Self-tan Hoedown... A Summer's Tale Part I

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In case you haven’t yet managed to derive it from this blog’s title, I’m a redhead.

But I’m not all peaches and cream and cuteness like fellow red Emily. Oooooh, no. Not me. Pasty, yes. Glow-in-the-dark white, yes. And not in that Nicole Kidman translucent way either, make no mistake. My pallor is more… well… corpse-like.

Attractive, ‘eh?

But of course there is more (well, much more, actually. But that elephantine quality is not something we like to talk about. Just proceed and please ignore the enormous African mammal grazing in the corner.).

So apart from the freakish whiter-than-snow white complexion stemming from possessing no melanin, there are the other “accessories” you get when you are borne into this world a redhead. And especially when you happen to materialize under the harsh African sun.

There are the freckles (oh, and they are infinite. And PLEASE don’t tell me that they’re – and here she noticeably shudders - “cute.” I hardly glance at the sun and I freckle!), the invisible eyelashes and eyebrows (thank the heavens for mascara and brow liner) and the relentless teasing when you’re little. Yeah, and then people wonder why I’ve grown up to be so delightfully dysfunctional… There you go, Dr. Phil. My issues run as deep as my crimson roots.

When I was a child growing up on a farm in the South African bushveld, all I wanted to be was as black and brown as my African playmates. Ironic, that; especially when one considers the history of my country.

It was the eighties, and all I wanted was to not stand out so much. I mean, can you imagine being a flaming-haired Albino (not a good combination. There is a good reason why other, normal Albinos have white hair. It looks MUCH better!) in Africa when you’re a tender child, yearning to blend in and conform?

So I came up with what I thought to be a brilliant idea at the time. After realizing that no amount of rubbing and scrubbing and picking was going to ever rid me of my leopard spots, it occurred to me to… connect the dots.

With my amazingly absent logic I figured that I would scorch myself until I’d have so many freckles that they’d eventually merge and become One Big Freckle, leaving me with a reddish-brown but even TAN!

So I doused myself with my olive-skinned sister’s cocoa oil until I became a slick and shiny skin cancer invitation, and went outside to fry.

Oh, dear readers, need I even elaborate on the blistering results?

Let’s just say that after all the redness, swelling, blisters, pain and eventual peeling of the ruined layers of derma; I DID have more freckles than before. So I suppose in that regard, my painful little experiment worked.

But alas, although some of the new freckles did indeed overlap with a few of the old ones (ewww!), I still fell way short of the amount that it would’ve taken to create the almighty Giant Freckle.

And that’s when I gave up on sunlight, my speckled body scurrying back into the shade, forever banished from further direct contact with the sun. That’s how I turned into this pale reclusive nocturnal half-woman-half-beastly monster, only slipping out of my dungeon after sunset to roam the darkened streets with wailing cats and squealing rats.

And that’s also how it came to be that I finally resorted to Self-Tanning Lotion.


To Be Continued...

16 Comments

AirMatix said:

Know what, Red? I think its time to post some pics, so you're loyal (and new) readers can judge for themselves...

Wot reckons the rest of ya's?

emily said:

You know, the One Giant Freckle thing occurred to me too! And I pretty much did the same exact thing. OMG. I burned so bad that I peeled four times. And yeah, now the sun and I don't associate. We're not friends.

redsaid said:

Listen dear friend AirMatix: You know full well what I look like, so HUSH! Oh, and you're by no means a "loyal" reader when I virtually force you to read this!

And Ms. Emily... you are a regular peach, my dear. But yes, it is quite hilarious that we both did that! Oy, to be a tortured redhead, hey?

Zinke said:

I'm a freckly red head too. Does that self tan stuff work?

Jennifer said:

I think I got lucky. I was born a natural redhead but came with no freckles. The ones I do have now are in places that don't see sunlight ever!

Love the new blog! Congrats!

Sarah said:

I don't think freckles are cute. I think they're fuckin sexy. But that's not the point of this here comment. No. What I wanted to tell you was to get yourself to a Sephora and get yourself some Urban Decay Skyscraper Mascara in Gotham. You will have eyelashes for miles!!

