What NOT to do the Day Before Your Husband Returns Home From a 7 Month Deployment September 15 2014, 0 Comments

If you're a military wife whose husband is deployed, you probably do what I do and dream about his return the second you see him walking away! I've had this blog post written in my head for 2 months and now I'm ready to share what's surely the most pitiful, and hilarious, thing that has happened to me EVER! I know, how can something be so pitiful and so hilarious at the same time? I want to share this true story and hope that no one else experiences the same beauty mishap!

After 191 days, I was counting down the hours to Jay's return home. By Saturday I had found the perfect Charming Charlie accessories. Check! By Sunday afternoon I had my white, strapless Banana Republic dress starched, ironed, and hanging ready to wear. Check! Even my comfy I-can-chase-my-toddler-and-still-look-cute wedges were waiting by the front door. Check!

Wanting everything to be perfect, I looked in the mirror at my face and realized it was that time again... Time to get rid of every little fuzz on my face using hair removal cream! For the sake of not wanting to put out any bad reviews on another company's brand, I made up my own military-inspired acronym. I'll call this brandless Hair Removal Cream the "HRC."

Throughout the entire deployment, we were lucky enough to have daily Face Time chats with Jay and everyday we would see him and his mustache. If your husband was deployed and grew out his mustache then you know what I'm talking about! Jay can grow a mustache in 2 days that would make Tom Selleck jealous! I looked in the mirror at myself and was shocked! The reflection staring back at me looked like I was competing with Jay and Tom for the Mustache of the Century Award! I quickly rummaged through my basket of toiletries for my HRC, found it, and with urgency, slathered on the HRC. I had a sigh of relief as if those few seconds I saved slathering it on would make a difference in making the Mustache of the Century go away!

Two whole minutes later I washed it off and that's when it began! I had the smoothest upper lip and temples but with stoplight-red irritated skin. Not wanting to panic, I told myself the red map on my face would go away and, if not, I'll put make up over it. I spent the rest of that evening trying to relax and went to bed looking forward to seeing Jay the next morning. 

Relaxing was impossible!

My face felt like it was on fire!!! I woke up from a sleepless night hoping it would be gone and instead it was worse! Nevertheless, I had to find a way to get ready that morning. I quickly got the Finkie Kids dressed and drove to pick Jay up with my foundation-covered, firey, red-mapped, non-mustache smiling face!

Like a lot of deployment homecomings, we stood around waiting for an hour under the sun. Maybe it would've been wise to have brought a hat to protect my sensitive skin... but in the rush and excitement of going to see Dada after 7 months, I didn't bother. Jay arrived and, self-consciously, for the first time in my life I was relieved that I was sweaty! The sweat beads were disguising the foundation-covered rash on my face. 

The car ride home was a little awkward and not because of the reunion, but because I was driving with my face angled away from Jay hoping he wouldn't notice. Then I heard him ask the dreaded question...

"What happened to your upper lip?" 

There was no hiding it from that point on! I confessed all about my recent HRC mishap and revealed the rest hiding under my bangs on my forehead. It was getting worse and worse by the hour as you could watch my face literally melting all the way home! By that point, it felt like a blow torch was being held up to my face!

For the next 3 weeks I had to learn how to balance an ice pack up to my face all day and all night. I even managed to balance ice packs while dealing with Finkie Boy's toddler tantrums! The stubborn rash wouldn't go away and I was starting to accept I'd be this way forever! There are avocados with waaay smoother skin than I had! At one point, the two quarter size red blotches on my temples were starting to grow and spread towards each other to cover my entire forehead! The red map on my face was starting to connect like Pangea... bumpy terrain and ALL! Not to mention I had trouble breathing! It wasn't just any old simple chemical burn. It was a chemical burn with a merciless, full of wrath allergic reaction!

Jay reassuringly said he loves me and tried to make me feel better. His comforting remarks didn't make it go away so we went along and carried on with life. Can you believe I went out in the most crowded public places like that?! To let my face heal, I went out only wearing Neosporin and Cortisone on my face. You can imagine that restaurant dinners were not so flattering with my shiny, Neosporin-covered temples reflecting the candlelight! The mornings were spent with my good friend, Claritin D. At nights, my other friend, Benadryl, was there to rescue! 

I tried not to let my HRC beauty mishap get in the way of anything so we managed to do the Sacramento Parent magazine interview and photo session in the middle of the entire ordeal. By the time we were halfway through our weekend-in-Las-Vegas-sans-kids date, it was starting to go away. Two amazing prescriptions from my Dr. Mom is what finally made it go away for good!

In the excitement of getting ready for your husband to return home from a deployment, just remember not to try so hard like I did. Your husband will love you and think you're beautiful no matter what! I hope my pitiful, yet hilarous, story saves even one overly excited military wife from this atrocious self-inflicted experience. After being one of those I-don't-go-anywhere-without-makeup girls, I now wear less makeup and appreciate my skin without anything on it. Be careful what you use the day before your husband returns home. I had been using this HRC for years and didn't realize a chemical burn and allergic reaction could happen out of the blue! I realize now that I had been making mountains out of molehills. I think I'll resort to plucking the 5 little strands of upper lip hair that, in my mind, was the Mustache of the Century!