See how fat I was back in 5th grade?
Hey wait a second. I wasn’t fat…I was merely insane.
Avoiding swimsuits, pools, tanning beds and short shorts was a pastime from about 4th grade onward. Maybe even an art-form. I was good at it. Well, I don’t want to brag, but, I was great at it. If avoiding being in a bathing suit was an Olympic event, I would make Mr. T look subtle. There was always a great excuse to keep my thighs covered. I could say that I was broke and couldn’t afford the entrance fee or didn’t have a ride across town to the Washington Park Pool. At night with friends I could claim to be “chilled” while wearing longer jams or peddle pushers when loafing with my friends on a breezy summer’s evening. Even my softball uniform had long pants for safe sliding purposes, so I could seriously avoid revealing skin when needed.
Yes I was insane. Sure I was a jackass when it came to looking in the mirror and seeing the truth. Of course it was obsessive, narcissistic even. Hell ya it was an AMAZING waste of mental energy. Damn straight I would give anything to gain back every minute lost trying to find a pair of jeans that made my ass look tight or every second wasted trying to decide which tunic shirt hanging to my knees better hid my thighs.
But since all coins have a flip side and most clouds have a silver lining, allow me to reveal mine. Covering up and hiding may have made me crazy but it also kept me out of the sun. It kept my quick to burn outer layer less crispy and the UVA rays at bay. $20 bucks says I get to live a lot longer as a crazy person because of it.
I have very fair skin and never really wanted to go to a dermatologist. Most people with out of control body image issues usually don’t volunteer to have a well lit magnifying glass, the size of a hubcap, scan their entire naked body. But since I’m older, wiser and an official member of the “I Don’t Give A Shit Anymore” Club, I made the appointment and braced myself.
I figured the news would be fairly poor. When I did lay out in the privacy of my back yard as a teen, I used Crisco or baby oil trying to get a Bain de Soleil tan. I never wore sun screen until the mid-90’s. I’ve burned the tops of my shoulders, the back of my neck and every inch of my face about a million times and yes, those are the places with the most sun damage. But my ass? My thighs? My stomach? Like porcelain. No skin cancer. No scary spots. No “Holy shit you look like a piece of leather,” comments. Just your standard, “Have a nice day and I’ll see you next year,” goodbye. NICE!
Just plain crazy or crazy like a fox? Insane or Intuitive? You decide.