyle they are leading. Period.
I understand that the Army doesn't care if I exist or not, but if I am on an NOK list and I am showing up to FRG events consistently, 'real' spouses are only playing elitist if they choose not to recognize my status. period.
I would say that, to some extent, although probably not as much- this should be true of online communities as well. Isn't it interesting that it does seem that experience shows it is easier to be accepted (somewhat, in sort of a junior member status) into online spouse support forums, etc as a girlfriend when, in reality, if the transience of the situation is going to show up in a drastic way at all it's going to show up online where there's much less effort that goes into typing a forum post. I'm talking as opposed to actually showing up to an FRG event. I mean, I assume... seeing as how I've never been able to even get an invite to an event so I could be off base.
Again, I'd like to mention that I've not had these experiences (real, organized FRG experiences). Thankfully. Then again, I know nothing about my FRG here. ha. (bitter and cynical much? yes.)
Wait, wait... I do have something. I was invited to hang out with one couple. By the soldier. His wife never talked to me. We spent several hours together and the wife never talked to me, but the husband made sure to invite me to hang out with them while Ranger Man is gone, both to me in person and to Ranger Man himself again several days later.
So I think that poses an interesting question. Personally, I would never think of accepting an invitation (especially such an open one) made by the servicemember-husband, when there was no such welcome by the spouse. Maybe even if there was a welcome from the spouse, it just feels weird calling the dude and saying "hey, I know you said I could come over if I got too stir-crazy, can I take you up on that offer?" And then what would I say to the wife when I got there, "Um, I know that we didn't talk at all the other day but your husband said I could come hang out with you. I hope that's okay." right. that doesn't feel comfortable to me. Is that me overreacting?? Is that even normal to have such one-sided invitations?