My Green Skin Is A Bit Thin!

Though we have never been ones to party on St. Patrick’s Day, I’m proud to show off these t-shirts sent to us from my sister and her husband. Apparently,Savannahis the party capital of St Patty’s Day. So now that we have these t-shirts, we’ll have to kick back a couple to celebrate the Irish in us!

While I’ve always been quick to embrace my Indian heritage, I’ve never given much thought to my Irish ancestry except for this tidbit thrown at me from Big Mama. Maybe it’s time to relish my freckles and pale skin.

I get set up between our place and my grandmothers, hidden from view from passing cars but in direct light of the sun. I fling the folded white sheet in the air and watch it fall onto the lawn. I smooth out the wrinkles and throw a pillow on top. I adjust my glass of ice water, a teen magazine, and turn on my radio. I stretch out and begin to grease my pasty white legs with my mixture of baby oil and iodine. My legs instantly glow orange. It doesn’t take long for me to start sweating. I check my bikini line, but it doesn’t look like I’m getting any sun. I turn over and check my watch. It’s only been fifteen minutes and I’m already bored.

“You better get some clothes on before you catch pneumonia. It’s only May. Way too early to be outside half naked.”

Great, just what I need a lecture from Big Mama.

“I’m wearing a bathing suit. Besides, everyone at school already has a suntan.”

“Well, I don’t know why you’re wasting your time. That green skin of yours will never tan.”

So she thinks I look like a lizard. Fuming, I grab my sheet and storm inside without replying. When Mama comes home I tattle on Big Mama immediately.

“Big Mama thinks I’m ugly.”

“Did she call you ugly?”  Mama’s tone sounds high pitched like she’s angry.

“Well no. She said I look like a lizard! I can’t believe she said something so mean.”

“She said you look like a lizard?”

“Yes.” I let out a deep sigh and shrug my shoulders.

“What were her exact words?” Mama asks as she rolls her eyes.

“She said I was wasting my time lying in the sun because my green skin will never tan.”

Mama laughs and clasps her hands over her mouth as I stare her down through furrowed brows.

“Honey, she didn’t mean you look like a lizard. She was referring to your skin type. Irish. You’re like me. We don’t tan well. We burn and peel a few times before we tan.”

“Well, why didn’t she just say that rather than calling me green?”

Mama shakes her head and chuckles again. “She assumed you’d know what she was talking about.”

“Well, I didn’t. And I don’t find it a bit funny!”

An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind always be at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May god hold you in the palm of His hand.

Living in the Gap

March 17, 2012 –Lost dogs and good neighbors

Dirt Man calls me to the front door. He is holding onto the harness of a beautiful Huskie. It is a friendly, young dog without a collar or name tag. I make a couple of calls and decide to walk the neighborhood to see if I come upon someone looking for her. Dirt Man thinks I should wait because a storm is moving in and thinks the thunder has scared the dog. He tells me to at least take my raincoat and cell phone. I walk the streets and talk to several people, and no one has any idea who the pup belongs to. I call another neighbor who ends up calling me back when she finds out who the owner is. She offers to come pick me up because the storm is moving in closer, but I assure her I’ll be fine. Thunder cracks, sounding like a fireworks explosion. The dog jumps, hair raising on her back. Had I not leashed her, she’d have run off.  I rush the dog a block over to its house, and as I’m turning onto the next street it starts raining. I’m not concerned about getting wet, but my foot is killing me. I look up to see my neighbor driving down the street to pick me up. I walk inside to hear the sky fall onto the roof.

30 thoughts on “My Green Skin Is A Bit Thin!

  1. I did the old baby oil and iodine trick too. Why I thought orange skin was so great is beyond me (now). I’m olive skinned and tan very easily, but like many women my age, I shun the direct sunlight now.

    My mother was very fair skinned and what she called “scotch-irish”. All of us girls inherited more of my Mexican father’s coloring. My son has one daughter who is so fair skinned she looks like she’s made of crushed pearls. I hope she treasures that!

    Happy St. Patty’s Day to you and Dirt Man. Today, even Alex is a little Irish!

  2. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, SUZI!!!!

    LOVE the t-shirts!

    ” I stretch out and begin to grease my pasty white legs with my mixture of baby oil and iodine. My legs instantly glow orange.”

    HA! OMG, do I ever remember doing that too! And also remember lying on a silver beach mat that reflected the sun rays, which intensified the burn – OUCH!

    Enjoyed your Living in the Gap!

    Have a super weekend, my friend!

    X

  3. Those shirts are great! I had to laugh at your reaction to Big Mama’s comment. I was a thin-skinned (green-skinned) child, too. Though my Grandma never said anything about my skin, she did tell my Mom (with me within earshot) that my blue eyeshadow made me look like someone punched me in the eye and she should do something about it. No other way to take that one!

    Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  4. I never heard it called “green” skin. Funny how we perceive things when we’re young. Glad you found the pup’s home, and have a great neighbor looking out for you.

  5. My family, the Doyles, are considered part of the Black Irish since we came after the Spanish Armada discovered the beauty of the Irish women. So we don’t have much trouble turning a winter’s hue into a good healthy brown.

    Glad you found the dog’s owners…

  6. You and I both inherited that pasty white skin. I have always done the burn and peel and burn and peel and never quite got it to turn dark. Always wanted a beautiful golden tan, just never acheived it!

    I’m glad you found the pup’s owner and what a sweet neighbor to come and pick you up!

    • I do tan now after my first slight burn and I’ve gotten dark several times but doesn’t last long nor is it the beautiful golden tone I envy…and my skin has taken a beating from the sun so I’ve given up on tanning now.

  7. That is a cute story. Funny, I think I say things all the time, common sayings to me, that people don’t understand. And it is funny how no one asks, they just go on and, maybe like you, misunderstand and get upset. Your story was cute.

    And regarding your “Gap”, you have a great neighbor! And you and Dirt Man are great neighbors too, to have helped the dog.

    • Funny how saying differ through generations and regions…never know who we might be insulting or praising for that matter.
      My neighbor is very kind. As for the owner of the dog…I could have done an entire post on that, but I refrained. Might be a reason the dog keeps running away.

  8. Ah, Suzi, you and me, too! My mom is full Italian, but naturally, I take after my dad’s Irish people. Ten minutes outside in the sun and I’m blistering! When I was younger, I never wanted to believe I couldn’t get that beautiful tan glow; now that I’m older, I just use “tan-in-a-bottle” and call it a day!

  9. Good work with the dog. I’ve found and leashed three or four strays in my like and have thankfully always been able to find the owner.

    Your story about lying in the sun brought back memories. I never could lie still long enough to get a tan.i always got bored too.

  10. Your story about the tanning session, brought back memories of my own beautification treatment. I tanned easily, but I wanted to bleach my hair to go with it. One afternoon when I thought I’d be alone, I spread a concoction of mayonnaise and lemon juice in my hair and sat out in the yard. A few minuters later a Fed Ex guy arrived with a package. I had to smile and pretend there was nothing wrong. I was so embarrassed. In retrospect, though, I’m sure he’d seen it all before.

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