Mary's Metamorphosis


Friends,

Hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Expect more updates than usual because I'm en route to R&R leave. Didn't realize how much I needed to go on leave.

Mary’s metamorphosis

We are all familiar with the saying “when hell freezes over” right? Well folks, I can tell you with 100% certainty – Hell has officially frozen over. Yep, it’s basically an iceberg. And how do I know that, you ask? Well, Sister Mary Danger, aka Betty Badass, had a complete make-over. I know, don’t crap yourself! We were all amazed. Here’s the deal….

Callie (she hates it when we call her that) is a tomboy through and through. She smokes like a chimney, swears like a sailor, is better at sports than any of the guys, and radiates the tough girl persona like nobody’s business. She told us that at her high school graduation she wore flip-flops, basketball short s and a wife beater under her gown. That doesn’t surprise me at all. Danger had never worn make up before in her life, until the other day…

I don’t know how we got her to put on the war paint, get her “hair-did”, shellac the nails and put on clean clothes, but she did. Ya see, Lola is a recent addition to our larger group and Mary’s roommate. Layla is a total tough chick as well, but a girly one at that. Layla has started hanging out with us more often – going to chow, hanging in our office, watching the occasional movie, etc. Layla said she wanted to do a make over on Danger – to which she vehemently objected. Of course she was going to do that, no one could imagine our Danger in make up, but it happened.

So what did it take? I don’t know what finally triggered it. Maybe it was because I’m going on R&R and she wanted to do it before I departed. Maybe it was because she’s made a vow to herself to quit smoking by July 1st and INSISTED she’d need to smoke a carton of cigarettes to get through the process. Who knows? Mary made me promise to get her a beer – not liquor, only beer. She wanted a six-pack before agreeing to the “girls day in.” I said I would tap into my sources, fully expecting her to say NO! (BTW, I have no connections on base to get beer, nor would I promote such debauchery – it’s against the rules remember? wink wink) So, Danger thinks I’ll score her a brewski or two. She insisted no pictures or video (God, I’m a bastard! Not only am I not going to get her beer, I snapped a photo album full of shots – I felt like a Japanese tourist in Times Square). The first pic provoked the best reaction – she leapt toward me, yelling, hands outstretched frantically reaching for my camera. I just ran away laughing – I know, what a bastard. It was hilarious; this is how it began…..

Layla insisted Mary get up early, like 5am, to take a shower, dry her hair and get ready. Danger responded with her usual retort, “Fuck that!” a phrase which comes out of her mouth more often than “Excuse me” and “Thank you” combined. They eventually settled on an 10am start time (it was Sunday after all). Danger left the office and the process began. She showered then returned to her room where Layla did her magic. And magic it was….

When they finally showed up at the office about 1.5 hrs later, Sister Mary was already more feisty and fussy than ever. Lola hadn’t let her see a mirror – or Mary didn’t want to, I don’t know which was the case. But Layla opened the office door and made us turn around. Not only were we eager to see the outcome, we were starving and really wanted to eat. Woody cared more about food and himself than anything else right then and was yelling at them to hurry up. What happened next was nearly indescribable.

In walks this complete stranger – in sunglasses of course. Layla had straightened Mary’s hair and pulled a bit of it back, it looked great. Danger had changed into clean, unstained, unripped, clothes and had tucked in her shirt (I didn’t know she had any). Layla had painted Mary’s nails an interesting color of purple/lilac. But the best part was the makeup. We could see the war paint even with the glasses on, but when Danger finally took off the sunglasses after much cajoling, I was speechless. Our caterpillar had turned into a butterfly, or at least a moth. No kidding….

Layla is a genius – the Frieda Kahlo of her generation, and I said so. I would have said Picasso or Dali but that’d be mean, and anyway I don’t think Sister Mary would get it. Hell, she didn’t get the Kahlo reference either but at least it’s a woman. Danger’s eyes looked smoky hot, with just enough makeup to highlight and deepen them. Stunning! All together, she was a knockout. I couldn’t wait to see guys’ reactions at lunch. But suddenly Danger lost her appetite and didn’t want to go. Go figure. It didn’t help much when Woody joyously exclaimed “OH MY GOD! YOU LOOK LIKE A GIRL!” as the glasses came off. Mary chased him around the room throwing as many punches as she could and landing a few. Those two fight like siblings sometimes, it’s funny to watch.

Well, we convinced her to go to lunch with us. It was great. Sooooooo many guys gave a double take – some outright gawked at her, it was precious and Danger was miserable! That was the best part – not the fact that she was “Going against her morals!” as she loudly and often proclaimed, but the fact she was absolutely miserable sitting there with all the dudes checking her out. I kinda think she secretly liked the attention, but she’d never admit to that. I got a few more pix there, and a lot of cuss words from her.

Later, Mary changed into her normal clothes: a t-shirt, basketball shorts and boots, and sat in the office. Now that was a juxtaposition from heaven. She was all dolled up but in trailer park garb. I loved it. She’ll probably never do it again, but why should she? I’ve got all the evidence I need that it happened once – I love blackmail.

Life on FOB Salerno Afghanistan


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