IF YOU’VE SEEN the horrifying pictures from the Real Skincare Challenge that LittleBird Kathy and I are conducting, you will understand that the meeting with a plastic surgeon and aesthetician a few weeks ago was like a come-to-Jesus moment for me. If I’m going to save whatever nice skin I have left, I’m going to have to work on it.
I find hats too hot, never mind what they do to my hair. And I know it’s cumbersome to carry around one more thing, especially since women’s clothing is so light on pockets—cellphone, house keys, car key, reading glasses (there’s always something to read), plus a couple of poop bags for the dog at the end of the leash. But carry a parasol I do.
I began carrying one intermittently last summer, when my neighborhood Georgetown (DC) Business Improvement District launched a ParasolShare program to lure shoppers out despite the blistering sun. Dozens of stores participated; you picked up a parasol as you started to wander to the shops, then dropped it off at another participating store as you headed back home. Last year’s were what I think of as a typical Asian parasol—heavyweight white pleated material; this year’s are a bit more like a rain umbrella, made of bright blue nylon, with a crook handle.
Over the years I’ve noticed here and there an Asian (usually) woman using a parasol against the sun. I used to think, How odd, and then . . . how smart! And so I joined their ranks. And I’m seeing more and more people falling in line with me.
I shopped around online to see what kinds of parasols/umbrellas might be out there. But frankly, you can just dive into your coat closet: Any old brolly will create that pool of deep shade over you that will help you and your complexion make it through the summer day.