A few weeks ago I was getting dressed for my exercise class in the bathroom at work and I briefly noticed that my lower shins seemed to be discolored compared to the rest of my leg. I figured it was the combination of the lighting and my tendency to wear extremely tight pants with socks over top (doing it the Swedish way).
The next day I was drying off after a shower and realized that the colorization difference was still evident. It could not be explained by hipster Swedish pants this time since I don’t sleep in pants or Swedish hipsters. The panic set in, my mind flashed to all the medical maladies I’ve spent hours reading about on WebMd.
I tried to remain calm as I stood there sort of wet, a little bit naked but definitely discolored. I even gave myself a rather benign diagnosis, “oh it must be a rash, (a rash that means I can probably never eat bacon again and my leg is going to fall off!) ” To confirm my diagnosis I walked (okay, speed walked) to the next best medical expert in the house, Marcus. I lurked down to where he was on the computer and said, with only a slight hint of panic in my voice, “Babe, look at my shins, do they look odd to you?” He’s a critical thinker that fiance of mine, he looked, sat quietly for a moment (at which point my brain confirmed for itself that I only had weeks to live) and said, “As weird as any sunburned ankles would look.”
Oh right, there’s a perfectly LOGICAL explanation, one that should have been obvious given my history.
It 100% absolutely never fails that I get a sunburn in March during the first warm weekend of pre-Spring. You’d think I would learn. I’m pale, like really pale. The 18th century English might call it porcelain, that’s nice of you dead people, but really I’m just highly reflective. I don’t tan.
So when that first 65 degree day of spring arrives what do I do? Purchase a sunhat? Ask my dermatologist if she has anything stronger than SPF 70? No, I don’t do that. What I do is I brunch outside, ride bicycles and read Harry Potter in the backyard wearing capri pants. I do, briefly, think, oh I do, that I should put on some sunscreen. I respond to myself, rather rudely, that it will be fine just this once, it’s only March after all. And you know it is fine, I’m rocking a cool reverse sock tan that means spring is here and I have an entire summer of not-tanning ahead of me because lesson learned and SPF 50 applied.