The Color Purple

roller coaster Living with Jack is an adventure. Well, maybe thrill ride is a more accurate way to describe living with my Vietnam veteran. For Jack the control needs of post-traumatic stress have morphed over the years into secondary OCD. For those of you who read My Life with a Wounded Warrior, I refer you to the chapter about the Lexus.

Well, Jack’s newest obsession is the desire to have his chest length beard dyed purple. See, a year or two ago I had a line of purple dyed into the streak of gray in my hair. A fair warning to everyone that, while I may look meek and mild, there is that one narrow streak of wildness lurking in the granny gray. I love that little rebellion against conformity, my friends love it, my publicist even used it in creating my brand. All was well.

Then, about six months ago, Jack began obsessing about having a purple Fu Manchu died into his white beard. He spent a lot of time in beauty salons talking with young women about just how this new fashion statement could be accomplished. This provided him the opportunity to flirt with a lot of pretty girls but brought him no closer to his purple Fu Manchu. No one could figure out how to isolate the dye to just the Fu Manchu without spotting the purple all through the rest of the beard. I thought I was safe.

Never, ever, never underestimate the power of a Marine who sets out to get something done. Doesn’t matter the consequences, he will accomplish his mission. A week ago Jack had his beard cut. Except for a bushy, chest-length Fu Manchu. He saved the Fu Manchu. Today he’s having it died purple. So, this morning, as I flipped through Facebook, stopping at the Spouses of PTSD Groups, I spotted a post by a women with a common complaint. People who make comments like, “He looks fine to me. Most of this is in head,” or “It’s a scam to get VA money. Look at him. There’s nothing wrong with him.” Bet Jack and I don’t have to hear that one for a while.