There are people in the world, most of them women I expect, who put on sunscreen every morning, rain or shine. In fact, I read about one once — a dermatologist, and she lives in Michigan, no less. But she lathers up, face and hands and neck and any other area that might see a ray of sun, every single day. Winter, summer, spring and fall.
Then there is me.
I got the sunscreen memo, but I live in Michigan. Sun is only a rumor for months at a time. I try to remember, once summer comes, to apply and reapply. But I always forget. I usually get at least one Rudolph nose in summer, and it’ll catch up with me. It already is. I have a brown perma-freckle on my nose and another one or two threatening. But I neglect my arms and legs, sometimes on purpose, because I grew up in the ’70s and in my opinion a little color makes them look better. The other day I caught sight of my shoulders in a mirror and thought, they look much better now than in January.
It is vanity, yes. A deadly sin. And still, the sun beckons me to frolic beneath it, to swim and sail and cycle and don’t stress about the Coppertone, here’s some nice Vitamin D for you.
I don’t care if I wrinkle. I’d rather be a wrinkled tan than one of those weird porcelain-faced old women. At least I’d look like I got outside once in a while.
I recall an early scene in “Gone With the Wind,” when Scarlett is getting dressed for the party at Twelve Oaks, which you might recall as Corset Scene I in the movie. Scarlett wants to wear an off-the-shoulder dress, and Mammy pitches a fit:
“No, you ain’. It ain’ fittin’ fer mawnin’. You kain show yo’ buzzum befo’ three o’clock an’ dat dress ain’ got no neck an’ no sleeves. An’ you’ll git freckled sho as you born, an’ Ah ain’ figgerin’ on you gittin’ freckled affer all de buttermilk Ah been puttin’ on you all dis winter, bleachin’ dem freckles you got at Savannah settin’ on de beach.”
(Man, can you believe that? All the black characters’ dialogue is rendered thusly. It is cringeworthy.)
Later, Mammy commands her to keep her shawl on, and her hat, lest she come home looking brown, like the white-trash women in the neighborhood. There’s your class hierarchy, right there, at least in Margaret Mitchell’s telling. Which you shouldn’t trust. Although I’ve long believed GWTW was a fine feminist novel.
OK, then, with that let’s transition into the bloggage. Because vanity is not just a feminine vice, let’s start with this fine profile from Bridge, about a lawyer who made his reputation defending Detroit police at the height of the city’s violence and their own arrogance. He’s pretty vain, too. But a great lawyer, which he states more than once. With the Kathryn Bigelow movie about 1967 opening in a few weeks, he’s waiting for his moment of being played by John Krasinski. Or at least a character based on him. If you want to understand why Black Lives Matter happened, read a little bit about how this guy worked, and what he had to defend.
Moving on, I think the best single comment I read about this guy was a tweet showing him in a photo array with Trump’s doctor and Steve Bannon: Why does everyone connected with Trump look like the scene-stealer in a Coen Brothers movie?
During a speech at the National Student Leadership Conference, Pence said in order for a leader to be like the president, they must listen, be humble, have a character people respect, work to serve others and learn from other leaders.
Finally, not to leave you with a disturbing story, but hey, the world is what it is, I found this via an obituary of a talented Miami Herald writer. This piece is 20 years old, but I’d never heard any of it. The perp died a decade ago, the mother he tortured some years before. It’s a modern horror story for our time, and an answer to the question of “what did trolls do before the internet?” Some of them did stuff like this.
A summer weekend ahead — make sure you use sunscreen.