I’m the only person in the world who used to like the Sunscreen Song back in my high school days. You know what I’m talking about… the one where Baz Leuhrman reads profound advice from a ’99 valedictorian speech, accompanied by “Ooo’s” from the all boys choir in the background? The song ends with “trust me on the sunscreen”… and it’s possible that truer words were never spoken.
Although I might have listened to that song repeatedly on my Walkman for upwards of six months, or until the batteries died and I discovered that the ones in the remote were also dead, it doesn’t appear that this sage advice has fully sunk in yet. Or maybe I’m just a rebel. Or maybe I’m a really bad listener. Or maybe your mom should make me some enchilladas. Who knows. But as soon as there’s the slightest inkling of sunshine, I’m slathered in the nearest oil and frying like a chicken. I’m not quite as bad as my mother, who used to cover herself in Crisco and lay on sheets of tin foil, but I’ll venture to say that I’m definitely breaking a few rules.
Me: Hey, I have this mole on my leg. It doesn’t look like anything serious, but my aunt and my grandma have both had skin cancer so I was wondering if you could check it out?
Dermatologist: Yes, I can check that out. Have you been covering yourself and staying out of the sun? You look very tan.
Me: [smiling sheepishly] Oh, well, thank you.
Dermatologist: That wasn’t a compliment. You won’t be laughing when I do one of those skin damage scans on your face.
Me: Well, it’s impossible for me to stay out of the sun, but I do wear sunscreen. My job requires me to spend quite a bit of time outdoors.
Dermatologist: Well, it says here that you work at a bank. Isn’t that mostly an indoor job?
Me: OH, that needs to be updated. I’m actually a Park Ranger now. I work at the Forest Preserve.
Dermatologist: Hmm, really? I can’t picture you doing something like that.
Me: What’s that supposed to mean? Do I seem high maintenance?
Dermatologist: Well, you were just complaining a minute ago about how you hated exercise, and that’s an active job.
Me: What do you have superhero memory powers? Fine. I lied. I do that sometimes. I’m a lifeguard.
Dermatologist: Oh really, that’s cool. Where at?
Me: At this pool…
Dermatologist: Is this another lie?
Me: Anything’s possible.
Dermatologist: Seriously though, this isn’t a joke. You’ve got to listen to what I’m saying. And you have to be honest with me about your health.
Me: OKAY ALREADY! Listen you pasty freak, I’m not a mother trucking lifeguard. I’m not a park ranger. I don’t even know where the parks are. I’m a writer, and I don’t even go outside to get the mail. But when the sun comes out, I emerge from my cave and stretch across my patio like a bronzed goddess, okay? And you know what, I don’t wear sunscreen. In fact, I’ve never even tried it. Double in fact, I don’t ever want to. Triple in fact, I actually wear oil that makes me burn worse than if I was just regularly burning.
Dermatologist: You’ve never even tried it.. but I gave you a whole bottle for free?
Me: And my father sends his regards.
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