I love love love reading Dooce.com, but her most recent post has been on my mind a lot, and not in a good way. She has once again been diagnosed with skin cancer - not the super-bad kind, melanoma, but the other kind (still bad, but can be taken care of) - and it has me reflecting on the many, many hours I have spent grilling myself in the sun since my teens. Like Dooce, it's not that I don't know that the sun is bad for me - of course the sun is bad for me, everyone knows it - but there's just something about having a tan that makes me feel like I look more alive. Of course, the irony being that a tan can make you very dead.
I'm half Italian, and I definitely have the skin of that side of my family, so I know I'm at a lesser risk of skin cancer than people with very fair skin. Still. Since I have been severely burned a couple of times in my life - to the point of blisters - I have this horrible feeling I'm not going to get off scott-free.
I have all kinds of freckles and things I didn't have in the past, but so far, they seem "normal." And over the past several years I've been much more diligent about putting on the sunscreen and not getting fried. I just don't have the patience or the time for sitting out in the sun like I used to anyway. But I'm increasingly afraid that my past is going to come back to haunt me, so I'm constantly checking myself to make sure nothing looks weird.
Ah well. I guess the good thing about staying in the shade (you know, besides avoiding more skin cancerous sun rays) is the fact that it will help me not to look 100 years old when I'm 40. That's always a good thing!