I make a lot of jokes about the weather/ great outdoors trying to murder me. Not a quick death, certainly, as I have made it this far. But it’s out to get me nonetheless.

Biting bugs find me especially tasty, and I in return have an impressive reaction to the bites in the form of raised, itchy welts. Sunshine is not my friend. After putting on sunscreen, I go outside anyway, and try not to stay in direct sun for too long. Even then, I burn anyway.

In a prime example of the inequality of life, bugs don’t like my mom nearly so much, and she actually tans. (Not a deep tan, she uses sunscreen like a responsible person. But instead of burning and peeling, she browns.)

Throughout the winter, I’m a bleached-paper white, nearly glowing when the sun bounces off my skin. Over the summer, if I avoid burning, I gradually reach a point like a half-way baked bread–not a warm golden brown, but a pale golden tint. The picture below is my ‘tan,’ and my mom’s. (You can tell who’s who, right?)

I don’t so much tan as freckle.

Some days, I look down at my arm or legs, especially when Spring warms and I switch from pants/long sleeves to shorts/short sleeves… and I think, ‘wow, was I always this pale?’

The answer is yes. Yes, I am. And we’re heading into Fall this month, so I won’t be baking much longer.

Are you looking forward to the end of Summer? Or ready to enjoy these last weeks?


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

2 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Revel in your paleness, Caitlin! You are the healthier for it. Having been raised in Florida during the BP era (Before PABA), I burned to a crisp every year as a child. Blisters every time we went to the beach, and painful ordeals that left me peeling and miserable for days. As a result of that childhood skin damage, I’ve had skin cancer 9 times. So far, all basal cell, the easiest to deal with. But the threat of melanoma hangs over my head.

    The BEST thing that can happen to anyone who overdoes sun exposure is that they will look years older than they are as their skin loses elasticity and gains wrinkles all over the place. The worst case scenario is that it kills them. (Not talking about your mom, here, who seems to be taking care not to overdo.) So I say it’s time to promote the pale, porcelain complexions of years gone by, when anyone with a tan would have been viewed as someone forced to work outside for a living. I’ve noticed that many models and actresses are going for that look these days, probably because it keeps their faces younger looking and they can postpone Botox (the BANE of all current trends) a bit longer.

    Pale is perfect. And healthy. And you will stay smooth skinned for SOOOOO long, all your bronzed friends will envy you!

    And to answer your question, I cannot WAIT for cooler weather. It is still in the mid-to-high 90’s here, and September will be brutal, as always. October might see a ten degree drop, if we’re lucky. But I have spent most of my Thanksgivings cooking dinner in shorts. I’m just happy if I can light the fireplace on Christmas day, while we open our gifts. Cool is good. Cool means I can work in the yard again. Cool means we are being preserved! (I’m convinced we last longer in cold weather…kind of like storing meat in the fridge!)

    Rock on, O’ Pale One! You will inherit…well, pretty much everything!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Heh. Well, I’ve always figured I may as well embrace the paleness, as I can’t change it.;)
      I feel your pain/ heat stroke. It’s hitting the low 100s where I live, and pretty humid…

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