Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 12 Steps of Vampirism

Hello, my name is Ashley and I’m a vampire.

Don’t freak out.  There’s no need to run to the store and buy up all of the garlic and there’s no need (although some would argue otherwise) to call for the good folks in the white coats.  I’m also not Goth Girl, either...although I did give my parents a bit of scare for a short time in high school (it’s really hard to snap your fingers and tap your toes to that Goth music...yowsa).

I also don’t do so well with blood.  I’ve always maintained that, if I could at least stand the sight of the stuff, I would be a doctor and would therefore be retired on a beach right now sipping pina coladas. 

So, by now you’re thinking, “’re not really hitting on the vampire criteria here.  Why in the world would you say that you’re a vampire?”

The sun.  The sun hates me.

As my dear brother so eloquently puts it, I have “the complexion of a Nordic albino.”  I could get a sunburn in the middle of the darkest night on Antarctica.  As I write this entry, I am in a building with a reasonably insulated ceiling on a cloudy day and I am probably getting a little too pink.

I attended a celebrity tennis tournament in Hilton Head, South Carolina one year and I shellacked myself in the highest SPF sunscreen they sold at the time and donned what I can only describe as the American version of a burka (I got it from a catalog).  I got a sunburn.  I also got a sunburn on my left arm and the left side of my face when I drove to Fayetteville a couple of months ago with the car windows rolled up.  It’s absurd.

I try every new sunscreen on the market.  It makes no difference.  I could slap on SPF 500 waterproof,  sweat proof, tear proof, laser deflecting, stealth, bulletproof sunscreen and I promise you that I would still be a crispy critter if left exposed for more than half an hour.  At thirty-one minutes, you will begin to hear a sizzling noise akin to bacon in a frying pan. 

I must admit that I’ve gotten a tad weary of being labeled “the pasty white one” among my friends and family.  “Ashley’s so pale she could glow in the dark!”  Hmpf.  When I was young, my argument was that I actually had to work during the summer and it was hard to catch a tan from the fluorescent lights inside a law firm.  After that excuse got old, I comforted myself with the fact that I would be pristine and wrinkleless when the sun worshippers turn into brown leathered raisins.  Plus, I think that we can all admit without the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference that spray-on tans are a total joke.

I’m sure that dermatologists across the country are going swoon at this admission, but I am working on getting a bit of a tan this summer.  As you know, I’ve committed to going to the damn beach dammit at least once a weekend, so I have to find some sort of middle ground.  Thus far, “middle ground” has been near continuous reapplication of sunscreen, a shady tent and a prayer.

The sun doesn’t just hate my skin, it hates my eyes.  I have very light sensitive eyes.  I can’t sit anywhere facing a window.  My office blinds are shut and my co-workers have dubbed it the Bat Cave because it is so dark inside.  I tell them that they bump around into the furniture when they come into my office for a few minutes, but I have to bump into furniture and everything else when I go out into the light.    It’s very Nosferatu...I often feel like that character when I step out into the morning light.

Just in case you’re wondering, my light sensitive eyes are actually a medically documented fact.  I can get blinded for periods of time as the result of having nothing more than a flashlight shone on my face.  I also get insane migraines as the result of more light than my eyes can take.  I have many, many, many pairs of fabulous sunglasses and they are on at all times—I’m even considering respectfully requesting a special judicial dispensation so that I can have them on in court and look like “the cool lawyer.” 

Ashley + Sunlight = Catastrophe’m a vampire.  Let’s 12-Step this bad boy:

  1.  I admit that I am powerless over the sun and that I feel like a rotisserie chicken...

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