Friday, January 26, 2007

Long Live the Reflector Queen

It was the winter of 1968 and all the girls were getting ready for spring break. When it was sunny many of us skipped class and sat outside the cafeteria where is was protected from the wind. There we slathered ourselves with baby oil mixed with iodine to "protect" our skin and opened up our reflectors. These were large, three foil covered cardboard segments that opened to direct the sun's rays. Most of us were content with one but I do remember one girl with a short late '60's asymmetrical platinum bob who owned three ( face, torso, legs) to keep her mahogany skin, well, mahogany. We were told to wear those tiny plastic eye protectors that look like a cross between a lorgnette and Barbie's push up bra. Yeah, right! I remember being told I would be wrinkled when I was forty. I swear I remember thinking "Me? Forty? (another) yeah, right!
My mom never used a reflector but she gardened and played golf. She literally had a tan line through her shirt from her bra. I remember her regular visits to a dermatologist to undo years of unprotected sun exposure. She began to resemble a raisin. I started using high number suntan lotions.
I spent part of this morning in a waiting room that served many doctors, waiting to see a dermatologist. This was my first visit and I had been warned that I should expect to wait. By the time I saw him I had moved beyond being edgy from the wait to grateful. Sometimes waiting rooms will do that to you. Besides, I live in a small town and there were several people also waiting that I knew. I chatted until my name was called.
He looked: he sprayed; we talked; I left.
Long live the Reflector Queen.
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