Alright. Fine. You caught me. I am a vampire. Between my pale skin and hiding from the sun, I have to be a vampire. They did get the garlic part wrong though. I'm not sure I could live without garlic bread. But in all seriousness, like the past nineteen summers, I will spend the twentieth avoiding the sun all the same.

1. The sun burns, I burn, everything burns.

Unlike my sister who received the ‘lightly toasted marshmallow’ gene, I am stuck with the ‘how red can I get before I am an actual tomato’ gene, thanks Dad. When the winter sun goes away and the summer sun is here to stay, I feel the haunting heat leaving its mark on my neck and face. I know the burn is coming before it even shares its red pain. And without fail, I will burn everyday from now until winter, showing off that lobster coloring, and doing so proudly.

2. Sunscreen, more like sunSCREAM.

I don’t know what to say. Even the sunscreen burns me. My skin is so irritable, I can’t even use sun protection without burning. My battle becomes do I burn from the sun or do I burn from the protection? Furthermore, I cannot stand the way it smells or feels. The smell of sunscreen causes me to gag like no other. It boggles my mind that there are people out there that actually enjoy the aroma, why?

3. Tan lines.

Now, when it comes to tanning, I’m the burn and stays red type. Tan just isn’t a thing that associates with me. But if I do “tan”, I get out the fun outlines. I have to wear sunglasses. I refuse to go anywhere without them. That means I sport the raccoon look all summer and a bit into the fall. I think my favorite has to be, the racerback or any funky strap design on my back. It keeps life extremely interesting.

4. Heat is not my friend.

I don’t know about you, but I am a child of the cold. I cannot stand being hot. It is the worst feeling in the world. Why would I want to spend months walking through a wall of heat? And don’t even get me started when the sunscreen and sweat begin to mix. Bottom line, thanks to the heat of the sun, I have to spend the coming season hating the feel of my own skin and dreading walking from my car to the store. Not a way I choose to live.

5. Where’s the water?

If I had a pool near me, then I could forget all the pain the sun causes me. Just a quick jump into a pool or even a lake would do me. But, alas, I have nothing. Just this past weekend, I was sitting outside in the 100-degree heat and the only thing I could do was sit. The sun’s heat made it dreadful to go anywhere. I wasn’t wearing sunscreen, because of previous reasons, and I’m sure I burned to back of my neck. And with all that, no pool to solve any of these issues.

6. Skin cancer Is real.

However, all joking aside, the sun can cause some serious damage. As someone who has a family history of skin cancer and has already had some moles removed, avoidance is a real thing. So as you go out and enjoy the long days and the freedom from work, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Wear hats and SPF clothing. Remember to go inside and take breaks. And check out any new bumps, marks, or spots on your body. I am by no means an expert on this topic, but check out The American Cancer Society and their tips on prevention and early detection. Summer should be a time of enjoying time with friends and family, not removing growths from your body.