Thursday, November 28, 2013

Radiation, Recall and Regret

I grew up in the 80’s when wearing layers of Polo shirts was mandatory. 

That is until Flash Dance came around, and then cutting the neck and waist band out of sweatshirts and layering those became apparel law.

Alternatively, Madonna had just appeared so layers of lace and petticoats and especially jewelry was an option. 

Why the layers? An ostentatious display of apparel purchasing power? A clever marketing ploy to increase clothing sales? Another illustration that teens will follow any ludicrous fashion trend? A probable yes to all three.

I’m going to assume that the lack of individuality in attire didn’t directly lower IQ.  (With one exception, the current trend in sagging does have a direct relationship to reasoning inability. Nothing makes you look more like a man, than grabbing a fistful of trousers while running away from the authorities.)

All of this brings me around to another 80’s trend that had more of a correlation with intelligence than most. In the 80’s, a tan wasn’t just a tan it was “A TAN.” I remember an in depth conversation between the boys my age complaining that the blondes had light colored body hair which camouflaged the true extent of their tanned limbs.

Initially, in the quest for an acceptable level of pigmentation, I ended up looking more like this: 
(The poor girl fell asleep holding a bowel of ice cream.)
And I did not end up looking like this:
Fortunately, the level of sun exposer became easier to gage in terms of minimizing burn and maximizing tan.
The exception? Travel to a water destination, outside of the community pool, and all prior information about Ultra Violet radiation hemorrhages from the brain. I’m not sure what it is about a lake or the ocean that makes neurons shut down but most encounters with a body of water led to a miserable evening where skin attempted to remove itself from the sunscreen challenged owner.  

The irony?   My dad is a dermatologist so it wasn’t like we were without cautionary information about sun exposure or an inability to locate appropriate sun blocking options.

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