One Big Giant Freckle (Or a Million Little Ones)*

I had an appointment this morning and the woman that I was dealing with asked where I’ve been because she hasn’t seen me in forever. It hasn’t been forever, I see her every month but maybe it felt like forever to her. I’m often not very nice when I go to these appointments and so I would think that she would have been happy to NOT see me for a few weeks but perhaps I’m not as rude or as difficult to deal with as I like to think I am. In fact, I can be quite nice and I know this. I was very nice to the guy at the organic butcher this evening and he was very nice to me and we were like one big happy family with smiles all around.

I explained to the woman that I had been in Florida for two weeks and she arched an eyebrow at me and said, “Really? You don’t LOOK like you’ve been to Florida.”

I looked down at my arms, at the tan I had worked pretty damn hard for, and looked back up at her. “What are you talking about,” I said. “Don’t you see how tanned I am?”

She blinked, as if she had missed my glowing bronzed skin the first time and then she shook her head. “No way,” she said. “My coworker was in Florida and she came back and SHE’S tanned. I mean, she’s really dark.”

“I’m really dark,” I protested and she shook her head again. “Are you kidding me?” I asked. “Do you not remember how PALE I am? THIS IS DARK.”

When I got to work today I mentioned to a coworker that my tan had just been insulted and he tried not to laugh as he held his tanned arm up to mine to compare. “You do know that you’re not any darker than me, right?” he asked. “And this isn’t a Florida tan. Besides,” he continued, “you know that K was just in Florida too, for a third of the time you were there and she’s darker than you?”

“Yeah, yeah,” I said, and tried not to be annoyed. “I SAW her tan. But that’s besides the point. This,” I said, pointing at my arm. “This is DARK.”

And then he didn’t bother to not try and laugh at me, he just did.

“This,” I said to a friend of mine when I saw her earlier this week, “is as good as it gets. I don’t tan much more than this.” Because for some insane reason I seemed to feel the need to defend the safe, healthy tan I got while excessively applying sunscreen in Florida. We spent a FORTUNE on sunscreen this trip, going through the three cans I brought with us in less than a week and then buying three more tubes. I spent the entire trip applying various SPFs (50, 45, and 30), starting off the day with a lower SPF and then moving up in SPF as they day progressed. And yes, I applied it NUMEROUS times. Under my makeup in the morning, while I was sitting in the golf cart. Before I got in the pool. After I got out of the pool. If I changed shirts and exposed a bit of skin that was previously covered. I did the soles of my feet when we were laying by the pool and made sure I got my ears before I left the house. The last time I had a severe sunburn I ended up with sunstroke and fell asleep (passed out) in a bar and ended up getting myself and everyone else that I was with kicked out because (and I didn’t know this having never done it in a bar before) you’re not supposed to fall asleep at a bar. Even if you have sunstroke. Never again, I swore, the next day, as I sat, gingerly, covered from head to toe in white cotton, under an umbrella while everyone else frolicked in the waves at the beach.

When I told my boss that my tan was getting insulted, she was appropriately shocked. “You’re kidding me,” she said. “You’re REALLY tanned.” And before I could try and figure out if she was being sarcastic or not, she continued. “Did these people not see you BEFORE you went to Florida?”


I said during my trip that I was going to post before and after pictures to document my tan, mostly because I can’t really pull up my shirt and show the non-believers the white of my belly in comparison to the browness of my arms, back and legs. I COULD pull the top of my shirt down slightly and show off the contrast between my upper chest and the swell of my breast but I learned my lesson a few years ago when I did that in the office and a male colleague saw and swallowed hard and then couldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. I’m posting the photos below to have them on record and the next time someone criticizes my lovely Florida tan I’m going to load up my blog on my iphone and show them the cold, hard (TANNED) proof and then we’ll see who laughs at who.

(And this should be the last Florida post).

(Fresh from the shower, two days AFTER we got back from Florida. And if you think my face has a lot of freckles, you should see my back!)

(Don’t even TRY telling me that THAT’S not a tan line. And yes, I’m wearing a bikini, and in fact, wore it every single day practically, even when we snorkelled and I wore it even though my butt has become the size of TEXAS and I totally didn’t realize it until I saw this photo).

*The other day, before returning to work, I picked up some new foundation to wear to the office because my other foundations were much to light on my tanned skin. I ended up buying a tube of Smashbox’s Sheer Focus and I bought it because a) it’s a tinted moisturizer rather than a foundation so it barely looks like you’re wearing makeup and b) it has a UVA/UVB SPF of 15 and c) it doesn’t cover up my freckles which unfortunately don’t come in a bottle but should because who doesn’t love a gal with freckles on her cheeks (and everywhere else)?

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4 Responses to One Big Giant Freckle (Or a Million Little Ones)*

  1. Heather says:

    I know first hand your troubles with “tanning”. If I’ve gained at least 3000 more freckles then I had the week before…then I’m TANNED damnit, and you can’t tell me different.

  2. Tawny says:

    Oh Heather, I miss you (and your freckles!) so much! Am I ever going to see you again??

  3. Anonymous says:

    interesting post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?

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