Thursday, June 30, 2011


You thought this was going to be about some whackadoodle shady business, didn't you?

Maybe something about porn, or misbehaving, or turtles in love. But it's not. The word shady here refers to just that. Shady places.

As summer has come upon us with a bang, I have to find shady places to hang out. I don't do well in hot weather. I like it cool. I used to broil myself in the sun, smeared with baby oil and a little iodine (to hurry the tan along) for hours. I'm fortunate that so far, my skin has not rebelled because of the sins of my youth. I think being Mexican helps. I used to think of the sun as a lover and give in to him on every possible occasion.

For the last 20 years, I've been more careful in the sun. I slather on the sunscreen and stay in the shade. In fact, I sometimes put on the abaya mi esposo brought me home from Saudi Arabia when I go in the yard. I keep it covered in other words. In the old days, people asked me if I was Egyptian because of how dark I was. Egyptian? Okay.

These days, my dogs and I prefer the shade. There is a 100 year old big Oak Tree in my front yard. It's interesting to note that it is always a good 10 degrees cooler under that tree than it is in the sun. That makes it the perfect place for a siesta or a good place to read. Our street is usually not very busy, so I am not concerned that someone will walk by and grab my earrings even if I fall asleep.

My husband Alex doesn't like being in the sun either. As a 100% Navajo Indian, he already has a permanent tan. In fact, years ago, my sister asked me if he was "that color" all over. I assured her that he was. Frankly, very white men just don't do it for me, usually. I love a little color on a man. (Or in some cases, a lot of color, but that's another post.)

The heat makes me drowsy, lazy and incompetent. I hate it. But I do like sitting in a shady place and knowing that because of my aversion to heat, there's nothing else I am expected to do. You have to relax in the heat. No silly jogging or walking. No crazy riding a bike.

The heat was made for quiet contemplation. And ice cold beer.

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