well, there are a few reasons, actually.
but this is only about one of them.
last weekend I was in southern utah, tooling around on my bike, blue skies above and warm air caressing my skin. sigh. it was lovely.
and before i set out on that first day I was reminded to put sunscreen on, so I carefully applied said lotion to my face. I slipped on my shorts, sleeveless jersey, toe-cover-less shoes, and fingerless gloves, and set out to re-experience the joy of riding a bike in near perfect weather.
four hours later I was back at the hotel, noticing that my arms were pinking up a bit. I pulled on swim shorts and a light, long sleeved top, and went to sit in the shade by the pool. a gentle breeze kept us cool, and it also kept me from noticing the warmth spreading across my skin.
an hour or so later, when I prepared to take a shower, I noticed that I had suddenly become two-toned: torso and upper legs: white; arms and mid-thighs-to-ankles: red.
not brown, not golden, not flushed or glowing . . . simply, red.
and now, a week later, my peeling sunburn having hidden beneath turtlenecks and jeans for the past seven days, my arms have settled into a pinky-light brown color, and my mid-thigh bike-short tan line (that I've possessed year round for the past 4 years) has popped back out in a big way.
once again I look ridiculous in shorts, swim shorts, and short pajamas, and that's just the way it is.
and will be.
until I get old, stop riding a bike, and start regaling my grandchildren with stories about how I earned this scar on my knee, and that scar on my shoulder, and those two scars on my clavicle . . . and, I'm afraid, the silly line halfway between my hips and knees that just won't ever truly go away . . .