We spent a long weekend in the greatest American city outside of the Pacific Northwest (New York doesn't count…we all know it's not part of America) for a wedding. Taking advantage of ECG's generosity, we left Cheeky behind and tacked a couple extra days to the weekend to remind ourselves of what life is like without someone tugging on your pant leg.
Aside from a painful flight out (air traffic controllers at O'Hare were apparently too busy grooming themselves and throwing feces to get an open gate for our plane) we had a pretty nice weekend catching up with old friends and walking around the city. The day of the wedding was one of those perfect summer days—glorious sun, a light breeze—and since we didn’t have to be at the church until late afternoon we signed up for an architectural cruise. What better way to spend an hour and a half on a day like that than on a boat cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, right?
In the Boy Scouts, our motto was “Be Prepared.” I was a lousy Boy Scout.
My skin, inherited paternally from a long-line of pasty German peasants, has the healthy sheen of uncooked chicken breast. This is fine when trying to camouflage myself in Antarctica, but not so great in an unprotected boat. As we sat down I glanced around at the people slathering sunblock on their faces or shadowed under the brims of baseball caps and realized I was in trouble.
For the record, "looking away from the sun" is not effective. Neither is "hoping really hard" that my maternal Italian heritage, so prominent in my emotional outbursts and love of gelato, will spontaneously generate enough melanin to turn me into George Hamilton.
Several hours later, after diversions to Millennium Park and Baskin Robbins, we returned to the hotel to get dressed. While waiting for the trolley to the church, several friends walked up to say "Hi" and commented, "You look like you got some sun!" Uh oh. I'm a freakin' raspberry Tootsie Pop wearing Hugo Boss. Great.
We get to the church. Hey, it’s the guys from the wedding party! "You look like you got some sun!" It’s the father of the bride! "You look like you got some sun!" It’s the priest! "You look like you got some sun!" I’m tempted to dunk my head in the holy water in hopes of a miracle.
Reception time; receiving line. "You look like you got some sun!" Yeah, and sorry the glowing red beacon in the fourth row was distracting the musicians during the ceremony, buddy. I grab a beer as big as my forearm. What table are we at? I wonder who else is sitting there. Hey, it’s some old friends I haven't seen in a while! "You look like you got some sun!" The waiter brings our food. "You look like you got some sun!" A raven perched above the chamber door. Quoth the Raven, "You look like you got some sun!"
There's not enough aloe vera in the world to cure embarrassment. Let this be a lesson to all of you.
Next time, I’m packing a freakin' hat.