I received a couple of thought provoking comments concerning my Cyrsti's Condo post about outing myself when I talk about my military past.
The first came from Paula:
"Yes, it's very easy to out ourselves by accident, I have had to be careful how I refer to much of my past, I now make sure that I was a "child" and a "Chorister" I played "Sport" and yes my wife often become my "partner" or my "ex", I have to make sure that I am a "tradesperson" and a "parent"; sometimes it can get quite tiring."
Connie also added:
"Even mentioning to someone, " After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter" pretty much outs you.
Although I have no actual war stories to tell, there is so much from my past life that I have to think twice about before discussing any of it with others. My wife has been changed to "my partner," and then I must be careful when I mention that we're still together, married now for 47 years. That's something for which I take great pride (though most of the credit goes to her), but I have often had to bite my tongue to keep from sharing that information. Still, I am surprised by the number of people who just assume that I am married to a man, and that I am a mother to my daughters and a grandmother to my grandchildren. I never correct anyone for those assumptions right away, but the further I might go into our past, the more apt I am to have to explain things.
Can I tell you the story of how I won the football game on the last play by ripping the ball from the quarterback's hands and running it back for a touchdown? No, I guess not; that story has not been in my repertoire for years. Oh, welll"
Thanks to both of you for the comments!
As I wrote I judge how much I tell a person on how they are reacting to me. Plus I rarely have the chance to interact with total strangers. At that time, I only mention now I have a partner of eight years and a daughter with three kids.
I don't think it is any of their business that I did meet my first wife in Germany when she was in the Army too and she was the mother of my child.
Then, if I leave out the twenty five year relationship with my second wife, I am caught up with my life. If I am chronically doing it relationship wise.
Again, it goes back to who I am talking to and placing them on a tiered "need to know" basis.
Ironically, if I mention which war I was part of (Vietnam), it does more to out my age than anything else.