I’m sure, if anyone cares to read this, I’ll be asked “why did you name your blog something so negative?”. Well, there are a myriad of reasons for this and it’s not because it’s meant to be a negative.
For one thing, I’m a Navy Sailor. I take that seriously. I’m also disabled and medically retired so while navigating the endless and often frustrating medical system that is Big Navy and the Veterans Administration, I’ve gotten quite a bit cynical, but I try to approach it with a sense of humor.
The term “salty” is also an honorific applied to Sailors in the Navy who have been in/at sea so long they’ve become angry and embittered towards everyone but are respected. They’ve seen some shit and they aren’t afraid to tell you their opinion. Think of the grandfather/man in “Gran Tarino” – that’s what your average “salty Master Chief” is like. I wasn’t in for more than 5 years and I never actually set foot on a ship. I won’t say I’m a “salty Sailor” since I didn’t really earn the title despite having “seen some shit” and not being afraid to openly voice my opinion on any subject at any given time, solicited or no; I still don’t think I “earned” the right to call myself a Salty Dog in the Naval nomenclature.
My rate (job) was more the land variety for force protection/law enforcement and most of our concentrated force was shore duty. I didn’t go into the Navy intending to not serve on a ship – it was just how things played out. If you’ve ever met a detailer, I’m sure you understand that very little is in your control on where you go.
Salty is also meant to refer to someone who is angry all the time. I do get angry quite often but I’ve learned, for my own health and welfare and those around me, to keep it to a bare minimum. I’ve also learned a great deal of patience and calm from being a mother, believe it or not. So while I will get “salty” about some things, it won’t be without a purpose or reason and it won’t be without some sort of goal/solution in mind. Yeah, it’s cool to get angry but at least make it proactive.
I’ve also seen a lot of people refer to themselves as “salty” because they live by the beach. I do live near a beach (in the frozen arctic but whatever) but no, I don’t use the term for that either as it applies to me. My house has a garage but I don’t ever refer to myself as “oily” because my car runs on it…or gassy. And there, folks, I have totally maxed out my knowledge of automobiles; go to Car Talk if you want to know about automatic suspensions (which I’m not sure is actually a thing).
“Salty” mainly, for me anyway, is just how I am. I’m cynical and dry but I’m hopeful. I’m like a trail mix – salty and sweet and chock full of nuttiness. I also curse – a LOT. I think that’s a huge TRUE stereotype of the Navy – that we all curse a lot – but I’ve been cursing fluently since the 4th grade (Sorry, Mrs. Seelbach). I’ll try to, for the sake of good writing, keep the curses to a minimum but I’m sure the F word will make an appearance because sometimes it’s a useful word.
And that, ladies and gents, is why I am the, or at least “a”, Salty Momma.