Here Comes Skin Cancer *ahem* Summer

It’s that time of year again.  Spring has arrived!  At least at my house, losers!  The birds are chirping, the grass is emerging and the bulbs are peering up out of the ground.

Floridians, Arizonans, Alabamans, South Carolinians--oh, to hell with it--Southerners say ‘Ahhh’ with me now.

Soon husband’s face will inflate like a fat kid’s at a birthday party, the fair, grandma’s house, the circus...alright, wherever there’s lots to eat and not much parental motivation to properly control their child’s consumption (read: humiliate Bobby-love-handles by body-checking him out of the chili-cheese fry line).

For months pollen will cloak my car, my porch, and my furniture like that itchy blanket your mom won’t let you throw away because some dearly departed great aunt knit it when you were a baby.  My HVAC unit will cough yellow plumes and start trembling with anticipation of spring/summer/fall (read: summer) in the tropics.

Regardless, I love summertime.  All seven months of it.

Coming this Saturday, daylight savings time will bring us sun in the evening (wine in the daytime!) and more warm weather means time to swim and skip around town draped in little bits of cloth or big, breezy articles that hardly ever touch your skin.  Swimsuits and flowery dresses and miniskirts and spaghetti straps, oh my!

And thus begins my annual inner argument: to tan or not to tan.

Though sun exposure isn’t good for anyone, for people with skin that would make Scarlet O’Hara quiver with envy, a shade otherwise known as ‘you don’t look like you’re feeling so good’ or ‘maybe you need to rest a little’, pretty much any amount of sun exposure is highly discouraged by every dermatologist on the planet.  And, lucky me, on my mother’s side basil cells spring like dandelions and there’s a first cousin with melanoma at the age of twenty-nine on my father’s side.

It has been suggested that I wear a beekeeping suit from dawn ‘til dusk.  Even with SPF a trillion (which, in case you’re a little slow, has not been invented) lathered on all of my skin and, pay attention, there will be a quiz, reapplied about every sixty minutes, lying in the sleep-inducing sunshine with the sound of waves lapping at the sand is something I should never, ever do.

Life is totally unfair.

But although I know that I shouldn’t, even for a moment, think about getting a tan, as a redhead who actually can brown her skin (coming soon to the record books), I am pretty much powerless to resist the temptation.

Oh, I always mean well.  When the warm air breaks through the not quite as warm air in Northeast Florida, I promise myself: This Summer I Will Not Tan.  I Will Resist Temptation.  I Will Rock The Albino Look.

I usually try reminding myself that famous redheads don’t tan.  You don’t see Nicole Kidman with a tan line, but you do see her luminescently white and healthy-looking and seemingly ageless in Just Go With It alongside always golden and also seemingly ageless Jennifer Anniston (but she’s a quarter Greek or something, so she can kiss my white half Kraut patoot).  And Julianne Moore?  That lady is one freckle short of The Milky Way.  Bet she doesn’t lounge in the sun by the pool.  And what about Amy Adams?  Or Isla Fisher?  Both are white as rock of crack or the crack of Conan O’Brien’  Hardy har har.

Sure, Lindsay Lohan parades around with a surprisingly-deep tan and is alleged to be a natural redhead (I don’t remember it, but if Paris Hilton says so…), but that chick’s definitely not someone redheads should emulate.  But she’s in her twenties, there’s room for improvement (read: redemption).

Nevertheless, smartie pants that I am, even as I make these silent vows to my epidermis, deep down I know that all is for naught.  Because I make them every year.  And every year I break them.

So, in all likelihood, as soon as the water’s warm, I’ll be smothered in sun block of the highest SPF I can find that hopefully doesn’t smell like primer or make my face a breeding ground for whiteheads.  Then I’ll slip into a miniscule bikini as is the god given right of all women with the confidence to do so, slap on a hat and shades to cover my eternally freckled face, and flip flop on down to the beach every chance I get (twice a week) all spring/summer/fall.


Oh, I know it’s bad for me, but like an unsupervised fat kid at the candy store, I can’t help myself.  Sigh.  Even if I can only take Florida’s sun (aka the death ray of God) for a little over an hour before steam starts to rise, it feels soooo good.

Maybe this year I’ll bring an umbrella for good measure.

*In case you’re wondering, my fave sun block is Ocean Potion.  Listen up, somewhat conscientious whities who don’t want smell like they escaped from a cadaver research facility after being ‘mistaken’ for a corpse: Ocean Potion. It smells amazing and is available in ‘almost pure zinc’ SPF.

**In case you wanted to know, I will be using Neutrogena self-tanner to enhance my orange*ahem*golden skin.  Just don’t mistake me for Lindsay.  I would never dye my hair or spend any time in a cancer booth*ahem*tanning bed.  Advice the girl from That 70s Show and Are You There, Chelsea? should take but apparently won’t.

Photos and general content originallly appeared at my site,

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