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Then: Bikinis and Baby Oil

Now: Straw Hats, Sun Wraps & SPF 60

The year used to be divided into two sections:  school days and summer vacation days.  And every summer was exactly that - a vacation.   Although I did start working when I was 16, I only had a weekend job,  leaving the weekdays for the beach.  

Ah...yes, the beach.  The lazy, hazy, boy-crazy days spent with my friends at Sorrento Beach in Santa Monica.  We followed the sun across the sky, lathered in baby oil.  A total NO in today's world.  We said - sun, come and get us.  Tan our firm arms and tight legs.  And in my case, burn my nose.  We were young, filled with dreams of the future.  And that future definitely did not contain any negative thoughts regarding what the wonderful sun could be doing to our skin.  Or that we might not marry the right guy the first time around.  

All too quickly, school ended and I started the work force.  And then, well, summer vacation?  It went from two months to two measly weeks, if that.  Scientists started saying that we shouldn't be out in the sun too much.   Products with sunscreen flooded the market, guaranteed to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays.  

On hot summer nights, my girlfriends and I hung out in single bars looking for Mr. Right.  Hoping not to find Mr. Goodbar.  And wishing there was some product that would screen potential boyfriends with a guarantee to protect us from those,  "can't-wait-until-this-moment-ends"  type of dates.    

After having kids, the distinction between summer and the rest of the year once again became prevalent.  Only now it was my kids who had the time off and I had to find some place for them to play while I went to work.  So, along with the heat came the added stress of summer camps and activities to keep energetic kids from getting bored and killing each other.    

On beach days, it was my daughter who was wearing the bikini while I switched to a one piece. And as she and her friends searched the beach for boys, I  talked myself into believing I could protect her from ever getting burned in a relationship.  

Sunscreens now boosted even higher SPF factors.  We could protect our outer layer. Still, there wasn't a factor high enough to protect my daughter from experiencing heartbreaks.      

And now with my kids grown and out of the house, the summer has blended back into the rest of the year.   I show less skin when going to the beach, if any skin at all.  I slather my body in SPF 65, wear a hat  (even under the moonlight) and sit in the shade!    

We now have tons of products to protect our skin, but still nothing to protect our hearts.   And I suppose there never will be.  

So, if you don't mind, I'd love to go back for just an hour or two, to those lazy, hazy, boy-crazy days of summer.  Slather my skin in oil, turn up the transistor radio and day dream about a  perfect future.  

Anyone care to join me?

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Ah, but I was full of a lot more angst those days, Janie, mostly related to boys, so I don’t think I’ll accept your invitation.  

      But I remember well the days when I went out into the sun often in an attempt to tan—always unsuccessful, since I’m so fair.  I always burned.  Now, I avoid the sun, and slather on protective lotions if I have to be outside for long periods, and my skin stays pale.  But at least it’s not burnt!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Tell me when and where and I will hop into a convertible and pick you up.....Need more than a few hours, cuz I need to get the benefits of the beautiful tanned skin we shall have....Loved this one
      Great picture...
      Jeri



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • I would love to join you just for the getaway. Being an African American I can remember thinking, “I don’t have to worry too much about the sun” and still today I pretty healthy as far a my skins appearance.

      Nowadays I preach sunscreen and sunblock to everyone I know who spends a lot of time in the sun regardless of skin color.

      P.S. I never whore a bikini until I was 30something.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Linda -  I worried a lot about boys, too.  But, I’d still like a few hours back on that beach.

      Jeri - Those days in your convertible were some of the best days of my life!

      47 -  I preach sunscreen, too.  It even seems as if the sun is hotter these days.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • I’ll go with you, Janie! I can remember walking up and down the beach with my friends for HOURS. Giggling, checking out guys, and not a care in the world. Good times - of course, I’m paying for all that skin damage now. :) I’m Irish/English mutt, we‘re supposed to live in fog, I think! LOL! Great post!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Pam - Wouldn’t that be fun!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jo46 wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Summer to me was going to the beach with my 2 girlfriends, eating a snickers bar while we drank,“Tab“, and listening to our boom box as it played, John Cougars song,“Jack and Diane.”  (Hee Hee). I to never put anything on my skin to protect it.  I am mexican and I have dark skin and I thought that was enough!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • Jo46 - I remember Tab.  It was the only diet drink that I could stomach.  Thanks for your comment.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Jul 20, 2009
    • Someone around 50 years old recently mentioned to me that because of her fair complexion, she’d always used sunblock, and my first thought was, You mean sunblock wasn’t invited about 20 years ago?  Because I was all about coconut sunTAN lotion, baby oil, cocoa butter, or just letting myself burn because I liked how it cleared up my face.  LOL.

      As for going back, yeah, okay, but just for a couple of hours, because I am SO much happier at this age!  =)

      Another fun blog, Janie.  Thank you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      S S wrote Jul 21, 2009
    • Now only memories.  I loved the feeling of tanning all day at the beach with my girlfriends.  Coming home and getting all dolled up in short shorts and a cute top.  The smell of aftertan lotion and then showing it all off at the local hang out and meeting boys.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jul 21, 2009
    • Tina -  All I want is a couple hours back then.  I’m with you.  I’m much happier now.

      Joann - I loved that feeling after the beach, too.   And all those smells.  Hmmm....  Thanks for your comment.



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