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Monday, June 02, 2008

Summer Lovin'

Waking up with sunshine blaring in your face is, well, it's a nice switch compared to our wonderfully dreary winters - however I'm still not entirely sold on this whole ' bright, shiny, happy thing'. No, I'm not going Goth, I just had a rather eye-opening experience this past weekend.

The lady and I went out to this weird shindig where they take a photo of your skin and take another that goes 'just below the surface' - about 2 millimeters to be exact. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into but I thought "hey, it's a nice day out, lets enjoy it a bit'.

So we end up at this rather swanky spa that smells disturbingly of 'fresh, clean citrus scent #31' - essentially it's like someone standing under your nose and squeezing a cocktail of fresh lemons, grapefruit and ozone up your nose. At first it was kind of refreshing but by the time we were done I was pretty much ready to go mano-a-mano with Mr. Clean's metrosexual younger brother.

Anyways, we end up on the 4th floor in a dimly lit room that could almost pass for Caligula's walk-in closet - waiting and watching as freshly-buffed people saunter around us in pristine terrycloth (or whatever the expensive version of terrycloth is) bathrobes. Not to harp on them, I'm sure they're very nice and all, maybe I was still reeling from the lemon-grove sprouting in my nostrils.

One by one they call us in, get us to fill out a little survey and talk about our skin types. Lucky Irish/Italian man that I am, I get to be skin type #3. What does that mean? I guess it means that I get the dubious honour of frying like an Irishman before crisping like a Sicilian. Good times.

Anywho - so they lead me into this small room (and of course they're all named - I think I was in the 'Venus' room or something) with a smiling young woman in a lab coat and a camera that looks like it was found in my Grandfather's basement. As I settled into the room she began asking me questions. And with each question I felt my heart sink a little more.

"Did you ever get a sunburn before the age of 18?" Yep. Several. I was outside a lot when I was a kid. I probably spent most of my pre-teen years impersonating a lobster when summertime rolled around (until I discovered Nintendo, that is...).

"Didn't you use sunscreen?" Uh, no. Who had time for sunscreen? Better yet, who cared?

So then her eyes roll a bit in her head and she gives me this look that looks eerily like my mom's only a tad more condescending - I wonder if that's a look that mothers bestow up on their kids or if it's just genetic, shared through our common bond of Humanity?

Right, well, she asks me to rest my chin on the stand and close my eyes. A brief double-flash later and she pulls out the picture - setting it aside while talking to me about how disastrous my childhood was for my skin.


With the photo ready she prepared to pull off the protective cover but paused long enough to warn me that it may be a bit 'shocking'.

"How bad can it be?"

Holy Fuck, I've got shit spackle all over my face.

Before me laid a side by-side comparison of my face and 'below' my face. Now, I've always had some freckles, they act up in the summer and go away in the fall - I just thought it was a natural part of who I was. Apparently it's not. According to my petite lab-coated friend, that deluxe coating of dark blotches littering my face is IRREVERSIBLE skin damage.

Now, I'm not a vain man, I'm not someone who spends 60 minutes trying to get my hair in the proper 'fell-out-of-bed' arrangement before heading off to work- but Holy melanoma, Batman! I freaked out pretty hardcore -- Not like gasping for breath or anything, hell I didn't even start screaming and doing little kiddy-spins on the floor, but inside, I was fucking losing it.

"Here are your problem areas" she said, gesturing to spots that could've been satellite photos of a post-war mine field.

"So, uh, what can I do?" I asked, thinking "I'm sure NOW she's going to try and sell me something, something to fix it and make it better". Uh, no. "Sorry, that's how it is, we can't do anything about it - all you can do is try to keep it from getting worse".

And then she gave me a free bottle of sunscreen and sent me on my way.

I got to keep the picture.


Wear your sunscreen, kids. Or a sombrero.


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