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Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Degree Above an Albino  

Those of you that have skin with sufficient pigment may not know what it is like to be in the shockingly white skin of those of us who live one degree above an Albino. What separates us really is only a small amount of pigment, I believe. But, because I am not truly an Albino, I won't profess to be able to stand in their more-white-than-my feet either. Instead, I'll just share four days in my life.

DAY Monday, April 14--Woke up to a glorious sunny day. 80 degrees. Budding tree branches. Flowers blooming. Then the invite. The neighborhood pool. Moms, kids, free drinks and McDonald's cheeseburgers. How could I resist? Not making lunch, getting out of housework, getting away from the computer I'd been glued to--well, since October. I shoved myself into my swim suit, located beach towels, grabbed some chairs, and headed for spring paradise. It all seemed too easy. I sat, I talked, I ate, I drank, I stayed 2 hours longer than planned, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And, my kids were thrilled for all the same reasons. Life was beautiful!

EVENING Monday, April 14--Joined our friends at the Children's Museum and an Italian dinner nearby. Suddenly, my feet started to swell. I noticed that I didn't care that the air conditioning wasn't working in the museum. My skin started to feel tight. Then, I said the wrong thing and received the ever so slight kick under the table, which felt like someone took a knife to me. No holding back the scream! Sunburn season had begun. You would think with 38 years of experience, especially when some of those years took place during the time when they didn't have SPF 5 Million, I would be prepared. But no! I not only didn't bring sun screen. I didn't think about it--not for me, not for my two boys with virgin white skin also one degree above an Albino.

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT Tuesday, April 15--Oh! My! Gosh! Can I scream or will I wake the kids. Troy? Troy? TTTTRRRRRROOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! Get the burn gel. Get the Ibuprofen. Take this burning away from me. AHHHHHHHH! Ah! Back to sleep.

DAY Tuesday, April 15--More Ibufrofen. No shower (are you kidding me????). No leaving the house. No sudden or big movements. More burn gel please!

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT Wednesday, April 16--See MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT Tuesday, April 15.

DAY Wednesday, April 16--Still no shower (getting gross, but still--are you kidding me????). More Ibuprofen (are you sure this stuff isn't addictive?). More burn gel (could they make it in "warm"?). More tightness (who do I talk to at the burn gel plant about what "moisturizing" means?). More swelling in the feet (am I pregnant again?). OUCH! I am soooooo stupid.

DAY Thursday, April 17--No option. Gotta shower. Can we all say together: Scream-inducing hot lava??? Oh! My! Hell! (Did you notice the slight change in phrase there?) More burn gel. Tightness still. Pink skin (sorry, not going to include a pic).

I only have two experiences that beat this one and they are worth mentioning.

1. July 1984--when I wore a bikini for the first time (against my mother's wishes), slathered baby oil all over my exposed body, and laid at the front of the boat ALL DAY while we jetted around Lake Powell (I had HUGE blisters from that one). My mom laughed (I deserved it.).
2. August 1990--after a 25-minute walk on the Ecuadorian shore. Apparently, if you are on the equator and it is cloudly--even if it is only 9 a.m.--you still need sun block.

So... all of you pigmented people. Be grateful for being more than one degree up from an Albino and hope that you can never relate with me on being so white or so stupid :).

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3 bits of juicy gossip: to “ One Degree Above an Albino

  • hailey
    April 17, 2008 at 3:21 PM  

    I love it Jyl! I can almost feel the pain, you're writing is so descriptive. And I can relate - I think I'm 2 steps above an albino. What I wouldn't give for my mother's nice olive skin that is tan after 1 day. But my Dad contributed something to me besides his very white skin - his height - which comes in really handy when little old ladies in the grocery store ask you to reach something off the top shelf.

  • The Foster Family
    April 18, 2008 at 10:45 AM  

    I think I could add a couple more times to the 3 you mentioned in this blog, I don't remember dates though, but I remember a VERY pink you walking around school one time. Maybe after a pom pom car wash fundraiser?? I think pictures are totally appropriate- you should have added one- you would have gotten more sympathy!

    Hey- we are coming up for Women's Conference. Staying at a hotel, but want to get together with you! Will call ya soon!

  • Becky
    April 18, 2008 at 10:13 PM  

    It has been proven...Ibuprofin and Benadryl taken together after you have been in the sun will help cure a IS amazing. A dr. I worked for taught me that!! I dispise sunburns.