Today I saw what is truly the first sign of summer: three young teens suntanning on a roof. Yes, laid out side by side on blankets, ladder propped up on the eaves.
Why, you ask?
Gosh! The closer you are to the sun, the faster you will tan. EVERYBODY knows that.
Really, I had to laugh. We used to do the same thing. We would use my rooftop because where the garage had been enclosed, there was a connected laundry room with a lower roofline. No ladder needed, just climb the iron trellis, fling a leg up on the shingles and pull yourself up. Girls down below then toss blankets, kitchen timer, radio, baby oil and lemons up.
Now, I was a few years behind the girls who put iodine in the baby oil they slathered on. We would spread out our blankets, cover every inch of skin with baby oil, then squeeze lemon juice in our hair (for highlights!). We would turn on the radio and lay back, carefully spreading our hair out in a fan around our heads and set the timer. Fifteen mintutes. Ding. Turn. Fifteen minutes. Ding. Turn.
This was just a few years away from the big education push about the dangers of the sun. I don't think we would have cared even if we knew, any more than those girls I saw today. You needed a base tan before you started cutting class to go to the Washout on Folly Beach to watch the surfers. (I was a geek- me and my geek friends went one row down from the Washout cos we weren't cool enough to actually hang out there, just cool enough to go watch. From a distance.)
I just hope those girls today don't have the pleasant experience of having a dermatologist remark, while burning pre-cancerous spots off your face, "Yes, you are of an age now, time to pay for the sins of your youth."
That was uncalled for.
True, but uncalled for.