Step One–Check!

Step one in the “return of the sailor” preparations is complete.

My hair is healthy thanks to a skillfully executed trim. It’s soft and shiny thanks to the super duper conditioning treatment I splurged on. It’s resplendent with natural-looking highlights that tell the world I’ve been lounging on a Maltese beach rather than slaving in a British Columbia rain forest.

The stylist responsible for my new do is a genius, an artist, a miracle-worker!

In addition to being all of the above, she’s also nice. She brewed a pot of soothing herb tea specially for me, brought me a stack of magazines and didn’t seem offended when I flicked through them instead of making small talk.

She massaged my hands, my scalp and my ego when she mentioned how silky my hair felt.

In short, she’s the pinnacle of salon perfection, but I won’t be able to see her for much longer.

She’s not my real stylist. She’s just the one I switched to while mine is on maternity leave.

I have moments of bliss because I’ve finally found a stylist who “gets” my hair, but then I realize how awkward it will be if I don’t go back to my regular one when she returns and I remember how much I hate any kind of confrontation.

I better take a few more pictures of my hair because it’s never going to look this good again.

Let the Games Begin

Now that we know my sailor will be home for the holidays, arrangements must be made.

The emails are flying fast and furious and I’ve been online for ages organizing and planning. I can’t remember when dealing with endless details was this satisfying.

We’ll be spending Christmas in our hometown. As numerous family members are coming from out of province and one group has already claimed the only guest bedroom, we’ll stay in a hotel. (Reservations: check!)

Because there will be so many of us, we decided to go out for Christmas dinner rather than attempt to feed such a big crowd in my mother-in-law’s tiny, cottage-like home. (Found: a beautiful heritage inn in our sleepy little town open for Christmas dinner. Reservations: check!)

I don’t want my sailor, tanned and fit from his time in warmer climates, to be the pretty one. I need to get myself a healthy, sun-kissed glow. (One pre-Christmas hair appointment to have my mousey highlights perked up: check!) I’d hate to frighten Santa if I catch him sneaking down the chimney on Christmas Eve so a hair appointment on Christmas Eve morning is also in order. (Second hair appointment: check!)

Best of all–some romantic alone time with my sailor (finally!) My sailor and I have a lovely post-Christmas tradition. We get a room downtown and go out for dinner for an extended date night. I wasn’t sure if he’d want to bother this year because our holidays will be so jam packed with extended family, but he specifically asked me to set up our little stay-cation. (Reservations and a big cheeky grin: check!)

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Santa got my letter and he’s delivering big time!

My sailor will be home for Christmas! The deployment was initially planned to last until Easter, but things are scaling back in Afghanistan more quickly than originally planned.

My sailor knows when he’s leaving, but can’t tell me for security reasons. (I know–it’s like being married to James Bond except he doesn’t drink martinis or have a sexy English accent!)

He has to make a stop in Cyprus for some fun in the sun before coming back to Canada.

Actually, he’ll be working there.

In a hold-over from when our troops were involved in combat missions, returning service people must go through several days of post-deployment counselling sessions in Cyprus before being returned to their loved ones. My sailor has just been sitting behind a desk, but he still needs to attend the sessions.

I had the opportunity to attend “get used to having your husband around again” training in Victoria. I considered it until I watched a video link of one of the sessions. The social worker addressed the concern many wives apparently have that their husband was unfaithful while away. (Maybe I’m naive and overly trusting, but it never crossed my mind until they brought it up.) The official scoop on infidelity is that it’s “probably unlikely” that there was any hanky panky going on in theatre. Well, that’s certainly reassuring!

I decided to skip the training after that. I don’t need anyone, however well-meaning, telling me about all the things I should have been worrying about, but wasn’t.