21 June 2007


Okay, there's this episode of I Dream of Jeannie, where Jeannie and Maj. Nelson were going to have their pre-wedding blood tests. No one thinks anything of it until either Tony or Roger asks Jeannie if her blood is weird in any way. "Oh, no, my blood is just like anyone else's. I have red corpuscles, and white corpuscles, and green corpuscles." And, of course, wackiness ensues.

I think that I have green corpuscles, too. I think that they're derived from chlorophyll or however that works. (I'm not clear on the biology here because I failed to pay sufficient attention in science class because I was "bright but would not work." Just ask my teachers.)

I like to be out in the sunshine. Much as I love "big weather" like thunder and lightening and driving rain or blizzards, I love to be out in the sunshine. If the weather is warm (around 80 degrees) and sunny and not too humid, it's lovely to be outside. The sun warms my skin, vitamin D gets made, and the whole photosynthesis thing kicks in. Eating outside, breathing real air instead of chilled air? Bring it on! Sunshine on my shoulders is like a good back-rub or something. I think I'm most relaxed when I've just slightly desiccated.

I don't know if this is because I have spent the last many years working in cold offices or if it's a throwback to my infancy when Mom would put me outside in my playpen and I'd get all peach colored, which back then was considered healthier than now. Like smoking.

When I was a child and a teenager all the red in my hair would come out in the summer. By September it was nearer auburn than brunette.

And I hate sunblock which feels like a coat of Latex paint. So it's probably just as well that I am the sort of bone-lazy person who doesn't get outside to play nearly as often as she should. And I've never been very good at tanning, so I didn't devote the hours to teen-age rotisserie that my sister did.

But I love to sit outside with a good book and a glass of ice tea, wiggling my toes in the sunlight and despairing that my legs will always be far too pale instead of, say tennis player brown. Because even when I play tennis, only my upper body tans. (Why is that? It's annoying.)

Like a lizard or a tomato plant, I store the sunlight so that I can use it later for energy. I mean, sunshine on my shoulders (yes, I am trying to stick that song in your head) makes me sleepy, but sunshine stored in my shoulders powers all that puttering that I like to do.

And I've had some odd tans in my life. Like the two or three years in college when I wore those cute canvas China flats every single day, winter and summer, and I got a tan on the tops of my feet but not my toes, not to mention the white strap line, which looked as though I had spent the day walking through dust. Or the years when I did 18th Century re-enactment and had a bronze glow on my face, my d├ęcolletage, and on my arms below the elbow, but was arsenic-white everywhere else.

Now, of course, I spend most of my free time in theaters, including on lovely, sunny Sunday afternoons, so I'm pretty Casper-y all over. Which is for the best, really, because I don't believe in purposely aging my skin. If I want to look older I could just squint until the crow's feet set, I guess, and why has that not caught on, I wonder?


Maureen said...

Actually, staying out of the sun is good for another reason - skin cancer avoidance. Since my sister's diagnosis last year made skin cancer a 3-generation family tradition, I've become even more paranoid about it. I still don't apply sunblock religiously (i.e., as part of getting dressed), but I do use it whenever I think I'll be out in the midday sun for any length of time.

Talentedhands said...

Hey! I'm solar-powered, too! Happy summer solstice.