A Proud, Non-Tannable White Guy

I am permanently, unchangeably, white. I am a non-tannable guy. I do not tan.

It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s not that I have anything against tanning. It’s just that, for some unknown reason, my skin is very resistant to color change.

The biggest change I can expect, after many hours and many days in the sun, is minimal. When I was 20, I worked as a pool cleaner in Orange County (the OC, very sunny), and was always outside, always in shorts. The amount of color change I achieved can only be described as moving from the color of milk to the color of soy.

I’ve been to Jamaica. I’ve been to Hawaii (twice). I’ve been to Mexico. These are all sunny places. I live in Southern California, and currently live very close to the ocean. I teach school and am basically off for the summer, so I spend a great deal of time outside. It doesn’t matter. I might as well be living in an igloo in Greenland.

If Obama had let me be his vice-president, no one would have any trouble telling us apart.

However, I’ve learned to live with and even embrace this affliction. I’ve endured many years (approximately 50, which is the new 47) of whiteness. I’ve been mocked by many people. When I was the pastor of a shorts-wearing congregation, my congregants needed to wear sunglasses when I started wearing shorts every summer. It’s OK, I’ve learned to live with it.

I’m just saying – I’ve embraced my whiteness, and I’m a proud non-tannable white guy.

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2 Responses to A Proud, Non-Tannable White Guy

  1. Leon says:

    Your inability to tan has never diminished my admiration for you. After all, I married a non-tannable white woman, who has remained the same color, as she was the day I met her. Her non-tannability is perhaps even one step beyond yours: If she spends even 15 minutes in the intense Florida sun without wearing sunscreen, she will turn a painful shade of red.

    I, however, am a proud, potentially tannable non-white guy (I am Latino by the same definition that makes the President Black).

    I could, if I choose, spend much more time in the sun than in the studio, and change my skin color to a deep bronze. I have not chosen this course of action for two main reasons:

    1. No one pays me to spend time in the sun, but they DO pay me to spend time in my studio.

    2. While I could become deeply tanned today, I would also become deeply wrinkled tomorrow.

    Play that funny music, white boy!

  2. joannmski says:

    “The amount of color change I achieved can only be described as moving from the color of milk to the color of soy.”

    So funny!! I’m laughing up in here!

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