Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rite of spring passage

I feel like I might get a couple of "amens" from the crowd with this one. So, let's go. Does anyone else experience the same rite of passage that I do every spring?

I don't mean allergies. Luckily, that has never been something I've had to deal with. (Knock on wood.)

I don't mean thunderstorms and tornado watches. However, I'm pretty sure we're going to be getting into one of those shortly.

I don't mean crazy, squirrely kids anxiously counting down to the last day of school. Though, we do have those in our house. (17 days for us Olathians. Aaack!)

I'm talking about the horrific experience that happens to the majority of us lighter-pigmented humans. Us pale-as-snow folk. Those of us who are melanin-challenged.

I'm talking the first sunburn of the spring.

Dun. Dun. Dun.

You never expect it. It hasn't been warm enough. You've been wearing jeans, jackets, and light sweaters on most days. Not much of your skin is even exposed. Then, comes a warm, sunny day. It is beautiful, in fact. And, you're just just sitting outside on this beautiful day.

Perhaps watching your 6-year-old's soccer game. A light breeze is blowing, so you don't feel hot. You're enjoying the sun and the breeze. You don't even think about the fact that your skin is as pasty as a powdered donut. You're not thinking of the fact that this pasty powdered donut skin is definitely not prepared to be exposed to the vitamin D rays that come along with that warming sunshine.

So, you're just sitting there, happy as a clam. Or, as happy as I would be if I were actually eating said powdered donut. And, you don't feel a thing. You finish watching this so-called soccer game. Cheering loudly for your daughter, even though she mostly just prances down the field and avoids contact with the ball unless it is kicked directly at the spot where her feet happen to be standing. Ahem. Anyway. 

The game finishes. You pack up your chair and pick up your camera (though you have no shots of her actually touching the ball, so you're not sure why you continue bringing it).

You head home and prepare to enjoy a leisurely Sunday evening with a friend on the back patio, drinking delicious Leinenkugel Summer Shandys and eating hot dogs off the grill while the kids all play. It's setting up to be simply a lovely Sunday.

Then, as you're enjoying this delightful time, you start to feel a little heat radiating from your legs. Hmmm. What's that about, you wonder. It is then that you make the fateful move and stand up. Your knees bend at a slightly different angle and your skin creases differently.

Holy Crap! What fresh hell is this? Your eyes drift down to your knees and you glimpse bright neon red patches gleaming up at you from your pasty powdered donut skin. "Oh my god," you think, "I forgot sunscreen."

Immediately, you start kicking yourself. Especially, if you happen to be a one percenter. And, I don't mean those people who make up one percent of the wealth. I mean those people whose hair color constitutes one percent of the population of the world. Yep, I'm talking about us Gingers.

You really should know better. You really should. Really, really should. You have no excuse. This was entirely preventable by you. You have a house full of sunscreen. Because, really, what redhead doesn't? There is no reason that this should've happened. Sigh. Double sigh.

So, all you can do is load up on the aloe and keep drinking. What? The beer bottles are cold and feel so good on your burns. I'm pretty sure I could find a doctor who would prescribe this remedy. You don't want to go ignoring doctors' advice do you? I didn't think so.

And, still two days later, you feel the burn every time you sit down and stand up. Your arms hurt every time you move them, because you couldn't just get burned on your knees and feet, you had to get your arms, too. It's practically mocking you. The crossing guard even comments on it in the 5 seconds you see her as you're walking your children into school. But, you know what? You've learned your lesson. You went to Walgreens and stocked up on sunscreen and aloe. This will not happen again. You will be prepared.

That is ... until next Spring ...

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