For the record, I really hate the summer.

Before you get all “off-with-her-head” from my previous statement, let me do some ’splainin’ here, Ricky. <— I Love Lucy reference if you didn’t get it.I was born and raised a Texas gal which means tanning beds, spray tans, and bleach blondes is all the rage down here in the south.

When I moved to Alaska, I was in a whole new place with new views and ideas very different from my fellow Texans back home. Up north, no one tanned; I suppose that’s not a real shocker as more than half of the year there is snow on the ground and below freezing temps. So, “lighter” skin was acceptable—even my ghost-ass-white skin–and people were, well, frankly appalled when I said I tanned.

“I can’t believe you’d do that to your skin,” they’d gasp.

It was like I was telling them I smoked crack on the weekends or something. I remember people looking at me and thinking they must think I’m so naive. And, hey at the time I was 20 or so, so I was still a little wet behind the ears.

Looking back now, I really can’t believe I tanned that much either. Of course, realizing now that we aren’t invincible and bad things can happen to anyone (even cancer). I understand the importance of being healthy and aware of the dangers of the world.

I remember in high school after softball practice I would race all the other softball players to the tanning salon to try to snatch a bed first (so I wouldn’t have to sit and wait around for an open bed).

And, we’d all compare the bronzeness of our skin; it was almost a competition to see who could get the most tan.

I still think tan legs are prettier than pasty, white ones. I don’t think many people would disagree with that statement. And I still feel if you tan it, it will look better.

But my days sunbathing or laying on top of a plexiglass of UV bulbs are far behind me.

After my diagnosis and with what I’m struggling with (GVHD-wise), I have to be very careful in the sun. Like by careful I mean, stay the hell out of it. Because I’ve had cancer, I’m more apt to get other cancers than people who’ve never been diagnosed.

And I HATE when people are like “you need a tan, girl” or “I’ve never seen you so white before” or “damn, girl you’re blinding me with those legs.”

OK people. Seriously? You think I don’t know all of this? This is what causes insecurities… people who have the audacity to make comments like this. And, I don’t know about you, but this has happened all my life.

“You look terrible,” someone would say.
“What’s wrong with your ears?” kids would ask (I have veins that show in my ears).
“You have the ugliest toes.”
“Well, you’ve gained weight…”
“The bears would love to eat you up; you’re so thick and meaty.” <— NOT AN EFFING JOKE, EITHER.
“You look so different without makeup on.”
“You look really pale today.”
“See you can pull off that look because you’re heavier than I am.”

“You look like a walrus right now.”

Well, thanks, random people who just like to make people feel like shit. I honestly can’t believe people actually have the nerve to say those things to someone. They have to know it hurts their feelings.

Needless to say, I haven’t been confident about my looks since high school, and even then I thought I was fat and ugly (even when I wore a 0 or 2 in Abercrombie). Ahh, those were the skinny days.

And now since this is my third summer post-cancer diagnosis, I just find myself kind of pissed off at the people who get to swim, layout in the pool, go to the beach when I can’t. I don’t even own a swimsuit ya’ll. I haven’t bought one since 2006.

So it should come to no surprise I hate wearing shorts.

My legs are so white, plus it’s hard for me to shave them (cause of the GVHD), and I have cellulite, spider veins and stretch marks that just beg for me to keep them hidden. Lately, though, I’ve been too damn hot to wear capris everywhere I go; so I’ve bought a couple pairs of comfy shorts (no jean shorts) and I really like them.

I just don’t care anymore. You don’t like my legs, don’t look. It’s that freaking simple.

If I look like a fool, it’s whatevs. I don’t have the privileges you may have to do things to my body and not worry about the consequences.

So summer is the worst time of year for me. I can’t enjoy the summery things that normal people do.

The truth is I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care so much. I’ve published some pretty horrific photos of me—hairless, pale, swollen up to the size of a hot air balloon—so people have seen me worse. Why should I care so much now?

Of course, I’d love to say I’m never going to get upset about my looks again. I know I will. I do every day. But that’s me being upset for me.

I am however not going to give a shit what people say about how I look anymore. If someone comments on my Casper-like resemblance…

 

I’m just going to ask them what they gained from making that comment and then wrap up the convo up with a “you can go fuck yourself.”

Think before you speak,

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5 Comments

  1. Sammy Pruitt Reply

    Hey girl I live next to Carl and Jana. I would love for you to add me to your email list and add me as a friend on Facebook. I think your hilarious. I love your honesty!

  2. Devon Grosskopf Reply

    I live in tx and I’m pasty! My co-workers would ask “why are your legs purple” when I was cold….

    I haven’t been able to shave either and I don’t care anymore. I’ll wear shorts it’s too dang hot in Texas. Yesterday it was 105…and avoiding the sun is hard. My cousin bought me a big floppy hat to wear. Ha

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