She walks into the room and it seems to her that time stands still. Everyone stops what they are doing, the silence is deafening, as they stare.
I prefer not to be the centre of attention. I'd rather walk into a room and go unnoticed, than have all eyes on me.
Most of the time, I can get away with this. However, when the sun beats down on the prairies in the summer, this is not the case.
And it's started already...
"Oh dear, look at you," comments one lady; "I think you may need more sun," quips a man on the street; "Oh, that's gotta hurt," a man said through the open window of his passing vehicle; and my personal favourite, "you should put some butter on that!"
These are a few comments I hear every summer. It's almost as if I'm a walking advertisement for what not to do under the sun. My skin resembles an over-ripe grape tomato.
I am completely aware of the shade of my skin, but I thank those who point this out to me.
No, it doesn't hurt. It just is. I don't lie out in the sun, in fact, my skin prefers the shade.
I love the heat, but the sun has a hate on for me.
I wandered the streets of Las Vegas with a few friends last month, without even a pinkish tinge to be seen on my skin.
I got home just as ghostly white as I left.
Then one cloudy half-hour of mowing my lawn and exposed skin turns 50 shades of red. Yes, I wear sunscreen. Yes, it's above an SPF of 2.
I don't tan. I have never tanned. I have never had the desire to have a tan. Even if I did, my skin tone wouldn't let me. My skin goes from white to pink to deep red, back to pink and then white again in the winter.
The worst burns happen when I'm not meaning to be in the sun for too long. For example, taking outdoor pictures for the paper, I know enough to rotate like a rotisserie chicken roasting over hot coals.
Take a picture. Turn away. Turn back. Snap again. It must look silly, but it works... somewhat.
The greatest invention to alleviate sunburn is aloe. This sticky substance and I become the best of friends in the summer.
Would someone please pass the aloe?