Over at Bridget's blog, she's doing the One Word at a Time blog carnival. Now I usually don't join in on this blog carnival because, well, it's just too deep for me. But this week's topic, Summer, is one that can be found in the shallow end of the pool. Although, if you go and check out some of the other posts there, some people are still seriously swimming in the deep end. I'll be needing my water wings now.
Summer. What do I think of when I hear that word? Sunburn. Crispy, fried, blister-covered skin. Temperatures so hot it makes my freckles start to melt. And S'mores. Hey, there's always room for chocolate.
A little background on me. I grew up in Southern California, not terribly far from the beach. I have red hair and blue eyes. Do you know what comes with that combination? Fair skin. Now I'm not talking Snow White fair. That chick is tan compared to me. I'm talking pasty white. With freckles. I've burnt to blister more times than I like to remember. (And yes, I get yearly skin checks at the dermatologist.) I've even managed to burn the BOTTOM of my feet. Now that's saying something. Of course, all my friends were tan. All of them. They liked standing next to me because it made them look even darker. I always wanted to be tan...
Back when I was in junior high, one of my friends was having a pool party for her birthday. Fun, huh? Yeah. All my friends were slathering on baby oil so they could get even darker than they already were, and I was jealous. So, yeah, I grabbed the baby oil myself.
Anyone see where this is going?
I spent most of our pool time floating around on a raft under that bright California sun. I kept checking myself, but I didn't seem to be turning color at all. So I just continued to float around, sunning myself like everyone else.
When I got home, I realized that I was fried. Lobsters everywhere were jealous of the deep red color of my skin. I probably could have toasted marshmallows with the heat coming off my skin. Well, part of my skin anyway. Did I mention that I didn't turn over the entire day? Oh yeah, bright red on the front of my body, ghostly white on the back. And a very clear line where the two colors met. I looked like a different person coming and going. It was not a good look on me.
But wait, there's more.
When in a situation like this, most would try to hide the two-toned skin under clothing, right? Yes, that would have been ideal. Except for one small problem. I was on a swim team at the time. I was forced to wear a swimsuit, in front of a lot of people, and show off the glory that was my skin. There was much pointing and laughing as I tried to get into the water as quickly as possible. Good thing I was in junior high at the time. Nothing is embarrassing in junior high, right?