To all the servicemen and women who have fought to keep our country free and the stars and stripes flying proudly from sea to shining sea….
….I salute you.
I salute your sacrifice and your valor and your overwhelming courage in the face of grave danger and almost insurmountable odds.
You are what makes this country great.
And I reserve a little piece of my heart for all those you leave behind. The ones who wait patiently for your return. So to celebrate Memorial Day, I’m sharing this story again about the perfect pose…..
….and the sailor who almost missed it. 🙂
A long time ago in a land far away….I fell in love with a sailor.
I’m not really sure what I expected, but I thought that being married to a sailor would be just like in the movies.
Didn’t you see all those movies where the sailors and their wives always meet at the club on base and drive around in convertibles and have parties with amazing hors d’oeuvres and the wives bake cookies together wearing glittered headbands and wait for their husbands to come home from a weekend trip on the ship.
I found out being married to a sailor was kind of like that.
Except we didn’t really bake cookies or wear headbands. And we ate pizza at our parties and met at McDonald’s for burgers and fries because we couldn’t afford the club. And my husband didn’t just leave for the weekend…..
…..he went out to sea for seven months.
I remember when he first told me he had to leave for seven long eternal months, I explained patiently that he must not have heard it right. He must be mistaken. I told him in all the sailor movies I’d ever seen, no one ever went out to sea on a ship for seven months.
And he smiled and kissed me and told me I would be alright and two weeks later he was gone.
At first I cried.
Then I got mad and I promptly parked myself on the couch for days on end and ate brownie sundaes and watched old episodes of 90210. And somewhere between Brandon and Brenda arriving at the new high school and Kelly and Steve breaking up and getting back together again…..
….I got inspired.
Over the next seven months……I had my hair highlighted and went to the salon for the most beautiful pointed red acrylic nails you have ever seen and had my eyebrows waxed and stopped eating brownie sundaes and started running and went on a diet….
….and lost 40 pounds.
I looked amazing.
Just like in the movies.
And before I knew it my husband was on his way home. Excitedly, my amazing new self and I planned the most incredible meet-your-husband-when-he-arrives-home-after-you’ve-lost-40-pounds outfit.
It was purple.
This wonderful rich shade of purple and it was cut to down to here and cut up to there with matching 4-inch purple heels. And I practiced wearing my new outfit in front of the mirror….until I had the perfect pose. If I held my stomach in just so and put my hand on my hip and turned slightly to the right with my legs crossed and I kind of made this fish face to make my cheekbones stick out….
….I totally looked even skinnier.
The day I was to meet him finally arrived. I was there an hour and a half early and I found the perfect place to stand in all my purple dress glory. The sailors began to arrive and as they walked off one by one, I searched the crowd for his face.
Suddenly, I saw him. There he was.
I almost couldn’t breathe…..as I steadfastly held my pose.
Willing him to look at me.
Willing him to be amazed.
Closer and closer he came. Walking toward me briskly lugging a giant backpack in a crisp white uniform and shiny black shoes. Valiently, I held on to my pose for dear life. Slowly his eyes scanned the crowd, searching patiently for me and just as I was sure he was about to sweep me into his arms….
….he walked right past where I stood.
He didn’t even recognize me in all my purple glory.
Until I said his name. And hopped around and finally broke my perfect pose to run right where I had dreamed of for seven long self-improving months…..
…..right into his arms.
PS I wish I had a picture of that purple dress to show you…..
…..but from this picture you can get the whole….”miss your husband….can’t wait to see him” idea.