A funny thing happened to me yesterday. In the first fifteen minutes of my Monday morning at the office, three different people stopped me to tell me how “nice” I looked. Three! Not usually one to look a gift horse in the mouth, it wasn’t until my boss said, “Well aren’t you all dolled up today?” that it dawned on me how ridiculous their compliments were. Why? Well….I’ll tell you.
Yesterday, I wore jeans and flip flops to work. Sure, I wore a blouse instead of a t-shirt, and a necklace instead of The Hubs’ dog tags. Yes, I actually took an extra ten minutes to straighten and style my hair before I left the house, and at various red lights on my morning commute, I even found the time to apply a little bit of makeup. But that was it. That was the extent of my dolled-up–ness. And still, it was enough of a difference for everyone to take notice. So I had to wonder….do I really look that to’ up from the flo’ up on a regular basis? The answer, sadly, is yes. But I have a good excuse!
Even when The Hubs is stateside, he’s still over a thousand miles away nine plus months out of the year. And when he’s gone…well…quite honestly…I don’t really care what I look like. I don’t bother to keep my hair colored or my nails manicured or my toes perfectly polished. I stay up late talking to my husband on the phone most nights, so in the mornings, that extra hour of sleep feels much more important than styling my hair or putting on makeup. And since I’m not bothering with those things, why bother with cute clothes when a t-shirt and jeans complete my IDGAF look so much better?
Yesterday I got to thinking….if I was the betting kind, I’d bet I’ve saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on health and beauty products over the past couple of years. Because my usage of things like makeup, perfume, expensive lotion, nail polish, hairspray, and—okay, I’ll just say it…razors—has probably gone down at least 75% since I began my long distance relationship with my soldier.
I recently read a fantastic book called You Know When The Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon (seriously, it’s great….check it out) about the impact a brigade’s deployment has on the entire Fort Hood community. I’m thinking about writing a spin-off novel, You Know When The Man Is Home. Jenn’s wearing mascara? Her husband must be home! Her hair’s curled and her socks match? Oh, that definitely means her husband is home!
So why was I “all dressed up” yesterday in my fancy jeans and dressy flip-flops? Sadly, not because my husband is home. He’s actually out in the field for the week. But he did say that he wished he could see my smiling face before he left for a week of soldiery fun. And I did have the ability to grant him that wish. Thank God for camera phones, right? So I figured, if I had to send him his goodbye kiss via picture message, the least I could do was break the makeup bag out of retirement…even if only for a two second photo session. Because, just like my Cover Girl lipstick, my soldier’s “worth it.”