Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Burn, Baby Burn

I'm having a bit of an internal struggle regarding the title of this post. Four years of high school show choir pretty much destroyed what little tolerance I ever harbored for all those "fun" disco songs everyone seems to love so much. "YMCA," "Celebration," "We Are Family," and several Stevie Wonder songs (which is sad, because if anyone stood a chance, I think it would have been Stevie) will forever bring to my mind horrific memories of sequined shirts and poorly arranged four-part harmonies.

Anyway, this post is not actually about how I throw up in my purse every time I hear "Play That Funky Music;" it's about how I shouldn't be in charge of my own life.

This past Sunday, a bunch of my really pretty friends got together to go swimming. Like I said, they're all really pretty, so I was hesitant to join them at first, but in the end my inner pool-starved 12-year-old won out over my inner fat kid. Granted, at age 12, those were one in the same*...but I digress.

It was the perfect day for a swim. The sun was shining, there was a hint of a breeze, and the pool water was neither ice cold nor contaminated with human waste (which is more than I can say for the first pool we tried to go to) and best of all, there were BABIES in SWIMSUITS! I splashed around like an idiot for several glorious minutes before I realized that all the actual adults were laying out on beach chairs, carefully positioned for maximum sun exposure.

Suddenly, nothing else mattered. As I surveyed all my friends with their sparkling brown skin, it was decided. This would be the year - nay, the DAY - I would finally capture the one thing that has eluded me my entire life: a tan. Gone would be the days of my friends and family boosting their self-confidence via a side-by-side comparison of our forearms! Never again would I be mistakenly invited to join an albino support group! NEVER! From this day on, I would be a bronze goddess, just like my friends.

I failed to consider two things.
  1. At least half of the girls I was hanging out with that day are of either Latin or at least one-seventy-second Native American descent.
  2. My ancestors are Irish...meaning I am terminally freckly and pale and somewhat shaped like a potato.
So it should come as no surprise that after three hours out in the Colorado sun, my friends all left with a nice, healthy base tan and I left with this:

I would have mentioned it sooner, but it's been kind of a sore subject.**

*Which explains how I earned the nickname "Butterball" from my friend's older brother. It was an expertly crafted insult, because while it seemed at first glance to be nothing more than another run-of-the-mill fat joke, it became clear upon closer inspection that it was also a dig at my spectacular lack of color, as the skin of an uncooked turkey is one of the more disgustingly pallid things on this earth.
**Ya see what I did there?! I kill me.

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