Jul 2014
Josie Bungert

Lobster is the new pale

I don’t like summer. There, I said it. It’s just not a season that agrees with me. I don’t hate it like I do winter, but it can’t even begin to compare to my love for fall and my happiness for spring. I don’t fare well in heat, am allergic to everything outside, and do not appreciate bugs. But the main reason I can’t handle summer: it’s the season of sunburn.

I am (arguably) a redhead. So naturally, I have fair skin and freckles that are permanent, not just summer visitors. I am vampirish all year round, and resemble a lobster or cherry tomato all summer. This is my reality, from late may into early September.

The perils of being pale in the summer result in a terrible lifestyle. My typical morning thoughts often go like this:

Did I happen to roll into the one area of my bed that the shade on my window refuses to protect?
No, I didn’t. Alright, no burns yet today.
Will I be going anywhere where I’ll be outside longer than ten minutes? Yes? Okay, I’ll pack sunscreen. No? Okay, I’ll pack sunscreen.
How hot will it be today? Like, will it be cool enough that I can wear a 3/4 length sleeved shirt and shorts? My shoulders hate the sun. How about a higher neck? Oh, it’ll be 80? Perf, I’ve been wanting to work on my v-neck burn outline.
Can I get away with wearing jeans cuffed today? I mean even if it’s hot, will I be in the shade enough? I’ll count on air conditioning for every building I go into in order to save my skin.
Oh I have to semi-dress up today. When was the last time I wore my staple sundress? ¬†You know, the one that has thick enough straps, a high enough neck, but thin enough material that it is IDEAL for summer weather? Can I get away with wearing that another day? Will I be seeing the same people? Yeah? I’m doing it anyway.
Wait… I’m going to the beach today. A pale girl’s personal hell. Yes, by all means, I would LOVE to sit on this stuff called sand that attracts the sun to my ever reddening skin. Why haven’t they invented a full body swimsuit that prevents me from being burned but can also be lightweight enough that I won’t pass out from heat exhaustion?
How long will I be driving today? I have to remember to put extra sunscreen on my left arm.

All culminating to…

Do I even need to leave the house today?

Not to mention the thoughts after you receive said sunburn:

Oh, crap. I forgot to put sunscreen on that spot behind my ears and I wore my hair up today. WHY do I keep doing this to myself? Hello, painful sunglass wearing days to come.
Hahaha I need to stop wearing so many v-necks. I now have a permanent burn line on my chest that will NEVER go away. It’s like its own patch of skin at this point.
OH GOOD. More freckles.
Am I out of aloe vera again? Well, I guess it’s okay, since it’s just the streak on my left arm that I always get from driving for more than ten minutes. It’ll peel shortly. Maybe it will fade into a tan? HAHA no that’s never happened and never will. Bring on the peel.
OW. I forgot how much it hurts to stand/lie down/shower after a full body sunburn. Not to mention how great I look when I walk, and my legs hurt so badly I begin to waddle to prevent them from rubbing into each other.
I’m going to take Advil. Not that it’s going to help, but hey, I’m out of aloe and I won’t get to the store til later and this really is causing me severe joint pain at this point.
I need to take an ice bath. Maybe I should just go in the pool? Oh my God no you’re an idiot YOU ALREADY HAVE SUNBURN do NOT go back outside right now. Ice bath it is. If I can get in…
Maybe if I put lotion on in the meantime it will help? NOPE. SHUT IT DOWN. IT BURNS MORE THAN THE ACTUAL BURN.
Alright. I give up. I’ll go to the store to buy more aloe.

JK. In too much pain. Just going to lie in my bed and hope that sleep takes away the burning sensation all over my body.

To all my pale companions: know that you are not alone. Summer is a straight up STRUGGLE. Wear sunscreen. All day. Everyday.

(and, if you’re holed up inside, watch this video about redheads!)