Baby oil. The smell of coconuts. Reflective mats. Boom boxes. Bain de Soleil without an ounce of SPF in it. Florescent Body Glove bikinis. Ray Ban Wayfarers. Sun. Sun. Sun.
For me, those are the memories of summer as a teen. In 1984, tan was the way to be. I mean, come on, who didn't want to be Christie Brinkley?
As genes would have it, my freckled white skin would never tan. It would just burn and peel - several times - over the course of a summer. I'd only get fried on one side because I'd fall asleep on my back and forget to flip. But that was okay - I would lay on my stomach next time and was on my way to being "tan". Wait? Was I?
No, not really. I was just red, then dry, then red again. But maybe it's because of those fun, teenage memories on the beaches of the North Shore that I adore a little sunkissed glow on my skin. The time when my freckles start to pop a little, and my feet get flip flop tan lines.
I KNOW - I KNOW. Bad sun. Bad. I don't want to like it. I mean, I could be a really good white girl if I abstained completely. Like Nicole Kidman or Anne Hathaway white. But I grew up with a Mom whose skin tanned as soon as the calendar flipped to May - she didn't even need to be in the sun! I just longed for that deep, dark glow.
So as I get older, I try to be smarter. But I am quite excited to see a little "watchband line" on my wrist this mid-May as evidence I've been in the sun. And as I've learned recently, Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing (3 friends in one month were diagnosed!), and we couldn't have that, now could we?
Lather the kids in SPF 50, but leave me to my own devices. I swear, you won't ever see me wearing a bikini again and I put the reflective mats away...for good. The Bain de Soleil...well....