In case I haven’t mentioned it in the last forty-eight seconds, I’m of largely Celtic descent. Sure, there’s a little American Indian tossed into the mix, but by and large I am a product of Ireland and Wales. (Me father he was orange and me mather, she was greeeeen…)
ANYWAY. I am a touch on the pale side, is what I’m getting at, here. And with the days of lying around in a bikini worshiping the Sun God long behind me (that is still considered ‘bad’, right? I have trouble keeping up with the latest medical news…), my always-considerable tendency to go from ‘fine’ to ‘extra crispy’ in about ten seconds flat has gone from tendency to count on it.
Plus, I started a new medication last week for my complete inability to get more than thirty minutes of sleep at a time, which lists among its numerous side effects (cripes, sometimes I wonder if the risks outweigh the benefits) increased sensitivity to sunlight and cautions me to ‘wear SPF 30 or greater’ (OK) and a hat (Not. Going. To. Happen. Sorry.) when out in same.
So naturally, when I went to California’s Great America theme park with Danger Mouse on Sunday, I took along sunscreen. I lathered it onto myself before I left the house, dropped it into my bag for the road, reapplied before we went into the park and again right after we had a shockingly bad AND expensive lunch in the park, when the sun was really beating on me. Or perhaps it was paying seven dollars and fifty cents for a greasy hot dog and a small bag of potato chips that got the heat rising under my collar.
Because, really. I expected the food would be on the expensive side, but they took it waaaaaaay too far on the high price / low quality scale.
(The food at Great America sucks. It is really, really awful. Even their funnel cake was ‘eh’ and again, pricy! Next time, I’m packing a cooler and we’ll just make the hike back out to the parking lot to eat our Forbidden Cheap And Good Fruit at the car. SO THERE!)
A couple hours later as we stood in line (in the sun) for the White Water Rapids, I felt strangely hot. Hot in a way that has nothing to do with the temperature of the air around you, but rather a kind of hot that says, “Hey, did you put your arm in the oven and forget about it?”
I took off my sunglasses and took a hard squint at my arm.
Oh. My. Gawd.
No. No. Nononononononono. No. That is not a sunburn…!
Because I am cool under pressure and also classy, I immediately yanked down the collar of my t-shirt, took one look at the color contrast between my breasts (white as the Cliffs of Dover) and my routinely exposed skin (henna) and yelled, “HOLY @*^&@, I’M REDDER THAN A MAINE LOBSTER RIGHT OUT OF THE POT!!!!”
Klass. Capital ‘K’. That’s me. It’s a wonder I didn’t turn to the people around us in line and demand that they compare my boobs with my neck to get a consensus opinion on the degree of sunburn I had achieved.
Infuriated, I immediately pulled my sunscreen out of my bag so I could find the 800 number and give the people over at Neutrogena a Piece! Of! My! Outraged! And! Also! Slightly! Blistered! Mind!!!!
It was then that I noticed a very important detail about the product I had been so liberally slathering on myself, and it was this: It wasn’t what I thought it was.
I thought I was using this:
Instead, I had grabbed this:
So…that hand lotion would have an SPF of…approximately…using round numbers…zero.
The really sad thing is, these bottles look nothing alike. I mean, same manufacturer and all, but the designs on the bottles are so utterly different that really…I can’t imagine how I didn’t notice I was smearing mere lotion on my body.
Id. Dee. Uht.
But…at least my charred skin is well moisturized.
I’m just…going back to my knitting, now…
Effects of High Altitude
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