As threatened, here is my sunburn story.
During the summer before my junior year of high school in Burlington, Vermont, I spent a few weeks with my older sister's family in Southern California.
Like many 16-year-old boys, I secretly wished that I was a bit cooler and more confident. So one of my goals while I was away from home was to acquire a stunning tan.
I wanted to possess a golden glow that, upon my return to the Green Mountain State, would make people stop and say, “That guy must be from California!”
Ridiculous, I know.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time outdoors during my visit and was probably well on my way to an OK tan. But remember, I was going for mind-blowing. So on a day when we went to a beach shortly before I was to head back East, I pulled out all the stops.
Eschewing any sort of sunscreen, I went for a full roasting there at the ocean's edge.
And, of course, I got a sunburn that made me ill.
I think I started to peel about the time I got on the plane. Soon it appeared that I had a case of the mange.
So my dream didn't quite come true. Upon my return, not one beautiful Vermont girl approached me and said, “Kind sir, I see from your tan that you are from a mystical, romantic place inspired by folk-rock and freeways. Could you tutor me in the ways of love and good vibrations?”
If only I had used a few dabs of sunblock.
The next summer, I stayed home.