Monday, August 2, 2010

My Yearly Visitor

The ginger gene is strong in my family, bestowing red hair upon my grandma, my aunt, and my mother. Even so, I was the only grandchild of six to get red hair. Being also the youngest, I was set up to be adored and doted on at length. If only we hadn't moved to Texas when I was still so little and at my most precious, I could have been wonderfully spoiled. But I digress.

As a ginger, I have certain responsibilities.
One: I obviously need to be pale. Check.
Two: I should be Irish. Fail on that one; don't people know that the Irish have red hair in the first place thanks to the Vikings that invaded and raped their women? My ginger comes from Sweden, thank you very much, and though I do love potatoes, I lack even a drop of Irish blood (I am an eighth Welsh, though, which is awesome because their flag has a fucking dragon on it).
Three: I should probably have some freckles. Check.
Four: Fiery temper. Check.
Five: According to recent pop culture, no soul. Unknown.
Six: Blue or green eyes. Check; blue.
Seven: Firecrotch. Guess. The list could go on and on, but let's get to the point with...
Eight: Prone to sunburn even after very short forays into the sunshine. Check.

The good news is, I know that I burn easily, and I am prepared. The face lotion I use every morning has SPF built in. Sunscreen is at the top of my list whenever I'm going, well, anywhere, and it's always SPF Ginger (more commonly known as SPF50). I'm good at making sure I apply thoroughly and often, and I don't forget places like the backs of my hands, my ears, or the little keyhole-cutout in my swimsuit.

Inevitably, though, I get cocky. I think to myself, "Wow, I haven't gotten burnt all summer! All this sunscreen-applying must be superfluous. My skin has finally gotten used to the sun, and I will not, in fact, die if I stay in the sun without sunscreen for a few hours."

That's true, to a degree. I will not die. But, mere hours after thinking this, I will remember that the very reason I haven't gotten burnt all summer is because I haven't been a MORON who doesn't put on SUNSCREEN. SUNSCREEN, YOU IDIOT! It's as if I need this once-a-year reminder that SPF is necessary, and I do actually burn so bad it makes me sick.

This year's reminder came on my birthday weekend, which I spent up in Brainerd at our family cabin with an awesome group of friends. I spent almost all weekend sitting outside, and lots of it in water, which is a rarity for me. Most people went home Sunday afternoon/evening, and Jess and I stayed until Monday evening. We woke up, put on sunscreen, and went out to float on the lake for awhile. A couple hours later, we came back in for some lunch and re-application of sunscreen. But I got cocky. "I haven't even gotten a tinge of pink," I thought. "Surely, I don't need to reapply SPF50 when I've already put some one earlier today. I could use a little color, right?" So I smeared some sunscreen on my face, brushed the extra that stayed on my hands onto my legs and shoulders, and headed back to my floaty chair.

At 2:15pm. On a sunny day. On a lake, where water reflects and intensifies the sun.

At one point on the drive home, I made Jess feel my thigh. It was so hot you could feel the heat through my jeans.

Three weeks later, and I think I'm finally done peeling.


Until next summer.

Also, I'd really like to go to this: Redheadday. Donations welcome. Let's make it happen.

1 comment:

  1. hahahahaha!! We never do learn do we? I'm not a ginger, but I do burn (though not as bad as you) and I always think, 'yeah, it's early in the season, the sun isn't too strong yet, I'll be fine weeding my garden for six hours'. HA!