Gimme some skin, bro. Yow!

So I had a shocking sighting the other day.

Sunday to be exact. Down at the waterfront. Location of the annual Daffodil Marine Regatta.

After day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day of cold gray skies, it was a welcomed and blessed sight to see the sun.

And a shock. One surpassed by another sighting. My forearms. Revealed when I pushed up the sleeves of jacket during a brisk, and therefore heat-producing, walk along the waterfront.

I nearly collapsed onto the sidewalk then and there.

Could I look any more British?!?!?!

My god, forearms so pasty and pale and sickly!

Nearly five years here and I’m officially a casualty of the Pacific Northwest climate. I could be Pete Doherty’s sister, clean and sobered up. That’s Pete Doherty of Britain’s Babyshambles.

the pale and pasty Pete

The fading vestiges of skin tanned from my years in blazing desert climates are still visible. Just barely. A dying population of specks that resemble shrunken brown amoebas.

In short, there’s gang warfare here and it’s happening on my forearms.

Witness the Tan Amoebas. Those itsby-bitsy remnants of skin toasted by the rays. They cry out: No! No! No! We don’t wanna go! We don’t wanna be consumed and overtaken by the Pasty Whites!

The Tan Amobeas are terribly disadvantaged. They lack firepower. The fire of the sun.

Meanwhile, the Pasty Whites have the stronghold and forces on their side. The force of Nature.

Not just that but the Pasty Whites can afford to be lazy. They know that here in the Pacific Northwest, they don’t hafta lift a finger to maintain their dominance or defeat the Tan Amobeas.

They can kick back, shoot down some six-packs, shoot up the drugs (or antidepressants, as the case may be) and channel surf with the TV real real loud. No one’ll confront or challenge them. The law — that’d be the law of nature and its prevailing overcast skies — is on their side.

Yup, that’s how it is. For every Tan Amobea, there’s 10 Pasty Whites circling to swallow them up.

What to do?

Go around without a jacket with arms exposed to beef up the Tan army?

Well, that’s no good! So often when the sun’s out, the air’s cool or cold and damp. So forearms remain covered by jackets and sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. Even through summer. Especially through summer!

Regional residents live by a word: layering. It’s an art. A lifestyle. A forte honed through years of crappy weather and a talent for which they’re famous. Or should be.

Sure, time to time someone appears on a gray cold day in shorts, T-shirt and sandals.

Because that person’s from Minnesota. Or Norway.

And so it goes that the gang of Tan Amobeas haven’t a chance against the Pasty Whites. That group has got the skins, colors and conditions, locked down.

What’s needed is an introduction of foreigners, the Dark Brownies from Arizona and Texas. And a helluva lot more visits from Sir Sol.

And as we wait hopelessly for that busload to arrive, I and my layers of clothing are now taking leave for city hall to put in for a legal change of name.

Wonder how ol’  pasty Pete’ll take to having a new sister.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 18:14:51

    Sir Sol needed, for sure, at your place.
    Pasty, pale and sickly doens’t go down well at ours either.


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 18:30:36

      @Klopp – I was really shocked. And of course I then started examining everyone’s forearms (those not covered by sleeves, a tiny minority) and guesstimating from the color whether they were natives and/or how long they’d lived here. Scary how much pasty white there’s about!! 🙂


  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 18:15:07

    …doesn’t…that is


    • Karyn @ kloppenmum
      Apr 19, 2011 @ 19:19:55

      I know that there is a lot of information about tanning not being good for you, but to me pasty-white just looks unhealthy. Run now…I say…find that sun!


      • allycatadventures
        Apr 20, 2011 @ 10:53:28

        @klopp – As you might imagine, tanning booths are big business in this region, not for reasons of vanity but health and mood, and those I’ve met who’ve used them they do improve health and/or lift the spirits.


  3. inaformerlifeanexpat
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 06:00:23

    Given how much direct sun there isn’t in NYC, I’d say the same also applies to those who live there.


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 11:10:40

      @Expat – According to World Facts and Figures, NY City gets 107 sunny days a year; Seattle 71. New York outranks Seattle on partly cloudy days 118 and 93, respectively; Seattle, on the other hand, tops NY on cloudy days, 201 and 146, respectively. In sum, NY still sees more sun than Seattle. (Still not sufficient to entice me into NY!!) 🙂 )


      • inaformerlifeanexpat
        Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:47:27

        Walk the streets of NYC and you’ll see what I mean. even on a sunny day, very little direct sunlight hits the streets for any period of time, especially the east-west streets. Of course there’s hanging out all day in Central Park on the lower tip of Manhattan.


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