Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Fiasco

Here is some advice for all you starry-eyed young lovers planning the wedding of your dreams: If you want your hair to shine like the sun on your wedding day, and if you want to spend ample one-on-one time with the people you love in the days leading up to your wedding, then you should make sure your fiance gets lice right before your wedding.

Because here is what will happen if your fiance gets lice before your wedding (trust me, kids; I speak from experience):

You will fly into lice prevention mode, because you and your fiance are prone to snuggle, and snuggling is the perfect time for lice transfer. Lice prevention mode requires working around the clock to bag and clean every item you own, washing your hair with tea tree oil daily, and applying mayonnaise to your head every night in order to suffocate potential lice while you sleep. The daily application of mayonnaise will hydrate your hair beyond your wildest hair dreams, ensuring it gleams in the light of your afternoon wedding.

You will also need some generous, kind-hearted soul (e.g., your roommate, mom, or sister-in-law) to spend hours combing through your hair everyday on a thorough lice hunt, which will allow ample time to have uninterrupted conversations about things you'd never normally have time to talk about the week before your wedding.

You guys. Remember these photos?

They are glorious and romantic, and they tell beautiful stories. There is one story they do not tell, however. They do not describe the nausea I felt when, two days later, I went to cut Jay's hair and found a louse chilling on top of his head. They do not describe the panic I felt when I thought about having lice on my wedding day and on my honeymoon. And they do not describe the mania with which I bagged every single item I owned until the wee hours of the morning that first night.


I'm sorry for yelling at you. Sometimes, when you are remembering lice trauma, it feels good to yell. I will stop now. 

This fiasco is most certainly a metaphor. Someone's life may seem glorious and sunsetty and full of all the best things, but there is always lice lurking somewhere, unseen. There is always something contaminating the happily ever after.

Positivity is obviously one of my strong suits.

Here is how this whole thing went down:

Jay went to camp with some of his foster kids a few weeks before our wedding. He's gone to camp many times before without getting lice, but for some reason, I had an uneasy feeling about this particular camp. "I hope you don't get lice..." I mused, just before he left. "I'll be fine! Don't worry!" he replied, with his typical sunshiny optimism.

I couldn't shake the feeling that he was in danger of lice, though, so I went ahead and bought tea tree oil and lice combs while he was at camp. Then I checked his head for a week after camp and didn't find anything.

Phew! We're safe!

I resumed snuggling without the creeping suspicion that I was making myself suseptible to lice.

And then WHAM! BAM! A louse appeared.

Most people who knew about the lice did not think it was that big of a deal. But it was a big ol' deal to me. Lice has always been a big deal to me, ever since the parasite unit Mrs. Payne made us endure in 8th grade. That unit jolted me out of my magical childhood into the world of blood-sucking creepy crawlies, and I am sorry to admit that I developed my one and only phobia that year: lice-a-phobia.

There is no time to face a phobia like the days leading up to your wedding.

And actually, I mean that. If you are going to spend your life with a man who works with kids, then you need to overcome that lice phobia. It turns out, the best way to overcome a lice phobia is through exposure to lice. I am so ready for my life with Jay and his kiddos now, you guys.

There are three things you need to know before I wrap this up: 1) Jay was the only one who got lice at camp. 2) He's never gotten lice in his life before. 3) Satan knows I have a lice phobia. This is an assumption, of course, but I think it's a reasonable one. Satan and his minions are very familiar with our weak spots and want to exploit them.

So I wonder if the lice was Satan's attempt at stealing my joy during a particularly joyous season. If it was, then I am in awe of so many things:

The Holy Spirit gave me such a strong sense that Jay would get lice that I was was prepared to fly into action mode when we found it. God helped us find the lice before it got bad, and we were able to eradicate it before the wedding. Thankfully, nobody got lice from Jay (boy, did God protect us!). And glory of glories: God used that lice fiasco for so much good.

There is this girl on Instagram whose life is so beautiful. She is beautiful, everyone in her family is beautiful, her house is beautiful, her clothes are beautiful, and sometimes there is so much beauty it hurts. I have struggled with envying her. But now, every time I see a beautiful, envy-inducing photo, I try to remember: they could have lice. It could be real lice, or metaphorical lice, but the reality is everyone is fighting some sort of battle, no matter how beautiful the season.

It's a mantra I tell myself when social media stirs up envy: everyone is fighting some sort of battle.

Praying for people's unseen battles is so much more productive than envying their golden moments, so that's what I try to do these days. It's a new practice, born out of the lice fiasco; and it's changing my life.  

And although I'm still rather opposed to lice, God has whittled away enough of my phobia that I've sometimes wondered if the lice were his idea to begin with. I love that about God: he is so good at using bad things for good that sometimes it's hard to tell if the bad thing came from Satan or was part of God's life curriculum for us.

I'm thankful for that reminder right before my wedding: come lice or significant loss, God is always transfiguring the hard stuff into good stuff.

I love that about Him.

A very merry Thursday to you, my friends.

I'm cheering for ya, Home Skillets.


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© by scj


  1. I'm going to put mayonnaise to my hair just because it sound so good. Is that really helps your hair. ;) ???

    1. It really does! All of us on lice patrol had such shiny hair from all the mayonnaise!!!