I harbor the fantasy that I will always look like the fresh-faced girl in the polka-dot dress that my husband remembers waving goodbye to, but real life just doesn’t accommodate that desire and I’ve been shocked to see my own reflection staring back at me.
What’s worse is that it’s brutally unfair because our warriors are supposed to look gristly and rough around the edges, and tired and dusty and fatigued. Regretfully, most of the times my husband Skyped into my life during deployment I looked like 'Liza Doolittle. Before the makeover. Admittedly, there were times I saw my own image and considered not answering. And then I got over myself.
If involuntarily tagged Facebook photos are the anathema of social media warfare, unexpected Skype calls between lovers are the modern military equivalent.
I started thinking about how I could relate this insane vanity phenomenon to our non milspouse counterparts in an effort to bridge the military-civilian divide, and I found the perfect enigma. Milspouses, meet Dr. Facetime Facelift! That’s right, there’s actually a plastic surgeon out there preying on the iDevice women of our country, performing facelifts for the poor saps who are so appalled to discover what they look like on their phone video screens that they are willing to go under the knife for the sake of pixelated perfection.
If only we had been able to impart the lessons we have learned from our “any time day or night” Skype experiences, we could have saved these poor women millions of dollars and endless hours of surgical recovery by now!
So I’m doing my part in the fight against unwarranted surgeries by passing along my best tips for a painless, free military spouse "plastic surgery" procedure that is guaranteed to take years off your face, the sag out of your boobs, the roots out of your dye job, and the bloodshot out of your eyes. Plus, I'm pretty sure TRICARE doesn't cover video facelifts. So that’s right, I’m here to talk about “Skypoplasti.”
Just follow these four simple rules for an instant virtual makeover.
Rule #1: Low resolution is your friend. Don’t be fooled by complaints that the picture quality you are emitting is poor. The more fuzzy, the less visable the wrinkles. Save your money and go with the teeny tiny camera already embedded in that $200 netbook. Just feign that you are using the highest resolution camera available (true, since it’s all you have in your house), and indicate that the connection must be poor on the receiver’s end. Period.
Rule #2: If you already have a high resolution webcam, simply blast a glaring light on your face. It will make the reflection so bright that the autofocus feature on the webcam will be eternally confused. I’m talking about a big fat lamp with a bare bulb shining on you like the beacon of the patron saint of cosmetic surgery. You *may* become temporarily blind looking directly into a 60 watt lightbulb, but come on. I mean it’s not like it’s the sun. Think of it as instant luminary foundation. Of course, you’ll just have to trust me on that since you won’t be able to see anything.
Rule #3: The desk doubles nicely as a portable bra, no matter what you’re doing when the call comes in or how many kids you’ve had. Just plop-prop your boobs right up there on the desk ledge and adjust the camera accordingly wherever you’d like to be “cropped.” Nobody needs (or wants) to know you were just weeding the yard with the girls hanging free. I guess I should really rearrange these rules. I advise you to do this before embarking upon the steps outlined in Rule #2. Otherwise it could become an inadvertent and unwanted breast augmentation procedure.
Rule #4: Have good perspective. No, I’m not talking about the fact that beauty is only skin deep. Everyone knows that’s just something your mother says to make you feel better. What I mean is you need to hoist that webcam way up high so that it looks down on you mercifully, warping your body into a tiny stick, bloating your head into a huge bauble, and wiping your double chin completely out of existence.
There. It’s fast, painless, free, and accessible. Of course, you could just decide that your smile is the one thing he really wants to see and feel fabulous about it. Or you could be so enthralled to see his eyes and the familiar curve of his neck that you never even notice what you look like because you’re staring at his image and listening to every word drop from his lips. Or you could close your eyes altogether and listen to the softness in his voice when he leans in close to the camera and says “I miss you, baby. It’s so good to see you.”
So yeah, okay, Skypoplasti it is. You’re welcome.
Lori Volkman writes for SpouseBUZZ and at Witty Little Secret. Her husband is now a Navy Reservist after returning from a recent deployment, and she works as a prosecutor in the Pacific Northwest while raising her two children and wading the murky waters of reintegration.