So back in 1997, my family took a trip to HAWAII!!! ™The Brady Bunch. It was an amazing time. We were there for ten days. The first five I spent bike riding down a volcano at the crack of dawn, jogging on the beach, swimming in the Pacific, and eating at a restaurant with swans swimming around right by the table. Hawaii was everything everyone had ever cracked it up to be and more. Maui is literally the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life, in every way, and really want to go back as soon as I can, because those first five days…dude.
The second five days I spent in my pajamas, reading a bunch of books, and crying a lot. Because what happened was you see, that by the sixth day, I had achieved an Irish girl triumph: The Base Tan. Everyone knows you have to come back from Hawaii golden and glowing and generally looking like you’ve spent the past week having sex while on a lot of sedatives. And it’s like you know how you always admire and appreciate the perfectedly toasted marshmallow, but you inevitably lose your patience and just stick it in the fire and it’s still good? But every now and then, you try to have a little dignity and make a grownup toasted marshmallow? It was like that. I was in Hawaii, not Point Lookout, and could not do the Irish girl Burn-Tan. This tan had to be acquired gracefully and with elegance.
Which by the sixth day I was radiating with, and even wore the Look-How-Casually-I-Can-Wear-White-‘Cause-Of-My-Bitchin’-Tan Dress! And what I thought was that my Bitchin’ Tan didn’t need no Effin’ Sunscreen. Surely I could go sit under the shade for 20 minutes by the pool at 4:30 in the afternoon…
How it played out was not unlike the unraveling of events in The Perm Incident of ’89. Things started out all right, a little pink, nothing major, a little red…uh-oh…until all hell broke loose and I started becoming a lobster. Not just in the red way, but in the boiling in the pot kind of way, only the pot was inside my skin. It was painful, and disgusting, and horrifying, and I couldn’t sleep, and the next morning we were all supposed to take a helicopter ride over the island. Not only was I in pain, but the only way to describe how I looked was to say that I was like the incarnation of first-night-of-the-breakup face. Where you feel like your tears are following you around the next day like a hangover, ’cause you’re all salty and swollen and sad.
So I don’t know, I think the sun gods were angry at me because I bucked tradition by refusing to go to the luau, but I kind of hate “Let’s have fun!” events ’cause it’s awkward due I’m SURE to being a cheerleader for six years in a completely unironic way, and now there is such a vast residual deposit of sunshine and rainbows and general jingle-jangle fluttering about in my brain, that I feel about luaus much the same way as former acid freaks feel about the Cat in the Hat ride at Islands of Adventure.
Also, I was scared of the roasted pig.
So as penance for opting to hang out with Robb and boycott the luau, I had to spend the rest of my vacation indoors, having failed initiation. It was all good though, I still got to read It by Stephen King, you know? And a a bunch of other stuff I don’t recall. The words were probably too blurred by my tears. And my blistering skin.
If only Baz Luhrmann’s poetry had been around two years earlier…
© June 13 (Happy birthday, Nanny Posch!), 2007