You are Entering... the T-Shirt Zone

Red... Redder than the red-red-reddest boiled lobster in a hot tub at the Scalding Hotel and Eternal Crispiness Spa in the tornado alley of the fifth ring of Hell.

Of course, I have only myself to blame. So caught up was I in the joys of roasting processed meat on sticks, and smearing toasted marshmallows into my face, I was lulled into the security of the towering trees over the picnic area. I thought they would shield me...

Knowing full-well that people of my particular complexion are at odds with things like, oh, direct sunlight... Or indirect sunlight... Or 60 watt table lamps... Or overbright pen lights.

Knowing full-well people of my complexion are most usually seen as the central attraction in CSI crime scenes.

Red. I am...

It's not just for haircolor anymore.

Of course, anyone who's had a bad sunburn before can probably imagine how my morning has gone so far. Things you normally take for granted as simple, everyday activities become detailed events involving strategy, procedure, and not a small amount of shrieking.

Like taking a shower. Calculating the right temperature of the water so it isn't so cool the water sizzles into steam the moment it hits your arm. But isn't so hot the nerve endings under your skin react like prisoners in the Spanish Inquisition and plead that they will tell you anything, ANYTHING, you want to hear. Just make the torture stop. ("Okay, okay, there is a mole here that might need to be looked at. I confess! It's true! Now go see your doctor. Just step OUT of the SHOWER!")

Yup, showering takes some extra time.

Choosing clothes is a similar thing. Sure, you can choose something to wear which might not touch the burn. But how do you get that item of clothing on your person? This involves a particular dance I like to think of as The Sunburn Samba. It's a seductive traditional dance with both Latin and Tai Chi influences, and relies on slow wriggling, the holding of one's breath, and a sudden bracing dive.

Putting a bag on your shoulder can be an interesting and eye-opening moment. So can buckling a seatbelt. Or being in the way of particularly enthusiastic summer breeze.

But on the plus side, I am radiating an amazing amount of heat. So much heat, I think that scientists really need to look into the possibilities of sunburn power as an alternative energy source. I mean, when we talk about alternative fuels, red very well might be the new "green." Inevitably, in spite of the warnings about the dangers of sun exposure, there are going to be a certain number of people every year who are as dumb as I was yesterday. So let's see how we could harness this warmth to bring comfort to needy people this winter, who might not be able to afford traditional heating methods.

How that can be done, well... I'll leave that up to the scientists to work out. Me, I have to go. I'm feeling compelled to write a love letter to the Noxzema people, for the beautiful coolness of that lovely, lovely cold cream.

I also would like to suggest they make some slightly bigger jars. Ones that are, say, the size of a kiddie pool, where I could just climb inside and stay for a while.

I could work from a laptop, I think.

Hey, stop laughing. I'm serious.

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Da Old Man said...

red very well might be the new "green"

That cracked me up.

Ouch, but the worst is yet to come, I'm afraid. The peeling, accompanied by looks from others suggesting that you may have some variation of leprosy or another disease.
Feel better, quickly.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Heh, Oh, I know. And I'm meeting Claire and JD for the first time on Friday... what a grand entrance I will make.

NOT the best timing. Oh well. Hopefully I won't scare them TOO badly. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

PS- I have brought lunch today, instead of going out to pick some up as I usually do.

My boss came by to ask me something today and forgot what she wanted somewhere after the reaction of, "OH GOOD GOD LOOK AT YOU!"

Yes, if you're going to do something stupid, you might as well do it BIGTIME. No half-assed sunburns for me, nosir...

Jay said...

Oh, I feel for you! That can't be any fun - but hey! Look on the bright side. You got a hilarious blog post out of it! LOL!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- Heh- It is strangely consoling to think, "Well, I might not feel so hot, but heck, that post sure did write itself, didn't it? At least thinking of a topic today was easy enough!"

But, that's bloggers for you. I think our arms could be sliced off and we'd be trying to figure out how to document it all, with only one hand. :)

Tiggy said...

