The Fancy Soap Incident

Posted: May 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

milk n' honey_big

The winter months in Afghanistan can be cold and dry. In the river valley it rarely snows and surprisingly it gets really dry. And showering with cheap body wash in heavily chlorinated water left my skin begging for moisture.

One day I had the idea to find some nice homemade soap that was good for dry, itchy skin. I found a nice lady from Michigan who had a small business named Marmalade Hills that made and sold homemade soaps online. I ordered a couple of oatmeal and honey soap bars that were supposed to help keep skin from drying out and relieve itching. Well, when this nice lady found out she was sending some soap to a soldier in Afghanistan she decided to hook a fellow up. When I received my purchase in the mail I found that she had put at least a half-dozen different bars of soap, two tubs of scented body butter, and several tubes of lip balm. It was awesome!

My elation was short-lived however. I realized that despite the sweet soap hookup, I just became a male soldier in Afghanistan that had a bunch of foo-foo girly scented soap and lotion in his room. I got worried that someone would smell the soap in my room or, worse, smell something on me. That’s how rumors get started…

So I hid that box of  soaps and wonderful potions and lotions as quickly as if someone had just sent me a box of pornography and liquor. I knew the consequences would be huge if I got caught.

I discreetly and carefully explored the contents of the box as if I was an EOD guy disarming a bomb. Some of those soaps had glitter on them. And once you get glitter on you …it is hard to get off. And if I was seen with even a speck of glitter on my skin I would never hear the end of it.  I sorted the non-glitter soaps from the glitter soaps. The glitter soaps were immediately placed in zip-lock bags and sealed off from all other non-glitter soaps. The non-glitter soaps were inspected carefully to make sure no traces of glitter could be found.

The soaps were amazing. That oatmeal and honey bar was quite nice on my skin and had almost no lingering smell afterward. I felt guilty hoarding all these nice soaps so I decided to discreetly share them with some of those in my trusted inner circle. Here is the actual email traffic that went out:

Me: “Hey guys. I ordered a bar of all natural soap from this lady’s online
store. She saw that it was an APO address and sent me a couple extra
bars of really nice soaps. If you guys want a bar just let me know. I’m
happy to share.”
KB: “So… you ordered lady soap?”
Me: “Yup. It leaves my skin silky and smooth. I’m strangely comfortable with that.”
JS: “I would love to try a bar.”
JL: ” Mike, Don’t take Percocet or Ambien then shop online.- J***”
JL: “Mike, The way I read this e-mail, it really sounds like you are purchasing [sic] women’s soap.- J***”
I won’t name any names here, but late one night there was a tap on my door. When I opened the door there was a man standing there in the shadows. He looked around to make sure no one was looking then said to me quietly ” So…I hear you’re the guy to talk to about some soap…”
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Comments
  1. Charla says:

    Haha! The sordid underbelly of fancy soap distribution. Very funny.

  2. Dumatella Carolinensis says:

    It’s true! I remember Skyping you one morning (night for you) and a friend stopped by, tapping on your door. “Hey man, got any good soap?” he asked. You blushed; “Eff you!” was your response. Hahaha! Love it.

  3. Liana says:

    Hey Mike! Your post made my day! It is so awesome to know a story of my foo-foo soaps after they left my studio :))) Thanks so much for sharing! Keep in touch! Liana (the Marmalade Hills lady)

  4. janeykate says:

    This is so funny! Know what you mean, that god damn glitter gets everywhere!
    Jane x

  5. basebaby says:

    What would the consequences be? Other soldier’s? Command? Curious.

    • armydentist says:

      I think some readers are assuming that I was afraid of being thought of as effeminate or “gay.” Thats actually not the case at all. My main concern with the smells/glitter was that someone would assume that I was rubbing up against a female or had a female in my room. Being a married man, that would be punishable under the UCMJ.

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