Hard to picture, huh?
Somebody told me once if you want to go into medicine, you should go into dermatology, because you’ll always have nights and weekends free. “You never hear of dermatological emergencies,” she said.
Oh, yeah? Ever sat in a waiting room full of eighty-somethings with cute little age spots, and drop your jaw when they leave their appointment with five-inch gauze taped across their face? I think every single one of them head straight for the emergency room after their annual skin checks.
Dermatologists are scary.
I don’t know why this one had it in for me. True, she wasn’t my doctor, but that was their office’s mistake, not mine. All I did was show up for an appointment. But when I left, my arms and hands were so blistered they looked like bubble wrap. And I paid her to do that to me. Now I know how branded cattle feel.
“Did you know,” she said in her best imitation of Hanoi Hilton’s concierge, “that liquid nitrogen is 310 degrees below zero?”
“Wow,” I thought to myself. “You must be a lot of fun at cocktail parties.”
I’ve been seeing skin specialists for eight long years, ever since they found out freckled skin fries. I already knew that. I was the insecure teenager who applied baby oil because my best friend said it would give me a tan. Nope. It gave me second degree burns.
What’s so great about a tan anyway? Nicole Kidman doesn’t have a tan. She doesn’t even have pigment, but every time she shows up on a red carpet they run out of words to describe how beautiful she is.
Maybe I was born in the wrong century. It used to be that pale, porcelain skin was a sign of wealth. Wearing a tan meant you had no fashion sense and had to work for a living, while sporting a pasty complexion was a sign you could afford to look anemic.
Those were the days. I bet they couldn’t even spell dermatologist back then.
I know it’s too late for me. I’ll never have porcelain skin again—this Irish complexion is too speckled. And now it’s red polka dotted, too. If only I’d known how healthy it is to look unhealthy. I’d have never opened that bottle of baby oil.
At least Nicole Kidman got the memo. Well played, Nicole, well played.
Pale is the new tan.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/muckster/1492404789/