Pale People Problems

It was 104 degrees yesterday in D.C.

I think we can officially say the Pool Time portion of my year has arrived.

This is good news, my apartment complex actually has two pools. So I'm lucky, I get to take my shallow girly magazines homework outside and read it while feeling like I'm on vacation somewhere. I always feel blessed to have that opportunity. But I always feel a little stressed out too. Because with summer, comes the insatiable urge -- to tan.

Now my lovely Native American ancestors did bless me with some color - enough to make people ask me what my heritage is all the time. Randomly. Like in the middle of meetings. So weird....Anyway, even so, I'm still your typical American "mut" with various bits of European blood mixed in there too. In other words, I could still use some more color. And I tan pretty easily and get really dark.... when I'm patient enough (never happens) to lay out long enough. Evenly.

This requires work people. You can't just lay and read. Because things cast shadows and tan you unevenly. And besides that, you have to turn like a human pancake with some regularity. And that is not even enough because unlike pancakes, humans are not flat. We have dimension. Even if you turn, you are only getting surface area -- your front, and your back. Which leaves all the sides unexposed; the inside and outside of your legs, your arms, your actual sides. I always get to about the middle of summer and feel like I have to contort myself in unreasonable positions to get it all done evenly. I'm tempted to strike a pose that would simultaneously hit different angles and all I can come up with is the "Look Over There!" like so:

And then of course after about 30 minutes, you'd need to reverse it:

Oh HEY, what's over there now?.....

And you really can't hold these positions, well, for any time at all before the other pool goers call security.

Then there are: The SPF Levels.

  • My legs are last to tan, so they get nothing.SPF0.

  • My arms get quite a bit of sun from running, so they might get SPF15. Except in the bend in my elbow, which doesn't get sun while I'm running, unless I start running like this:

         so in order to even it out, the elbow bend gets nothing. SPF0.
  • My stomach has never in my life been flat enough for me to ever desire to show it off so it doesn't matter if it's tan or not. SPF30.

  • I can't reach my back, so, nothing. SPF0. Coupled with an attempt not to lay on my stomach much.

  • At any given time, I likely have cuts healing that I don't want the sun to scar (or stitches ON MY BUTTOCKS like I have right now which we aren't even going to go into...) so those get a swipe of something. SPF30.

  • I'm paranoid of wrinkles on my face so the sun MAY NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN. SPF45. or, like 110 or whatever they sell these days.

So tanning is stressful.

And on top of all that, I have to fight: My conscience.

Sun damage: Wrinkles, more freckles (seriously if I get any more on my shoulders they will all just connect and I'll have a permanent tan anyway at this point), and the threat of skin cancer --always looms on my conscience. I feel like I fight a war in my mind every weekend.

I should use my pool.
But  I should protect my skin.
But I look better with a tan.
But it'll make me look older later.
But who cares about later - I'll be old anyway!
Therefore - I should tan now.
I should use my pool.

So when I'm not stressing myself out over homework, boyfriends, or the fact that my cat continually pees on my rugs to prove points, I'm stressing myself out over....tanning (first world problems? yes, I'm very aware).

Welcome to the inner workings of me. Aren't you glad you are you? :)