Thursday, July 03, 2008

Must we go through this every year?

One of my older sisters called me last night to invite me to her annual Fourth of July backyard BBQ. A little background: My two older sisters are from my mother's first marriage and their father was of American Indian and/or Italian descent. Therefore, my sisters have olive skin, dark hair, and tan easily. Ten years later, my mother married an Irishman and ended up with two extremely pale third and fourth daughters. My sister and I have the same conversation every year in early July:

My sister: So we're going to be grilling burgers and dogs.
Me: I no longer eat red meat. But how about if I bring some chicken?
Sister: Seriously?
Me: Veggie burgers?
Sister: Not on MY grill.
Me: I like mom's potato salad.
Sister: Bring your bathing suit - we just had the pool cleaned!
Me: Have you met me?
Sister: Just saying...we got new rafts!
Me: I haven't owned a bathing suit in 10 years. And I don't go in the sun. You know how you and Kristin make jokes about me looking like Wednesday Adams with red hair?
Sister: I thought we made jokes about you being flat-assed.
Me: That too.
Sister: And flat-chested. And remember before you got braces when we used to call you Bucky Beaver?
Me: Yeah, that was hysterical.
Sister: At least you finally got boobs. ANYWAY...just put on some sunblock! And bring your suit.
Me (giving up): OK.

Even though they don't care if I get skin cancer and believe that I am pale by choice and I think olive-skinned people enjoy lording their sun worshipping over those of us who are melanin-deficient, I love my family. And I will go to the cookout. I'm just going to bring a giant parasol, a long-sleeved tee, and 60SPF - but not my bathing suit that doesn't exist. And yes, at least I finally got boobs.


  1. I do very much enjoy lording my olive-skinnedness over pale creatures like you. But the joke's on me because after years of skipping sunblock, then being a lifeguard/swim instructor, and now really needing more Vitamin D in my life (in the form of a few non-sunblocked hours in the sun every weekend), I think I'm destined for melanoma. But, what can I say? I need the sun. It's my vice. That and cheese.

  2. Aleigh - May you never have the experience of waking up one morning with a dessicated river bed on your face instead of skin and spend two hours in the dermatologist's office wailing about how you always tanned so easily that your skin was olive toned, that your face was an oil slick that would make the Saudi's fear for their economy and you get patted on the hand and told that you "are of an age now and the sins of your youth are coming back to haunt you." Then he starts burning pre-cancerous stuff off your face.

    Not really a good time.

  3. K - If by parasol, you mean a black umbrella, and you promise to hiss every time the sunlight touches you, especially if children are watching, then I am all for it.

  4. Ha! Congratulations on the boobs, anyway!

  5. Janet: That sounds like a truly horrifying experience. I do hope that the SPF I wear every day at least partially atones for the sins of my childhood and adolescence! Only time will tell...

  6. JAZ - the children are quite accustomed to me hissing at them, big black umbrella or no.

    Janet - I'm not your dermatologist (and after seeing my own skin under UV photography, I won't make professional diagnoses), but I think you have amazing skin!

    Alison - yes, at least I did finally get them. My sisters, all early developers, still like to lord their Cs and Ds over me. What's really funny about it is that I like mine better than theirs. Shhhhh. Don't tell.

  7. Oh God, I'm going to look like an old boot by the time I'm...oh wait, I already do. And what is it with sisters lording their boobies over their less...ample sisters? They're lucky you didn't nair their eyebrows off in their sleep.


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