I have been playing outside enough that I assumed I had a pretty decent base tan, so Monday I spent a couple hours in a lounge chair with Miss Elizabeth Bennett. My sunglasses had gone to work with Husband, and I managed to sunburn my eyes. My whole self looked pretty pink, but I knew that would fade in a day or two. But the eyes. Ouch.
So yesterday when I went to mow the lawn and dig pretty yellow flowers out of my grass (Husband refuses to call them weeds) I slathered on the sunscreen, especially on my eyes, and wore the Elton John sunglasses to cover every possible part of my face.
I seem to have forgotten, just for a minute, what happens to my face when I put sunblock on it.
Hideous. Atrocious. Swellings. And. Lumpiness.
Two summers ago I went camping with a bunch of teenage girls and woke up the last morning (after a day in the sun, administering sunblock to backs and shoulders all day) unable to open my left eye. In all the sunblocking of the campers, I'd put quite a bit on myself, both on purpose and indirectly through my ridiculous habit of touching my face. Oh, the eye. It was, in fact, swollen to the size of a softball. Some of you may be thinking I exaggerate. Sometimes I do. In an effort to reclaim some sense of legitimacy, I will amend the softball statement. The eye in question was actually the size of half a tennis ball, sliced down the middle and stuck to my cheek. I had to ice and press and stretch and wash for an hour before I could put in my contacts, allowing me to wear sunglasses so as not to frighten the fainter-of-heart campers. There is a very long story about finding a working dermatologist on that Saturday afternoon when I returned home - it involves phone calls to three counties and a very over-the-speed-limit drive - only to have him require prednisone (the evil medication that may reduce my swelling but guarantees me an extra ten pounds). For the record, I opted for the extra pounds in order to show my face in public.
So today, I am again the owner of a couple of swollen eyes. Not bad enough to see a doctor (because I don't have to show my face until Friday in any *lighted* public settings), but bad enough that I'm still in my glasses.
Somewhere out there, there may be a sunblock that doesn't do this to me. If I ever find it, I'll probably still not use it enough. Because I love the sun.