Summertime for the Terminally Pale

Not me but I relate. (Photo by kirinqueen. Used under Creative Commons license.)

It’s summertime. There’s really no denying it, and here in L.A., it will last until almost Halloween. The thought of this makes me want to throw myself face first onto the couch with a chest-rattling sob.

Summer has never been kind to me. My childhood memories include the bottle of neon green aloe vera gel kept in the fridge for the inevitable peeling, blistering, lobster burns. I remember hours spent in a rickety fishing boat, the seats of which had been wrapped in prickly, scratchy AstroTurf. (No, I really don’t know why.) It smelled like gasoline and fish guts. I’m sensitive to mosquito bites. So much so that they swell up monstrously and leave the limb feverish and in need of ice packs that must be changed every twenty minutes.

No, summer is not kind at all.

I have the sort of sensitive, pale skin that is only practical on the moors of England, where your weather choices boil down to fog or rain or maybe both. I loathe short pants with the sort of seething hatred other people reserve for meter maids and auditors. But here we are again. Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is upon us, and there is nothing for it but to buck up as best we can.

In that spirit, I have compiled a list of summer things to look forward to:

1. Cherry season. Any cherries will do. I’ll eat them by the pound, but if they are those beautiful pink/coral/blushing Rainier cherries, all the better. 

2. Minor league baseball. Night games only, please. I’d rather wrap up in a blanket against cool, desert nights and watch under the lights.

3. Big, dumb summer movies. 

4. Watermelon sprinkled with salt.

5. A Pimm’s cup (Pimm’s No. 1, ginger ale, cucumber, mint, orange slices)






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