My husband spent some time in the military quite a few years ago.
One summer he had orders to work across the country at the mortuary.
Back when we were still at war.
He was there for several months.
I was at home with three very small kids.
Our 8-month-old just had surgery in her mouth that summer, so I spent a good month sleeping in a recliner with her so she could sleep.
I was exhausted.
And when we were awake, I spent the majority of the time trying to keep her from putting anything inside her mouth so she didn’t rip the stitches out or damage what was healing.
Easier said than done.
Way easier said than done!
Trying to feed her with a regular cup, as it all dribbled down her chin onto her neck.
And she cried because she was hungry and I wasn’t getting food inside her fast enough.
Feeding her, but not letting the spoon inside her mouth when she ate.
Plus I had my older two boys.
Who missed Daddy.
Now I’ve set the scene for you…
Not the most exciting summer for either of us.
On the days my husband did not have bodies to process at the morgue, he went to the beach.
So here I am at home pale as a ghost for the summer.
Not a whole lot of time for a tan.
Too busy chasing around three tiny humans.
Don’t get me wrong, his work was awful!
He saw things I know were unimaginable.
I would have never been able to do what he did.
I respect what he did in all ways possible.
It is amazing the work that they do to honor fallen soldiers!
But he did get to go to the beach.
And I didn’t.
I looked in the mirror at my pale, pasty self and thought.
“Self, you are pale and pasty.”
“Your husband is super tan.”
I mean, since he got to go to the beach.
That means he got time off.
I didn’t get time off.
This whole time.
And here I am.
All by myself.
I want a tan.
So the time came for him to come home.
I was so excited!
The kids were excited!
We were pumped!
I don’t want to look all pale and pasty next to him!
It’s funny how self-focused we can be at times.
I am actually ashamed of admitting that I was jealous.
And even threw a bit of a pity party for myself.
I mean, truly.
He had it way worse than me.
The things he had to deal with and the horrific things he had to see while working in the morgue were so insanely awful.
I cannot even begin to imagine the strength needed to deal with that.
I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
I wouldn’t have been able to trade places with him ever.
But there is something about selfishness that makes you not able to see how hard other people’s situations are.
When selfishness and jealousy take over, all you see is your own perspective.
All you see is yourself.
Then I got an idea.
Such an awful idea!
Bad, bad, horrible idea!
Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Ross gets a spray tan?
That episode where he gets sprayed multiple times with the fake-tan machine and ends up a horrible orange/brown and everyone makes fun of him.
That was me.
I made quite the impression when my husband got home.
Quite the impression.
What in the world was I thinking?
In my jealousy and pride I ended up making myself look like an Oompa Loompa.
Yep. An Oompa Loompa.
Welcome home, babe!
Welcome home to your jealous Oopma Loompa!