Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The REAL Reason for Wearing Sunscreen

     I recently made the mistake of not wearing sunscreen for a whole day at the beach.  My thought process was that, not being as fair skinned as my siblings, I would get a little burnt, peel, and end up tan, instead of sickly pale like I was before.  This is, more or less, what happened, but in the process, my nose got all raw and scabby.  In itself, this was a minor problem, a slight discomfort and a bit of unsightliness, however, combined with the fact that I would shortly be seeing several relatives who tend to be very concerned about sunburn, and skin cancer, and all such things (and many things that are not such at all), the decision carried a lack of foresight.  The first day seeing these relatives, I was surrounded by aunts, grandfathers, and more aunts, asking me how my nose got to be like that, gasping, warning me that I would get dreadful cancer and die from it, and telling me that I needed to slather my face in Zinc Oxide.  Granddaddy even tried to get me to wear one of his hats, but that, fortunately, was not pressed, and I managed to avoid it.  What I did not manage to avoid was the Zinc Oxide.
     My aunt accosted me before going downstairs, and unceremoniously informed me that I had to put something more substantial than just sunscreen on, and that since they didn't have any Zinc, I was going to have to wear diaper rash cream, which apparently has zinc in it.  Diaper rash cream!  The indignity!  As my oldest sister informed me as soon as I told her of it, I was a buttface!  I couldn't scratch my nose if it itched, because I would get gross white stuff on my finger, I couldn't go out in public with any sort of complacency, because I looked ridiculous, my face didn't even feel wet when going underwater (I'm not a duck!  I'm not supposed to have a layer of oil to keep me dry!), my cousin kept commenting that "your face looks a little white, Rebecca, are you okay?" (the thing, if you remember, that I wanted to avoid people asking seriously.  And, in fact, it had been asked, though not to me directly.), and my hair kept sticking to my face, and was gross even after I washed the abominable stuff off!
     Eventually, after all watery and sunny activities had taken place, I got to shower and rid myself of my facial trappings, and the next day my nose looked enough better that no one mentioned the necessity for diaper paste again, but the memory of it haunts me to this very day.  And that, my dear children, is the real reason sunscreen is so important.

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