Sarah said:

(Um. Cos my eyelashes are transluscent too--I forgot to say that up there. That happens when you smoke your lunch.)

lomara said:

self tanners look orange on me, so i gave up on them a long time ago. i grew to accept my pale freckled skin after a nasty sunburn that blistered horribly. now i wear sunscreen daily, so i don't have to hide from the sun.

but i'm whiter than everyone in the entire state of California. Well, except maybe skits and eve. I think we're tied for whitest L.A. resident, if there was such a prize.

I once met these two Irish guys who were visiting and they didn't believe me when I said I was born and raised in LA! They said i looked like I was from Dublin or something. Go figure.

redsaid said:

Zinke: patience child. Wait for Part II of story.

Jennifer: you reckless freckless freak! With all due respect: I think I hate you. (Insert freckled smiley face to soften the blow.) Seriously, freckless in places that never see the light of day don't count, dearie.

Sarah: Thanks for "lasheous" tip. Miles, 'eh? Like long enough to do Cicada-swatting?

Lomara: I'm jealous of you living in the California, even with our whiteness. And embrace yer Irish roots, whether real or imagined. People think I own the Irish pub I frequent down in D.C., and there's a place in Adams Morgan (D.C.) that lets redheads drink for half-price!!!! Harrrrr!

kdeweb said:

I am a blonde who dyes her hair red. However, I too, am of the nuclear burning variety. I avoid the sun at all costs because after only a few hours I am burnt to a crisp, I feel the pain, I peel and I am just as white as I was before the whole ordeal. You aren't alone sister!

Britt said:

I'm with everyone else. I want to see just how white this skin you speak of really is. I am really enjoying your new blog, hope you don't mind if I add it to my own so that I can follow along with your writing.

Sarah said:

Dude, you won't have to swat the cicadas. Your lashes will trap them in a lovely little cage of lash and set them free in their own natural habitat. It will be like Aeon Flux.

(Actually, the mascara does rock. But I was blessed with thick, long, curly lashes. They're just transparent; a cruel joke, I think.)

lomara said:

actually i'm not a complete redhead currently, merely a strawberry-blonde. i had auburn hair when i was a toddler which went strawberry as i got older. i dyed it red one year and boy was that FUN. not sure i will do it again anytime soon, though. and as far as embracing my Irish roots, i would LOVE to as soon as I get to Ireland. I've been to the UK several times and I love the fact that I blend in perfectly with the general population in London...

...until I open my mouth and my California accent falls out! D'oh!

Alex. said:

Hee! Reading this made me laugh, and then cringe, because I went to the pool today, and my entire body is the same color as your blog! You'd think I'd learn by now, right?

pylorns said:

im guessing you just don't tan.. you burn..

Zandria said:

So many pasty-white people can relate to what you wrote. I'm not a redhead, but I'm a natural blond, so I have my share of the fair skin. My two sisters, lovers of the tanning bed, affectionately refer to me as "Casper" (as in, the Friendly Ghost). :)



















about
is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)

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comments
  • Zandria : So many pasty-white people can relate to what you wrote. I'm not a redhead, but I'm a natural blond... [go]
  • pylorns : im guessing you just don't tan.. you burn..... [go]
  • Alex. : Hee! Reading this made me laugh, and then cringe, because I went to the pool today, and my entire bo... [go]
  • lomara : actually i'm not a complete redhead currently, merely a strawberry-blonde. i had auburn hair when i ... [go]
  • Sarah : Dude, you won't have to swat the cicadas. Your lashes will trap them in a lovely little cage of las... [go]
  • Britt : I'm with everyone else. I want to see just how white this skin you speak of really is. I am really... [go]
  • kdeweb : I am a blonde who dyes her hair red. However, I too, am of the nuclear burning variety. I avoid th... [go]
  • redsaid : Zinke: patience child. Wait for Part II of story. Jennifer: you reckless freckless freak! With all ... [go]
  • lomara : self tanners look orange on me, so i gave up on them a long time ago. i grew to accept my pale frec... [go]
  • Sarah : (Um. Cos my eyelashes are transluscent too--I forgot to say that up there. That happens when you s... [go]
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