Last night my daughter stared at me and said “What’s wrong with your face mum?”
For a start my face was shiny because I’d just covered it in a mixture of olive oil (chuck a few lettuce leaves on and you could eat my face.) and vitamin e oil squeezed from capsules, but I’d also been frustratedly scrubbing at (ex foliating) my “sun spots” that have been appearing ever since I turned forty.
I’d scrubbed too hard you see, so my face looked hideously splotchy.
I’m getting old.
Concealer is my best friend.
(I wonder if you can tattoo sun spots a paler shade?)
Anyway, so then I started lecturing my daughters, the eldest in particular who’s been living out in the desert these past few years about the damage sun does to your skin.
Trust me….a tan is JUST NOT WORTH IT!
Not only is skin cancer a REAL danger but wrinkles and sun spots are a given.
I remember when I was nursing I’d been dressing an elderly man who’s skin on his bottom and upper thighs was like that of a teenagers, never seen the light of day, but his lower legs were paper thin skin that so many elderly people end up with. Like crepe paper.
As I pulled his pyjama pants up the elastic caught on part of his shin, and though I was by no means being rough or hurried, the mere friction caused a sheath of skin to peel right off!
I felt SO bad about it, but it happens.
THAT is what the sun does to your skin!
When I was a teenager I lived right near Bondi beach and we’d go down there from dawn to dusk, smother ourselves in tropical suntan OILS (Ahh the smell of coconut always takes me back to those days) and happily bake ourselves all day, every day for the entire school holidays.
What’s more, I sunbathed (sun fried) topless!
What idiots we were.
So now…..the sunspots remind me every day that being golden brown was SO not worth it.
The conversation reminded me too of the time my husband and I went to a nudist beach.
I’d never done the whole completely NAKED IN PUBLIC thing before, so it was kind of cool and exciting and “bad”.
Sand in ALL the wrong places.
Some old creepy pervert hung around the top of the cliffs watching us the entire time.
I never went there again.
The idea of being naked (alone) and FREE in a gently sun dappled forest, communing with nature and all that, you know, appeals to my quirky side.
But then again….OMG!!! Leeches!
Then there was the other memory of being in primary school and being invited out with a friend’s family for the day.
We went down somewhere near Botany bay, trekked through bushland for what seemed like forever.
I was walking behind the stepmum, who was wearing the shortest of shortest denim shorts with half her butt cheeks hanging out. I remember wondering if that was supposed to look “sexy”. Even at 11 I was aware of what skanky meant, even if THAT word wasn’t around yet.
We got down to the beach, which was pretty isolated, not many people about, when all of a sudden my friends dad began stripping off…Like taking EVERYTHING off, and there he was, butt naked, dongle swaying in the breeze.
I didn’t know WHERE to look!
Skanky stepmum was in a G string bikini but off went her top, big bouncy boozies jiggling all over the place….
“They always do it. Don’t worry about it.” said my friend when she noticed my eyes boggling.
Strange isn’t it.
I would NEVER think to take my kids friends out on a day trip and casually strip naked and let it all hang out in all it’s fuzzy and jiggly glory.
Not that there is anything WRONG with the naked human body. Lord knows I’ve seen enough in my nursing days in all shapes, sizes, ages and degree’s of health.
But….if you want the same skin that’s on your bum, to be like the skin on your face….?
I had an argument one time with my other half.
We weren’t speaking.
Both of us were sulking so he took himself out onto the verandah , got naked and proceeded to sunbake out there ALL day.
He fell asleep…on his stomach…..for many many hours.
His backside hadn’t seen the sun in a VERY long time.
That night he hobbled in to me, almost in tears.
Our self enforced silent treatment HAD to be broken, because his bum looked like he’d just roasted it, on HIGH in the OVEN!
What a cooked rump it was!
I have never seen such bad sunburn. Red as a tomato, ended up blistering badly and he could not SIT for many many days!
I remember laughing (so mean) as I painstakingly laid cool wet towels on his rear end the whole night and admonished him for being “So stupid!”
I hate the sun, with a passion.
I detest summer, the heat, the glare. I’m never without sunglasses.
I’m beginning , at times, to feel the faint whispers of the promise of winter. Autumn at least, let’s not get too carried away.
I crave the gentle light and the crisp night air.
As for my sun spots… (ok, ok, so I guess they’re called AGE spots. Oversized freckles?)
Dang it…I shouldn’t have exfoliated so vigorously.
Think I’ll stick to moon bathing.