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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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The suburbs are tougher than I thought.

Overheard at the library this afternoon:

Ten-Year-Old Girl #1: My grandma has a gun. She shot someone once. She got in jail.

Ten-Year-Old Girl #2 (while rolling her eyes): Psssht, everyone's grandma got in jail.

We're off to Montauk for the July 4th week, where we shall enjoy quality time with my parents. Beachtime with my family is a charged affair, as my olive-skinned Italian mother enjoys mocking me as I apply SPF Infinity and don my broad-brimmed sunhat and Kevlar bodysuit because you can't be too careful. You'd think she would have ceased her mockery after the cancerous lesions began sprouting all over her well-tanned hide. But no, she just has them excised, applies SPF 15 (amateur) and laughs some more. At me. This is the reaction of most people when they see just how pale I am (ask Liz!) but most people are polite enough to hide their laughter behind two hands or a sheet of tin foil.

Posting will be light but hopefull not nonexistent. I hope there will be broadband. Please God, let there be broadband.

Meanwhile, hey, I have a new post up at Wonderland. And there's one from last week, too! We had some comment trouble but all is working now, so comment away.

Reader Comments (24)

No worries, I look like the only Caucasian in my family.
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPretty Lush
Ah yes.My mother? Half Native American.My father? Irish.

Guess which skin I got? I was born to live under a rock. Slather me with 50 spf and I will still need a baking soda bath later. I feel your pain.
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
So glad I'm not the only one who hides from the sun. While visiting Croatia, we asked for the highest SPF sunscreen they had at the kiosk. The woman looked at us with that "are you SURE you don't want to look as toasty brown as we do?" look and handed us a bottle of SPF 12. TWELVE. I didn't know they even made it in numbers indivisible by 5.

But have fun under your hat in Montauk! We'll be hiding indoors. With sunscreen on. Just in case.
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commentera cup of tea
Oooh, Montauk- that always makes me think of that movie where Jim Carey didn't suck (Eternal Sunlight of the Spotless Mind). Have fun and stay covered. I tan, but I also use at least SPF 30 and harass everyone I know to do the same. We had SPF 60 last summer and everyone made fun of me, but they'll see when I am old and uncancered, and they are lesion-ridden!
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
We just came back from a week in Maui and we look like we never left Illinois. In, say, February. We were using 50, and hey! Whaddya know? It worked. Actually we saw lots of people on the plane ride home with equal lack of tannage. So, people are either too lazy to tan or wising up. Gotta admit though, wrong as it is, I'm embarrassed I didn't get more sun. But, you're a better gal than me so enjoy the shade!
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLibby
This whole tanning thing is stupid, anyway. It's the 21st century version of the white man's burden. Think about it: we spend the entire summer trying to turn their skin a different color. Either we try to actually get a real tan, or we're using self-tanners, getting Mystic Tans, applying bronzer, etc., etc., and then, when our fake bake is accomplished, we slather ourselves in SPF 80.

And what, exactly, is wrong with the color we were born? Nothing.

My theory is it's payback for years of racism.
June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy
I'm too white to tan, only burn, so I'm pretty careful, too, but it's always bothered me. Then we moved to Japan. I get compliments on the whiteness of my skin all the time. I always feel a little offended at first and then I remember that they are honestly jealous of the blinding whiteness that is my skin color.

June 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I'm like Jennifer - 1/2 Irish, 1/4 Italian, 1/4 Spanish. I got the Irish skin only. My sisters, the lucky brats, got my dad's Mediterranean coloring.To Libby: They actually make SPF 65, which is how I take trips to the Carribean and come back looking as though I've been locked in a windowless room all week.Have fun in Montauk, Alice! Have a lobster roll at "Lunch" for me.
June 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I tan easily (take after my dad) but I'm pretty careful these days now that everyone knows how bad it is. I never used to use sunscreen and now I worry about the consequences!
June 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl52
I spent a month in St Lucia once while in med school (best elective _ever_) and I ran out of sunscreen while there (by the way, I am a very very pale person, my ancestors came from bogs). When I went to the local market, they didn't know what I was talking about. SPF? WTF is that? I had to sponge of my friends for the last week, lest I return home blistered.
June 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenL
Very fair skin here too and I also hide from the sun with lots of sunscreen, hats, etc. But guess what, I'm the only one in my group of friends who doesn't have wrinkles yet - so ha!
July 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaylabean
Doesn't YOUR grandma have a gun? Hell, even my kids have guns. Well... phasers... and light sabers.
July 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPete Dunn
Nothing but northern European blood - mostly Irish, w/ a smattering of German and maybe French. With that Irish heritage and now three generations of skin cancer in the family, you'd better believe I go for the higher SPFs!

I like to think of it as performing a public service: "Want to look darker? Stand next to me."
July 1, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermarylandmezzo
I went rafting through the Grand Canyon two weeks ago and our guide gave us this Indian pigment that works as a natural sunscreen. One guy in our group rejected it in favor of SPF 70. He ended up burned and the rest of us were just fine.
July 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThomas
Yeah, I am Scottish. True Scottish people are not white, they're blue. It takes two weeks in strong sunshine for us to begin to turn white. Then we burn. Big hat and factor 50 for me too.
July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLyndaL
Montauk rocks. Especially the wineries and antique stores.

I'm Scottish, Irish, and German - which means I'm so white I'm green!

- M
July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
Funny but reading you through Bloglines made it seem like the ten year old was off to Montauk.
July 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLala
Where on EARTH is this library????
July 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeann I Am
huh, it's funny that I read that same story about the kids talking about grandma in jail over at Hmmm.
July 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJen S
Jen S, where did you see that, exactly?

July 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
What a coincidence - Bossy's grandma got in Jail! Oh, no, sorry - that was Loehmann's.
July 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY you mean that there are people who don't have a grandmother in jail?
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Yay! Sun safety rocks.
July 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteraimee/greeblemonkey
hello, have been shunned by the internets for days, but i saw that at I dont know if i can aim you directly to that entry b/c its of how its set up. Btw, i read your blog often and enjoy it, im not trying to be a pain, it was just an observation.
July 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjen S

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