Sunshine (and why I loathe it)

Let me be clear right from the beginning…

It’s not sunlight in general to which I object. Sunlight, along with such other niceties as air and water, is a real shot in the arm to most forms of life in this world. I am also pretty big on other kinds of light. Luminescence, for example. Nothing beats seeing or doing things ‘by the light of the silvery moon’, as the song goes. Firelight (including light from candles, oil lamps, torches, firewood, etc.), incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, the faint glow from a cell phone, lightning flashes, etc, all score high in my books. So in case some of you out there might be thinking yours truly wants to live in an underground vaulted chamber [1] or in a cave a mile or two below the earth’s surface without so much as a glow stick… I don’t.

Sunlight, in and of itself, is not technically evil. In certain circumstances, it is tolerable.

SunSHINE… and for the purposes of this piece, I’m referring to the light directly from that big blazing thing high in the air on a clear day, unfiltered by overcast skies – the kind that leaves a sharp-edged shadow of me on the ground before I burst into flames… now, that is an altogether different matter.

Sunshine. I hate it. I despise it. I loathe it.

It hurts my eyes. And I really dislike having to squint whenever I go outside. I wear prescription glasses that gradually turn dark in sunlight but, sadly, they don’t work when I’m driving since the inside of the car is in shadow, notwithstanding the fact that the world outside the car is blindingly bright.

I literally do not like the feel of sunshine on my skin.  When exposed to direct sunshine, my skin feels like it wants to peel off of my face and arms. Picture Sarah Connor’s playground dream sequence [2][3] inTerminator 2 and you get the idea. Putting a slightly different spin on another old song, ‘Sunshine on my shoulder makes me miserable.’

And another thing. Sunshine – Fair Skin. Not a good combination. In this regard, my mediterranean background has let me down. Unlike my daughter who thrives on sunshine, I have to coat myself in SPF-60 sunblock and even then, I feel nervous.  As Woody Allen once put it, “I don’t tan. I stroke!”

When the girl from Ipanema goes walking, each man she passes goes ‘Aaah!’ I, however, go ‘Eeew!’ (What’s with all the old songs, tonight??) Seriously. They’re thinking, ‘Ooo… nice tan!’ and I’m thinking, ‘Ooo… melanoma!’ (More on my fondness for pale skin in another blog)

Which brings me, as most things eventually do, to vampyres. I feel a certain kinship with them on this subject. Now, while it is very unpleasant for me to go out into the sunshine and, much as I feel it may very well happen some days, it is probably unlikely that I will actually literally burst into flames. The same can’t be said for vampyres because, let’s face it, there isn’t enough sunblock in the world to protect the undead.

And so, here I am, trying not to grin too widely or let out a too-loud “Yes!” whenever someone says it is going to be cool, dark and overcast tomorrow.

Yeah, I know. I’m evil. What can I say?


[1] OK, I have to admit that the vaulted crypt thing does sound kinda cool. But still… torches in wall brackets, candlelight, the odd Coleman lantern here and there. You have to have something, if for no other reason than to get around without bumping into, tripping over or stubbing your toe against anything.  As my dear and quite blonde friend Annie-O once put it when she and I were in a deep underground chamber, “Boy… it sure would be dark in here if it wasn’t for the light!” Try as I might, I could not hold back the urge to point out for her that it would be dark ANYWHERE if it wasn’t for the light!

[2] Actual Sarah Connor playground dream sequence from Terminator 2. Warning: Not for the squeamish.

[3] Joke sequence with silly “sunshine” soundtrack! Warning: Silly… but still not for the squeamish. 🙂


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