There are few things I enjoy more than simply feeling the warmth of the summer sun — at least in the beginning of summer.
I like to go for walks, and runs outside. I even enjoy getting to work outside on a nice, warm summer’s day (the hot, socrching ones are less enjoyable).
But I have inherited from my ancestors pale pasty skin that tends to burn boiled-lobster red very easily.
And of course, at the beginning of every summer, I always forget my sunscreen.
Once is usually enough. I get so used to the sun being non-threatening over the winter that by the time Summer rolls around again, I forget to put on sunscreen.
And I spend an hour or two outside, typically when the sun’s at it’s highest.
And I come home, and happen to pass a mirror, and thing, gee, my face looks kind of pink. My arm looks kind of pink.
This Memorial Day, I covered a lovely parade and ceremony, and completely forgot that I needed to wear sunscreen.
And of course, a couple hours later, when I was enjoying a nice lunch in my own home the bracelet I’d been wearing on my wrist slipped out of its usual place, and I noticed a tan line.
Now I get a tan line (or burn line, such as it is) from this bracelet every year. The curved strip of metal keeps a small strip of my skin pasty pale every year.
But, that tends to fade over the winter. It had, in fact, faded to absolutely nothing over the past several months.
And yes, sure enough, upon closer examination, I realized my arm had turned lightly pink.As had my shoulders.
I have tried everything to remember sunscreen. I kept a bottle of the spray-on kind in my purse for a while. I’ve used SPF-imbued makeup. I even had a bottle of sunscreen waiting for me by the door, when I left the house.
The thing is, nothing really makes you remember quite like the pain of a sunburn. To me, it always feels as if my skin is saying, “You feel this? You feel this!? So put on some sunscreen next time!”
Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to remember the sunscreen without that initial sunburn.
But until then, I’m thanking my lucky stars that it was only a light burn this time.