Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby oil and aluminum foil blankets

My whole childhood I was cursed with fair skin and freckles - at least cursed in the sense of summer fun. As teenagers, anytime my Greek or Italian friends would head to the beach with me, their skin would turn a beautiful shade of olive or brown and mine would turn a shade of red. Blistering red. The red that causes people to react with, "Whoa! She's going to hurt tonight." And they were right. I would hurt. After 8 hours in the sun, I'd return home covered in Tropicana Oil with SPF 3, peel my legs off the vinyl seat of my 1976 Ford Granada, and begin to slather on aloe vera gel. I'd create a paste of corn starch and cold water to soothe the tingling pain. And then sleep in front of a window fan blowing hot air on me in the attic bedroom and pretend I was a glowing goddess when in fact I was a ridiculous lobster. The next morning the shade would be pink and the bubbles would set in as the shedding process was soon to follow.

My children will not be cursed with this unfortunate circumstance because they are half Puerto Rican. So that means that while I slather on SPF 50 on them from warnings of sun damage that I never had as a kid, they still brown up nicely. My daughter's skin is such a golden brown this time of year that I don't know if I should be relieved or jealous. Her ankles are brown. She has tan lines criss-crossing her back from every bathing suit she owns. She has these adorable freckles forming around her nose and the tops of her hands are chocolate.

I'm glad that I'm able to protect their skin from the sun, but I'm also relieved that neither of them seem to run the risk of bubbled skin peeling off every inch of their exposed bodies each summer.

So, shall we talk about the neon green bikini's that were in style back in the 80's thanks to Body Glove? Boy, those were the days! And no, I didn't keep it - amazing what you can find on the 'net:

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