Skip to main content

Here Comes the Sun... And There Goes Laura!

Now that it's fall, it's time to divulge a (not very well-kept) secret. I hate summer -- truly hate it.

There are a lot of reasons for this. First, I hate being hot and sweaty. Second, my fibromyalgia flares up a lot in the heat and humidity. Third, and the point of this blog -- I do not tan. I burn.

Not a little burn that turns into a nice tan. I really burn.

You know those risk factors for skin cancer: fair skin, blue eyes, etc? I am pretty much a poster child for those risk factors. Sunburn and I have a long, antagonistic history. Let's begin with high school.

As a pale (pasty white) teenage girl in the '90s and '00s who had a pool at her house, well, let's just say it wasn't the ideal situation. This was the era of tanning bed mania. While everyone was tanning, I was by the pool getting sun poisoning. I didn't often wear sunscreen because it wasn't cool. At least, I didn't think so. My friends rubbed oil to deepen their tans. I turned various shades of red -- from blush to apple to scarlet -- got more freckles, and often got cold sores to boot. On a great day, I'd have all three at once. Occasionally my scalp peeled. That was cute.

One Saturday, some friends of our family came over to go swimming. They were Cuban, and they had the most beautiful natural tans. The four kids were my sister's age or younger. I decided this was my day. Surely the sun would reward all of us with equally beautiful tans. I decided to help it out by applying baby oil to my skin. Fast forward about eight hours. You know when you're roasting a marshmallow and it catches fire how the exterior turns dark brown or black and just peels right off, leaving the inner part of the marshmallow, not even slightly warm, behind on the stick? My skin did something very similar.

I was in so much pain. My skin was dark brown and crispy, and it was peeling off in hard flakes, leaving behind oozy pink skin underneath. It was the worst sun poisoning I've ever had, and if one day God forbid I have skin cancer, it will be because of that day.

Fast forward again to another tanning fail.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but sometimes it takes me a while. After college, I was working at WebMD and bringing home decent paychecks. I decided to spend the money wisely and started going to a tanning bed. And I did tan. A bit orange, but a better tan than I'd ever had before. I was thrilled. And then one day at work, a very wise lady I worked with (who managed the skin cancer content on WebMD's site) asked me very nicely but in a very concerned tone why I was risking getting skin cancer.

At the time, I had this idea that if you got skin cancer, you could just go have it removed and you'd be all set. As it turns out, that's not really how it works. She kindly explained to me how skin cancer actually spreads, and it freaked me out. Here I was, a prime candidate for skin cancer, tanning every two or three days,not to mention damaging my skin and causing wrinkles. I cancelled my membership and stopped tanning.

Jeremy doesn't really have to worry much about sunburn. And lucky Alice got her dad's skin, so hopefully she won't either. Meanwhile, I'll be over here putting on my SPF 40 and sitting under an umbrella, reading a good book.

Bye, summer. Good riddance.


Popular posts from this blog

It's Just Like Riding a Bike

When I was younger -- maybe 6 or 7 -- I learned to ride a bike. I think I must have been about that age because I remember Sarah being fairly young but I don't remember Charlotte being born yet, so we'll go with that. My mom must have been working part time because we went to a sitter's house during the summer. I don't remember how many days a week but regardless, we'd go to her house for the morning and early afternoon. The sitter's son was grown and out of the house but her daughter was in high school -- I want to say a junior or senior at the time. Sometimes she'd take us outside to play. So this particular day we were riding bikes and I decided to try riding without training wheels.

Instead of learning in a more traditional way, for some reason, we decided that I'd start up at the top of their yard and ride down a huge incline toward the house and then turn at some point in there to keep going on a straighter path. To recap, the idea was to NOT hit…

I Fail At Staying Composed While Playing Video Games

I love playing video games -- well, many video games, not all (cough, Gears of War, cough) -- but I tend to take them personally. I consider it a personal achievement when I beat a boss. Like, I am a better person for it. And if I fail, I fail at life.

My first video games that I remember were Mario Bros for NES, Link's Awakening and Donkey Kong for the original Gameboy, and then for computer, Commander Keen and original Duke Nukem.

I once peed in my pants because I refused to get up from fighting the boss in Duke Nukem to go to the bathroom. There was no pause!

I remember beating Twilight Princess (a Legend of Zelda game) around 3 a.m. one weekend many years ago and yelling in triumph! You really shouldn't yell at 3 a.m. when you're not the only person in the house.

I play League of Legends, but never solo queue (when you just jump into a random game with other people you don't know). I only play premades, and usually that consists of four family members plus me. Occas…

Alice's Airplane Adventure

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
— Ernest Hemingway

We love traveling, and we knew that if we had kids we'd still want to travel. We're lucky to have family dispersed in different areas of the States -- South Bend, Atlanta, Detroit, Lewisburg, Charlotte -- and we really enjoy those trips.

Jeremy and I have had long conversations on road trips, listened to audio books like Dune, Ender's Game, A Song of Ice and Fire (my second time reading it and his first), The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, The Legend of Drizzt, and more that I've forgotten. We're listening to American Gods right now. I've also sung him many renditions of Billy Joel songs -- he's always so appreciative of that.

With Alice (who's almost two), driving at night has been the best way to travel. It's easier with fewer cars on the road and a sleeping toddler.

But for our trip to Detro…