Tell me about it! As a fellow pasty-skinned mutant, I have very strange skin. I can be out in the sun for hours and still be the same shade of white. Go out the next day for 10 minutes - rock lobster.

I'm trying to look my best at the moment (due to a hush-hush exciting project yet to be revealed...) needless to say I'm glowing bright red this morning. And I stayed in all weekend! Agghh!

Jenn Thorson said...

Tiggy- it sounds to me like your skin ABSORBS and RETAINS a certain amount of sun, only to be powered up and used against you later when you've reached Surplus.

I'll be excited to learn all about your exciting new tan-inducing endeavor once you're free to share it with us!

Greg said...

Oh, silly, silly thing, you..."oh, it's September, the sun can't hurt me anymore..." Poor baby.

Not to pull the curtain back and reveal the Wizard wildly twisting dials and pulling levers...but I see this was posted at 4 AM. Did you not sleep last evening? Or did you manage to write this before trying to sleep, to be posted later, only working from your sense memory of painful showers in other, past similar occasions...

Either way, condolences to you, my friend. Enjoy that Noxema, there is truly nothing better in such a crisis.

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- Heh, it was more like- Gosh, this place is really shady, the sun can't hurt me here.

But yes, the same result. :)

This wasn't really posted at 4am. This was posted at 8am-- but for some reason my setup refuses to post in actual time. Even though it's set to think Eastern Time, it thinks Pacific Time. And thereby, I have to post it hours earlier than it is, just to get it to post.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Ouchie! You're glowing in the dark?

Damn, I haven't been burned in years...I avoid the outdoors whenever possible.

Sunshine said...

ouch... sorry to hear about the sunburn... For some reason I being a red head also, I tan very well? Not sure how the cross of the gene pool happened but I am glad it did... feel better soon

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Drowsey- I was going to say, "no, not quite glowing in the dark" but the room's fairly dim now, and, well, I CAN still see the sunburn. So... CLOSE. :)

Sunshine- Thanks bunches! I'm not even an actual natural redhead, but I am that pale. Or was. Before this. :)

B said...

Last time I was at a beach the soles of my feet got sunburnt.

That was 6 years ago.

Melanie said...

LOL! Can't help laughing. I do the same thing about once a summer. I have such a pale complexion that even the palest pink lipstick looks garish on me. Every spring I have to go thru the usual burn routine. Once I've burned, my skin toughens up (not to be confused with tanning which seems an impossibility for me) and I don't burn so much. This year is was the very skimpy tank top on a nice May afternoon. ONE hour and I was beet red. I feel for you.

Soak a washcloth with some vinegar and apply it to the burn. It takes the heat out very nicely and helps keep you from peeling.

Meg said...

Sunburn power as an energy source--I like it.;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenn...I also did my share of being in the sun this weekend and am paying a very painful price for it. My shoulders and chest are a boiled lobster red and every movement of my arms is a mini torture session. Seat belts and getting dressed...ugh.
Ah the Jersey shore, how I missed I've completely forgotten what you can do to me.


Jenn Thorson said...

B- Well, with burnt soles I can only imagine the pain-- nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!! :)

Melanie- Oh, and with a tank-top lying down is absolutely impossible... you poor thing. I fortunately didn't burn my back and shoulders. I'd never heard that vinegar trick before-- thanks!

Meg- If only we could harness it! :)

Sue- OH BOY... you, too, eh? Clothes just seem so... optional... suddenly when you're sunburnt... Heh, although coworkers might think differently!:)

Chat Blanc said...

owowowowow! oh I have so been there done that! I feel your pain sista.

you know what? I think your burn may have been the reason the temps were so high yesterday! wow! you are the next energy source. :)

hope things are less crispy today.

Jenn Thorson said...

ChatBlanc- Heh, yes, indeed, there for a day or so, I was definitely raising the temps of our office space at work. The air conditioning was on full-blast but I was both cold and sweltering!

I look and feel A LOT better today. No longer "extra crispy"-- just "original" style. :)