Monday, May 26, 2014

50 Shades of Brown

I may be brown but I was not born tanned.

It’s a curse overlooked by many. As the seasons change from summer to fall to that frigid bitch of a winter, my colouring changes just like Momma Natures. I go from vibrant healthy exterior to almost monochromatic. If you’ve ever stirred sour cream into chile or seen that mix of gravel and dirt on the roadside, you know the colour I'm talking about. And I wear that special blend of pale brownish-grey all winter. 

Unfortunately, during my prolonged hibernation, I apparently also forgot just how quickly my skin goes from raw to broiled.

This spring, I emerged from the shadows at the very first sign of the summer sun. I grabbed a book and ventured outside, ready to greet the happiest of seasons. The sun’s warm rays wrapped around me like the winter blankets I had gotten so used to snuggling. Twenty minutes and one chapter later, I was completely asleep, baking under the summer sun. 

I lay there on my porch, sweatpants rolled up to my knees, t-shirt scrunched just above the leftover rolls of my winter stomach, and mouth agape as if I was shocked at the concept of warm weather. All I needed was a red cup and I would’ve been a portrait of a college kid who went too hard.

I awoke to a slobbery cheek and new fears about just how many colours I had become. One thing that people tend to forget is that while Indians are not "born tanned," we are basically professionals at it. One time, during university, I walked across campus to my class and by the time I arrived, I had permanent pale backpack straps tanned into my shoulders. 

And now I had fallen asleep, like a summertime rookie. Had Mother Nature punished me for my over-eager sun tanning by baking my uncovered shins into permanent brown leg warmers?

Thankfully, a pale watch strap was the only mark from my mid-afternoon reading/nap session.

Lesson learned: Reading in the sun will result in 50 shades of brown. 

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