The last week has been a whirlwind—literally. I picked my son up from school on Wednesday (two Wednesdays ago to be clear) knowing that was his last day for the foreseeable future, and it’s been non-stop ever since. The latter part of last week involved putting up the shutters ourselves after being stood up by three “professionals,” waiting for the storm to arrive, watching it through our impact-resistant windows on the front of our house, and then dealing with the aftermath. We were very, very fortunate, and it was basically a messy inconvenience—but we were without power for four days. FOUR DAYS. (Again, we were very lucky, it could have been a lot worse and my heart goes out to those who sustained serious damage or are still without power).
Yes, we are also fortunate enough to have amazing friends with generators (or power) so our son didn’t have to sweat it out, but my husband and I were here, with the dog, perspiring in places that I never thought imaginable. And then our house started to smell. (I identified the source as towels in the laundry room.) One more day and it wouldn't have been inhabitable. As luck would have it, our power came back on at 2 a.m. yesterday and was up until 11 p.m. last night doing laundry (7 loads and counting), changing the linens in every room, vacuuming, mopping, disinfecting bathrooms, putting furniture back outside, taking down shutters, stowing the hurricane supplies and cooking the meat we were able to salvage from the outside freezer. You have no idea how messy a hurricane can be unless you’ve lived it yourself. And I’m still sweating despite my house being a comfortable climate-controlled 73 degrees.
For the record, the temperature in my house maxed out at 94 degrees. Obviously the time I would have been leisurely watching Ray Donovan, Younger or Girlfriend’s Guide was preempted with copious sweating and at least three showers a day (between grilling defrosted meat, shuttling my son between air-conditioned havens and 3 a.m. shower “resets” so I could actually sleep for maybe an hour). My friend and neighbor even said, “Wow, I’ve never seen you this tan,” because that’s what happens when you’re a pioneer woman. Under this onus, I made scrambled cheesy eggs, turkey sausage and pounds of grilled chicken breasts, drumsticks and wings on a charcoal-fueled grill. No joke, people. And this was after cleaning up the leaves and debris left behind by that bitch Irma.
Since my mind always goes to a beauty-related place regardless of the environmental circumstances, here are the major takeaways. I still have dirt under my nails that I feel like will never come out—and I may use this as nail-biting justification (I took one out last night and I’m regretting it today). I'm also grateful that my hair is finally long enough to pull into a ponytail because the frizz was out of control.
On the bright side, I used a lull to dermaplane my face (Stacked Skincare’s tool is awesome) in direct natural sunlight which makes it a lot easier, and I zapped my facial hair with my Tria (that baby’s battery operated!). One night I tried Tu’el’s Power Scrub—because when you feel THAT dirty, regular soap just isn’t going to cut it and you have to bring in the big guns to feel squeaky clean. I can’t go on looks alone since I scrubbed by battery-operated lantern light, but I definitely enjoyed the results. (This scrub was actually delivered via USPS after we lost power—go figure.) After all of this, my friend/neighbor also said my skin looked amazing and asked how I got such a gorgeous dewy glow. I told her my secret: Sweat.
I couldn’t have survived the last week without a bevy of facial mists. From refreshing myself between shuttering windows and cooling down when it was getting really “hot in here” to sitting in front of a battery-operated fan and spritzing every few minutes for a much-needed cooling sensation, many thanks to these Mario Badescu, Caudalie and Ladrome skin savers.
Truth be told, I have major body-odor paranoia (even when not securing the safety of my family and home), so I’m always surrounded by a veil of fragrance—even during and after a hurricane. For this storm, I went with Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert (which I picked up duty-free en route to St. Maarten—which very sadly fell prey to Irma’s wrath). Fresh, zesty, not too fancy-smelling (yet fancy in and of itself), this scent served as a major pick-me-up when uncontrollable circumstances started to get me down.
So with all of this said, life has thankfully returned to semi-normal around here (except for the no school part), and I hope yours has too if you were in Irma’s path. (Anyone else going to Depeche Mode in Miami tonight?)