Sometimes, I think without truly thinking my thought through. Sometimes, there are consequences. Most of the time, those consequences hurt, either physically, emotionally, or mentally.
Monday, I decided that I’d enjoy being outside for once. I’d totally sit somewhere nice, sunshiny, maybe shadowy, and just read or draw or do something creative. Well, I did. I sat outside. It was so beautiful out, I loved it. Normally, I hate being outside. I avoid being outside. Why? Because I got shafted in the genes department — the household I live in, while still a little a pale, all manage to tan. I do not tan. I am fair; so much, that I’m pretty sure that I burn faster than a red-head from Ireland.
So I sat outside, in the sun, reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. I didn’t even think about it. I just wanted to sit somewhere and read. How many times do I have to say this? It was beautiful outside!
Two hours later, I went home. I “snuck” in (my mother didn’t hear me), I wandered upstairs and then an hour or so later, I wandered back downstairs. As I came downstairs, my mom looked up at me and gasped “WHEN DID YOU COME HOME, I DIDN’T HEAR YOU COME IN!” There was the obligatory reply “Mom, I’ve been home for hours. Geez.” And then, as I meandered away, she stopped me and said “Wow, you look pretty red.” “What?” “Your skin. It’s pretty red.” “Oh, I was out in the sun.” “What, really?” “Yes, really.”
I marched my butt back upstairs and stood in front of the upstairs bathroom mirror to see just how red my skin was. I stared. And I stared. And I stared some more. It didn’t look that bad, did it? It certainly didn’t hurt. It was just red.
But I knew all about these fickle things called sunburns. Sunburns may look like they don’t hurt, but they actually will in a while, especially if they’re as dark as red as mine was. So I slathered my shoulders, chest, and back of my neck with some aloe vera that I haven’t touched since I got a burn in Hawaii, almost three years ago now. As soon as that stuff hit my skin, I immediately felt relief that I didn’t even realize I needed. Not that it lasted that long.
For some reason, I have to go back multiple times to continue relieving the heat and the pain. Like, within fifteen, twenty minutes multiple. Maybe I’m applying it wrong or I’m not rubbing it in correctly, I don’t know. What I do know, is that this is probably the second worst sunburn I’ve gotten in twenty years of trying to go outside. (The first one from Hawaii in 2010; we’d gone snorkeling and even with sunscreen, I burnt the top of my thighs so bad, that I couldn’t move for almost two days. I used half the bottle of that aloe vera then and there, trying to stop the pain.)
So I learned my lesson. I learned that I really need to bring sunscreen with me wherever I go. I need to put that crap on and I need to keep it on, otherwise, I’m going to continue to burn. And lemme tell you, once you feel the rage of the sun on your back and shoulders, and can’t lift anything above your head or get to sleep comfortably or, and this is my personal favorite, not be able to wear clothing, you’ll use sunscreen, too.
I’m currently molting now. I’m glad I’m in the itchy/peeling stage now, because that means it’s getting better. My skin still hurts a little, but it’s more like a dull throbbing that needs moisture.