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Scottish and sunburned | dooce® dooce® » I'm Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website. » Scottish and sunburned

Scottish and sunburned

While on vacation in South Carolina we took a leisurely (HA! Jon has scars from all my nagging TO GET A MOVE ON) trip to Fripp Island, a private beach where rich white people roam around in golf carts. We had packed swimsuits and thought that we could pick up sunscreen on the 20 mile drive out, but the gas station we picked had none in stock. They did, however, have four-foot-wide barrels of ice and beer sitting at the end of each aisle, you know, in case anyone got thirsty on their long drive. I HAVE BEEN IN UTAH WAY TOO LONG.

The group of people we met on the island let us borrow some of their sunscreen but it was only SPF 15. Jon and I are both descendants from very fair-skinned Scottish zombies. Our skin burns if we stand too close to the stove. We lathered, seriously doused our bodies in sunscreen, but both of us left the beach scorched from head to toe. I had a blurred white handprint in the middle of my stomach where the sunscreen had actually done its job, a banner of stupidity complete with an arrow in the sky pointing down to my body flashing TOURIST TOURIST TOURIST.

Jon started peeling yesterday morning, his face coming off in sheets. I heard him moaning from the bathroom, “I am LIZARD MAN. FEEEEAAAAAR MEEEEEE.” I may burn easily but I’m not normally a peeler. Yet, yesterday the area around the handprint on my stomach started peeling, too. And then the itching! We feel like walking STD’s.

Last night we had a dinner out at an Indian restaurant because we haven’t had enough time away from the baby (two nights ago her rage reached new proportions and she YANKED. MY. HAIR. IN. ANGER). Toward the end of the meal I grabbed a handful of rice with my fingers — classy! — and stuffed it into my face, only, half of it ended up down my shirt and into my bra right on top of my peeling burn. I was in too much pain to pay any regard to etiquette so I reached down my shirt with my hand and picked out the each piece of rice just as the guy who refills the water walked by. Hi! I’ve got rice in my boobs! Want some?

A minute later Jon started scratching his forehead and skin started falling onto the table. AND THEN HE KEPT GOING. We had just finished a conversation where I told him that I had figured out the problem with the washing machine. Guess you can’t wash a huge load without turning the washing machine to “Heavy Duty” or all hell breaks loose.

“Why have you not figured this out before?” He was dumbfounded.

“Because I thought the heavy duty setting was for things like tires. Or large mattresses.”

“Tires? Or maybe cats? Dogs?” he was laughing now.

“Or cows. Really big cows,” I said. “I’m serious. I just never thought we’d have anything that would be big enough that called for a heavy duty cycle.”

“When would we ever wash a tire, Heather?”

“I don’t know, Jon, but DON’T COUNT IT OUT. One day you’re going to need to wash a tire and then you’ll feel pretty stupid about counting it out.”

Then he picked his forehead again, and I couldn’t take it anymore. “Jon. You can’t do that in public.”

“Right,” he nodded. “This coming from a woman who would wash a TIRE IN A WASHING MACHINE and who only moments ago reached her hand into her bra to dig out half-chewed basmati rice. You’re making perfect sense.”