I pit myself: Sunday is Sunburnday

I can easily remember those carefree days of my childhood, running around the neighborhood for hours on end. During the summer, especially, from sunup to sundown, I was usually outside, riding my bike, chasing my brother, walking the dog. All the while, I’d be turning a nice, healthy golden brown, and I’d thank my half-Asian roots for the blissful ability to tan without effort. Even now, every year, my right arm turns a nice, deep, and sunkissed tan from driving down the road, tapping the beat of my music on the roof of the car. Some years, the disparity between my left arm and my right arm was almost comical.

I’m not a sunner by nature, I don’t intentionally set out to get a tan, because, well, I never need to. But this year, long commuting (5 hours a day!) cuts my daylight exposure to near-nonexistence, and so my legs have remained a woeful, and almost blinding, shade of white. So I grabbed my Discman, cleaned off the patio lounger, and spent a few hours basking in the clear, balmy warmth of this beautiful first day of summer. The sun occasionally retreated behind the clouds, and I’d go inside, get something to drink, eat lunch, check the SDMB, and return outside for some more well earned relaxation.

Finally, after a few hours of a really perfect afternoon, I came in for the day, feeling amazingly relaxed and refreshed. I sat down on the couch and practiced the guitar for a while. I surfed the net for a bit, played a few of the online games I am involved in, and decided to take a nap. A perfect way to end a perfect afternoon. I slept blissfully until 6:00, and woke up feeling damn good.

I went to the kitchen to see about dinner, and was standing in front of the stove, looking in the cabinet overhead, when I realized that there was heat coming off the oven. Odd, I’m the only one home. Why would the oven be warm? I opened the oven, and it was cold as could be. With dawning dread, I looked down at my legs.

You could use my legs to entice a bull. Stop traffic. Send Homeland Security into a frenzy. Make a cooked lobster jealous. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’ve never had more than a faint touch of sunburn, generally on the tip of my nose, or on some part of me that never sees the sun, like my shoulders. But always just a very faint pink, and never painful. I’m not worried that I have any serious degree of sunburn, but it’s sunburn alright, and it does NOT feel good. I feel like I’m wearing an electric blanket on my legs. They’re actually giving off heat, which is something new to me. My arms are nicely tanned now, and face has gotten a decent amount of color, but my legs… My legs are really rather red, and man do they hurt.

I drew myself a cool bath, applied some lotion (which was painful before it was soothing) and searched for some Tylenol. Nothing. Not a damn granule of Tylenol in the house. The pain isn’t at all unbearable, but if I can avoid it, I’d like to. I’m about to give up the search when it occurs to me that Midol has acetaminophen in it as well. I check the ingredients: acetaminophen, caffeine and a diuretic. Works for me.

The pain has pretty much subsided into a dull heat, nothing I can’t stand for the next two days until the skin heals. No blisters, no sign of any serious burn. But I’ve never been this shade of red before, and I’m wondering if I have shoes to match it…

Right there with you dude.

Aloe is good for sunburn – straight from the plant is best in my experience, but you can buy it as well. It’s soothing and moisturizing.

The last time my shoulders got burnt, I put aloe on and turned up the ceiling fan and sat underneath…ahhhhhhhhh. That was about three years ago and I still remember how good it felt.

I went to the Cayman Islands last November to act as Best Man in my friends’ wedding. The last day I was there I got sunburned. Really bad. The plane ride back was terrible, as I am a broad shouldered guy and sitting in coach with sunburned shoulders cramped between two other broad shouldered people for five hours was not fun.

When I was waiting for my dad to pick me up at Dulles, I took off my coat. I have to tell you, the 30 degree cold felt sooooooooo good. Then I got in the car and he was blasting the heat. That hurt sooooooooo bad. Then I got home and just went outside on the patio to smoke a cigarette. Again, it felt sooooooooo good just to be outside. I may have gotten a cold, but it was well worth it.

Aloe is definitely on my shopping list… This morning it feels better overall, but taking a shower was agony. The water was as cool as I could stand it, but trickling over my poor abused legs it felt like it was boiling water. Walking is also a little more painful - never knew using my “walking” muscles (calves, thighs, etc) stretched the skin to such a degree. Yikes.

I couldn’t imagine being stuck in a plane that way. If someone were even to brush up against my legs at this point, I’d probably lay them out. Or at least fail miserably in the attempt.

Do people still sunbathe? Intentionally?

I did the same thing this Saturday. I wasn’t in the sun intentionally; I had an all-day regatta. It was raining in the morning so I kinda flaked on the sunscreen. By midday the sun had come out and I spent 6 hours in the afternoon sun.

I’m a red head.

My legs are soooooo pink. But only from mid thigh to the sock line. Extremely sexy. And my back, neck and arms are really, really painful too. And the part of my hair. My face is Ok 'cause I had a lot of sun screen on there.

Why am I such a freaking moron? I’m a freaking red head with blue eyes. My skin is so white it glows under black light. I live in Texas. I grew up in Florida. I’m not five freaking years old. I have skin cancer in my family. I know I burn. Yet, every freaking summer I do the same damn thing. ARGH.

This is one of those things that’s so enormously idiotic, it’s hard to even type it.

Well, I never was one for lying out in the sun, so I guess I have the pitiful excuse of ignorance.

Went to the beach one day on one of my first real “outtings” as a teenager – I was probably 15 but had the good fortune to have a 16-year-old friend who could drive. I slathered on the Coppertone No. 4, but that’s not the tragic part. See, in those early, pre-make-up days, I wore Vaseline on my lips, for that glimmery 15 year-old shine.

Not only did I slather myself in ol’ No. 4, but slathered my lips in Vaseline. :smack:

To top of my knuckle-dragging adventure, I fell asleep. Perhaps if I had remained awake, I would have noticed my lips ballooning to the size of watermelons.

What a complete moron, I was.

Nowadays, people pay thousands of dollars for that look!

Owwwwwwww. I’ve never burnt my lips like that but I can imagine…

The absolute worst sunburn I ever had was when I was twelve and went off to snorkling camp. All week long, face down in the water, without my mom to nag me to put on a t-shirt or sunscreen.

I had blisters on my back the size of quarters. My skin was such a sticky, peeling, weepy mess my t-shirts would adhere to my skin and have to be pried off. Ow. My skin was meant for northern, overcast climes…

Honestly Eve when I saw Meg Ryan’s new lips (I think denied, but I don’t believe it), the first thing I thought about was that unfortunate day in the sun.