Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tan Lines

As a freshman at FSU in 1976, in Florida, the sunshine state, away from home (far away from Maryland), I discovered my FIRST priority was to become tanned.  Yes, I was there for my enlightenment in the field of "Political Science"  (ARE YOU kidding me???) and I wanted to get through college quickly so I could get on with REAL life, but the MOST important thing to a girl from Maryland who is lucky enough to be accepted into a Florida university, is to come home well tanned.

Smith Hall, the dorm of my freshman year, offered me the perfect place to get that tan, without ever leaving the building,  The roof of the ten-story dorm was fenced to prevent jumpers and accidental drunken tumblers, but it was NOT shaded.  And so, in lieu of actually ATTENDING my Meteorology 101 class (eGADS how BORING can it get?) I would often be "studying" on the roof.  And I was rewarded with the first decent tan I'd ever had.  Previously, fun in the sun had resulted in wicked burns for this once-blonde-and-fair-skinned kid.  I had inherited my father's red-head complexion which is better suited to "sun avoidance."

So there I was, Winter 1976 and Spring of 1977, happily tanning and nearly failing the most basic of science classes, and very proud of my tan.... I will not subject you to photos of those days, as I simply do not have any...otherwise, I can assure you, there would be photos of my tan lines!  Sadly, however, that was the LAST decent tan I ever had.  Once I moved out of Smith Hall and that wonderful roof was no longer at my daily disposal, I returned to the "overdo it when you actually get a chance to sunbathe" mode that had been my life experience.  And, with that came the return to the burn-and-peel Judy.

As an adult, working mother with young children, wife to love-to-fish hubby, I experienced MANY more sunburns and even managed to get sun poisoning, just in time for my brother Ray's wedding...let me just say that standing in pantyhose and heels in front of all of the friends and family who had gathered to attend this event, singing the "Our Father" with my brother Tim, was PAINFUL with feet swollen to twice their since from the sun poisoning.

But, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, so I take advantage of it as often as I can.  At 52 I have already had several little reminders of those burns removed by the dermatologist...thankfully, so far, they have only been the basal cell carcinomas.

I was looking at photos Joe took of me in the past few days, as I tended my plants in one of the gardens, and I thought how things have changed over the years.  I seriously do not even OWN a swimming suit any more.  If I am going in the water anywhere, it is in a pair of shorts and tank top.  And I literally LIVE in my overalls...they are baggy enough to be cool even in this sweltering heat, and they help keep the bugs from chewing every inch of skin-real-estate.  And when I catch a glimpse of my "tan lines" I have to admit, they are not something I would go around bragging about!  I think when we were young and oh so willing to laugh at everyone who was not like us, we referred to what I now sport as a "farmer's tan."  Well, good thing I'm now beyond caring whether I have a beautifully bronzed body...because that just ain't happenin' any more.





Baby Melon July 22




Same Melon July 23

With this intensely hot, humid and sunny summer we are having we have LOTS of opportunity for outside work (and play) but sun bathing is just not an option......Good thing too, since this week has been filled with, gardening, painting, raking....BARK fallen from the giant sycamore, mowing, mowing, mowing....ummmm, working on lawn mower, cleaning out sheds, wiring my eBay trailer for lights and A/C...and more...

You call THOSE "Tan lines????!!!!"


11 comments:

Geri said...

As a fair skinned freckled gal tan lines on me do not exist. LOL, I have places that HAVE freckles and places that do NOT HAVE freckles. I am now a true believer in sun screen, and I also believe that hopefully ghost white pale will be the "in" thing again....LOL

mixednut555 said...

I actually have a tan! And didn't have to work for it, just got it from being here in Hawaii. :)
I have to put on sunscreen everytime I leave the house though or I would be perpetually burnt!

Sharon said...

No sunbathing for me anymore, I have not had to have anything removed, but my skin is a mess, the tops of my arms are like leather. I too, spent a lot of time in the sun, with the girls, back in my "Desperate Housewives" days! It was the "in" thing to do... and so was smoking, drinking, and partying. What we do to our bodies when we are young and immortal, whew!

Feral Female said...

Great pictures! I tend to burn and peel and never tan.*Sighs*

Sharon said...

I left a comment on your dream post.

terriebensen said...

yeah well - - there's a way to not get ANY tan lines at all, but we'll talk about that one when we're all a little older...maybe...

Judy's Corner said...

Geri, yep, I know exactly what you mean...my back is SO freckled it is obnoxious! Dad is red-head, white freckled skin and five out of the six kids got his skin type...only one brother got my mom;s skin type and he was always tanned!

And I guess I don't much care what's "in" anymore...at my age, I'm happy that I can enjoy life without worrying about what other people think I should aspire to!

Judy's Corner said...

kat! When I was a young woman, I would have been very jealous of you with that perpetual tan. I have not had good luck with sunscreen, actually having one of my worst burns as a result of using sunscreen...long story, but I now just avoid the stuff. Nevertheless, now I can appreciate other people with their glorious tans and feel no envy whatsoever. Living in paradise, on the other hand, is enviable!

Judy's Corner said...

Sharon, you know, I never was a smoker or much of a partier or drinker, and STILL I am falling apart! LOL... But...I still like to be outside when the weather is decent, so I suppose I will always be fighting the skin issues.

Judy's Corner said...

FF, thanks! We do enjoy taking the photos! And I guess it is comforting to discover so many who are the burn and peelers too!

Judy's Corner said...

Terrie....I think we ALL know how to get a tan without tan lines, BUT....I DON'T think I want to burn even MORE of my body! (thank you very much! LOL)