Let me preface this post by describing myself to you.
I am blonde, blue eyed, and terribly fair skinned. I have had freckles ever since I can remember. Tanning is not something that comes easily to me at all. My oh-so-charming husband likes to tell me that I’m so pale, I’m transparent. Grr. Is it weird to say that sometimes I am a little jealous of my olive skinned daughter?
Before we moved away, every year my nurse friends and I would gang up and take on some poor, unsuspecting beach for a few days. We dubbed our trips “Nurses Gone Wild”, followed by the number or year of whatever trip that happened to be. We were all just looking for a little relaxation and time away from the husbands and kids. And as one of the girls put it, ‘get toasted on the beach’. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that phrase. 😉
This particular story comes from Nurses Gone Wild ‘08, the second time we all converged upon Panama City Beach! That was the year my best friend Mel tagged along. A couple of the girls went down to PC on Thursday, a few more on Friday, and then Mel and I drove down on Saturday. (are you wondering just how many of us there were? most trips we averaged about 9 people!)
When Mel and I arrived, we dumped all our bags in the condo, changed into our swim suits, and made a beeline for the beach. As we got nearer to the spot the other girls had chosen, we noticed that a group of about 8 college aged guys were camped out right beside them. I thought that was a little strange, as normally, we try to pick a spot that’s away from people (as we sometimes had a tendency to get loud and obnoxious.) Turns out, these guys set up camp later on.
Most of them spent their time in the water. Three of them, however, seemed absolutely fascinated by us…and proceeded to take over our spot on the beach. We tried to be nice for a while, and talk to them to be friendly. But then they just. wouldn’t. leave! They kept acting shocked that we were all mothers, most of us in our thirties. One in particular apparently loved the way I talked, and would just not believe that I was 31 (which I was at the time.) He had situated his towel right smack in front of mine. And let’s just say, he almost pulled back a nub when he kept grabbing my cell phone out of my bag!
We did eventually stop talking to the guys, in hopes they’d get tired of us and leave. Well, most of us did anyway. Poor Chelle didn’t seem to get the unspoken memo “If you ignore them, they’ll go away.” and she kept talking, they kept hanging around.
Now, all I wanted to do that day on the beach was drink my Smirnoff, listen to some music, and get some sun.
Instead, I ended up listening to inebriated frat boys, and I was paranoid about actually laying out…I turn one way, homeboy gets a good view of the girls. I turn the other way, he gets the bottom view. I was in a no win situation. So I spent that afternoon sitting up, with my arms either propped up or wrapped around my knees. Oh, with my feet mostly buried in the sand, thanks to Frat Boy.
I had put on sunscreen, of course, a fair skinned girl like me wouldn’t dare go out to spend hours on a beach without doing that. But I was so annoyed by our uninvited guests, I forgot to reapply it. Finally, the girls decided it was time to head to the condo to get ready for our night out…and after evasively dodging the boys’ questions about where we were going, we ditched them.
Two of our number stayed in that night…too much sun. They told us when we came in late that night that the Frat Boys had come to our room looking for us. We never figured out how exactly they found out which one we were in…but we suspected who had something to do with it.
But anyway…what you can’t really see in the picture above is that we were all FRIED. Blood red lobsters! The parts of me that were practically burnt to a crisp were the parts showing to the sun in my awkward position…my shoulders, the fronts of my legs, and the tops of my feet. The next day, clothes hurt. Shoes hurt. Moving hurt. And I still had to drive home on Sunday! Unbelievably, a few girls wanted to stay a little longer and go back to the beach…but thankfully, Mel agreed with me and we took off. That was the longest drive home EVER. By the time I got home, I was torn between wanting to hug my sweet babies because I’d missed them so much, and just hiding because I didn’t want anyone to touch me.
I spent the next several days cringing every time someone came near me. I dreaded taking showers because the water hurt my shoulders. I didn’t want to wear shoes because my feet hurt so much. Work, in those scrubs, was horrendous.
Then came the peeling stage. My skin peeled for two solid weeks. It was itchy and awful! What was worse was that every time Mel saw me, she actually peeled skin off me because she couldn’t stand looking at it. Weirdo.
Oh, did I forget to mention that my head also got sunburned? Yeah, baby, right in the part. Try running a hairbrush over that.
This song (Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes) became the theme song for that beach trip…
[This post was inspired by this week’s Writers Workshop prompt: Tell about the worst sunburn you ever received…How did that happen?!]