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March 02, 2012

Rich girls of all races can have dilemmas, but this problem is unique to palefaces. AND, if you are from the cloudy gray north, you may have even bigger problems.

Hello, dear readers!  I made it back from Puerto Rico with no arrest record, despite hitting a woman in the head with my liquor-filled suitcase.  It was an accident, caused mostly by my rush to get out of the plane and not realizing that loading a carry-on with 4 bottles of coconut rum will make it difficult to retrieve from the overhead compartment.  Whoops.  Sorry, lady.

A few days before I went on the trip, I had a series of Rich White Girl Problems.  Rich White Girl Problems is a popular Twitter category, and sometimes, instead of real thoughts, I think in Tweets or Facebook posts in my head.  I know you do, too.

I went for a spray tan the day before I left, and I realized that one of my worst fears that afternoon was having a wreck during the 2 mile drive from the tan place to my house.  If I got in an accident after I spray tanned and started to sweat, it would totally ruin the color.  Also, I’d have to talk to the cops while dressed in spray tan clothes.  UGH!  Yes, Rich Girl Problem, I thought.  (Rich being defined as the ability to pay for something frivolous like a spray tan.)  But I refused to call it a Rich White Girl Problem in my head because I am not racist.  I know lots of rich girls of varying colors.

But anyone other than white would not have to get a spray tan.  Moment of Epiphany!  I have discovered the only and ultimate Rich White Girl Problem: Fear of ruining your spray tan.

I used to think that I wasn’t that white and was supposed to be deeply tanned by the sun.  All my life, three out of my four grandparents have talked about our Native American heritage.  Even though two who claimed to be part-Indian had very fair skin and blue eyes, I imagined myself being able to tan like a bronze Cherokee princess, just like my great-great-great grandmother was, supposedly.  I’m really smart.

Last year I researched my family tree on Ancestry.com, and I was shocked at how Caucasian I am, percentage-wise.  Even if all the claims of Native American heritage are true, it still adds up to—well—not enough to avoid sunscreen.  Dang it!  Here’s a diagram of my heritage, as modeled by my arm:

My skin color heritage

Just kidding!  It’s all sun damage.

My good friend S had melanoma a couple of years ago.  It was—and still is—a big deal.  Doctors had to remove a chunk of her leg, and she can never be in the sun again.  The cancer remains at the forefront of her mind.  The other day, we witnessed two shirtless teenage boys skateboarding down the middle of a busy street.  My first thought was “They’re gonna get hit by a car!”  But S said something like, “Oh my gosh!  That’s crazy!  And I bet they’re not even wearing sunscreen!”

So I sent her this picture:

This boy is not wearing enough sunscreen!

I jest, but on the beach last week, I wore enough sunscreen to cover all of Canada.  Being from Texas, my husband and I are serious about the sun; we know how intense it can be.  Sometimes it just randomly sets stuff on fire here (well, it feels that way).  And even Cherokees have to wear sun protection when they’re on the beach for 7 hours.  One of our favorite games to play on beach vacations is “People from the Cloudy Gray North.”  We guess where people are from based on their ability to apply sunscreen.  We’re not racist, but we’re horrible stereotypers.  When a person haphazardly applies sunscreen and gives up when they can’t reach part of his or her back, said person will quickly cook to lobster red in the non-protected areas.  We like to covertly take pictures of those splotchy people and guess Wisconsin or New Jersey?

Vermont, dang it. Sometimes stereotyping has flaws; I couldn’t smell the maple syrup wafting from her pores from where I was sitting, which caused me to incorrectly guess New Hampshire.


This couple has never used sunscreen before. My guess is.....England.

So this leads me to an extension of the only Rich White Girl Problem: picking a good sunscreen that will provide adequate sun protection but not chemically deteriorate a spray tan.

Can somebody get to work on that for me? Thx!  ♥  (I think that’s how Rich Girls of Varying Races would sign a post.)

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