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The Sunburn

September 1, 2013

One of the highlights of living in the South is the weather. I really don’t like snow all that much, so living in an area that rarely gets snow is fabulous. I will take those hot and humid days of August for a mild December-February any day. Living where it is warmer also means you get more time outside with warmer weather… pool season is late April/ early May until October here. This means that sunscreen, tanning lotions, swimsuits and hats are often available. I generally am pretty good about using sunscreen if I’m going to be outside, and if I’m at the pool I usually have on a big floppy hat. Generally.

Then we have the occasional screw-up. I had a major event for work this week that had me running around outside in the heat and humidity from 8:45am-3:15pm. I even made the point to stop and buy new sunscreen on my way to work so that I would have a full bottle. I had a big staff working with me and I kept asking everyone if they had sunscreen and enough water, because I didn’t want anyone to get burnt or dehydrated. Somewhere in my concern for everyone else I forgot to check on myself and I got fried. Even though I put sunscreen on my neck, arms and legs a couple times, I still got a bit burnt. The major problem was that I completely forgot to put it on my face and I also forgot a hat. So I got REALLY burnt on my face/forehead/ hair line. And now I look like I have the worst dandruff ever because I’m peeling at my hairline. Add to the fact that I was wearing big sunglasses, .so the area around my eyes is pale still. It is a disaster. But, I’ve got lots of moisturizer and aloe, so it will get better.

The story above is really just a precursor to another story about another sunburn. And I’m only sharing it in hopes that it makes the Bestie laugh. She loves to bring up this story, and she’s been having a rough week  with her Dad in the hospital. So Tammi, this blog is for you.

The worst sunburn I have ever had in my life happened during a trip to Indian Rocks in 2009. It was so bad that it is still being brought up and rubbed in my face nearly five years later.

It started because I was exhausted. It got worse because I decided to use a new product. I had just wrapped up a whirlwind semester at Country Club College and I was completely and totally exhausted.  I think I went from graduation, to close out, to getting on a plane to go to Florida in a two day period. It was nuts and I was really tired. The adopted family had gotten down there before me, so they picked me up at the airport, we had lunch and ran some errands and then had time for some fun on the beach.

I remember clearly all I wanted to do was sit in my chair, dig my toes in the sand, listen to some music and read a book. I set my chair up in a good spot, put my towel on it and got my new sunscreen out of my bags. Spray on sunscreen. No lotion, no mess. I thought it was a brilliant concept and I stood there on the beach and sprayed it on my skin, with the breeze blowing and the sight of the ocean calming me. I pulled my floppy hat on my head, plugged my Ipod in and sat down in the chair to relax.

And I promptly fell asleep.

For nearly two hours.

I felt pretty good when I woke up, there is nothing quite as relaxing as sleeping by the ocean. I didn’t even notice any problems until that evening, when I started to see the tale-tell hints of a burn. Then, as the evening went on, it kept getting worse. It wasn’t an even sunburn. It was in odd shapes and odd designs all over my body. I mean, flaming red over two inches and then pale white on the other side. It was odd. AND THAT IS WHEN I READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SUNSCREEN. Apparently you have to actually rub the sunscreen in still. Also, if it is windy (remember I mentioned that nice, calming breeze) you need to apply a little more, and do it a little closer to the skin. So, I ended up looking like this for the week…


The pizza slice

The pizza slice



The worst sunburn ever

The worst sunburn ever


It was painful. These pictures only show one leg and one arm. It was bad on the other arm and leg too. And that “pizza slice” shape lasted for months. Not the burn, but if you looked you could see the darker area of skin that was in the shape of a pizza slice. Now, anytime anyone of us gets a sunburn, we all compare it to how bad the pizza slice burn was. Nothing has beat this yet. Which is good, because this wasn’t pleasant. But it did provide a lot of laughs, as I hope it does again today.



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