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?
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.