#1LinerWeds from Mary Schmich

WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Summer stated yesterday, and in typical fashion for here, it was overcast, rainy, and cool. Anyway, Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune wrote a column twenty years ago where she imagined what she would say to a graduating class were she asked to do so. Somehow, it got around that Kurt Vonnegut had delivered it at MIT that year. When someone wanted to license it, they contacted him, and he admitted that he hadn’t written the speech, but he wished he had.

Australian producer/director/screenwriter Baz Luhrman turned it into a song, “Everyone’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” in 1999.

This is also my annual “nag people about wearing sunscreen” day. If you’ve ever seen anyone suffer the affects of melanoma, a particularly virulent form of skin cancer, you’ll understand. If you haven’t, trust me, it’s awful. It’s linked directly with unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays from either the sun or from a tanning bed. Yes, a suntan is attractive, but it’s not worth putting your life at risk. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF (Jennifer Garner has been advertising one by Neutrogena that has an SPF of 100), wear a good hat (with a brim that shields your ears), and limit as much as possible your exposure to the sun.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

20 thoughts on “#1LinerWeds from Mary Schmich”

  1. I remember this song/speech. Lots of good tips. My husband has had 2 melanomas removed from his back and 2 other skin cancers removed (neck and leg) so I am really aware of the dangers. Fortunately I’ve worked in the medical field so I knew what to look for and when I saw them appearing I made sure to send him to the dermatologist ASAP. Of course, when I was younger, I wore suntan lotion (Bain de Soleil #4) to get the best tan I could, not to protect from the sun. I would bake for hours at a time while reading all summer long. My Italian skin really took a tan well. Those were the days before anyone knew about the damage it could cause. Happy Wednesday!

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    1. It was good your husband saw the doctor, and good that you sent him. My stepfather just figured he had knocked a mole off when he saw he was bleeding from his side, and Mom finally made him go see his doctor, but putting off the visit to the doctor didn’t work out so well.

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      1. That’s too bad. It is so hard to know sometimes. I had a friend who lost her husband at a young age for the same thing. Sometimes men can be so stubborn! (no offense)

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        1. No, you’re right. It’s probably more a guy thing, but I know women like that. Mom was like that. Something would be wrong, and she would wait until it was so bad that she would call the doctor in a panic. She was having terrible headaches and didn’t call the doctor until she was seeing double. Turns out, she had acute presbyopia, I.e. she needed bifocals. I’m sure she knew something was wrong when the cancer that killed her started, but it took until she couldn’t breathe before she saw the doctor. Mom was a single mother and the sole breadwinner for about ten years, and I think it was that “gotta get to work and earn money so the kids don’t starve” mentality that kept her going, and that was still in her head even though she was retired.

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  2. When I was a kid, we would lie outside wearing baby oil because we thought we would tan faster. Now, even the moisturizer I wear on my face has sunscreen–not that I go outside much. It’s either too hot or it’s pissing rain.
    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Mom gave herself second-degree burns from using baby oil as suntan lotion. She was trying to go back to school with a great tan, instead she had to put ointment on the area three times a day. I’ve always had to use sunscreen because I have a redhead’s complexion, even though I’m not a redhead. Regardless, I’m glad you’re taking care.

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  3. I’m sportin 110 daily on my face, neck, and chest. I still worry about all the potential damage done in Georgia.
    Also, I looooove that, always have — gotta listen to it now and again 🙂

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  4. Back in the day, it was cool to bake in the sun and don the golden tan and I did my share of it. I am a redhead, or was until my hair turned white, and lucky I have very little damage from the sun. I got second degree burns from being in the sun too long at Daytona Beach. I know better now and dedicated to applying sunscreen. I no longer bake in the sun, as well.

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    1. I got all the benefits of being a redhead except the red hair, so I burned really easily and it turned into freckles rather than a tan. Keep an eye out for oddly shaped moles, anyway, because my stepfather said his doctor told him the melanoma might’ve resulted from a sunburn 50 or 60 years earlier. Sorry I keep harping on it, but it’s important to me…

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  5. there were only a few times where I did some baking in the sun but usually I stayed away. I remember when there were ads for suntan oil to really bake

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    1. How well I remember: “Bain du Soleil for the St. Tropez tan” and Coppertone’s “Don’t be a Paleface.” Not exactly the most politically correct slogan…

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