Reason number 248 as to why I am an engineer, I burn easily and would die of skin cancer at the age of 30 if I worked outside every day. Now I know what you’re thinking, “I thought you were a lifeguard Thomas?” Yes, I do work at a pool, BUT I am a supervisor at the pool meaning I get to have the cushy job of sitting inside all day. Only venturing out into the scorching Texas heat to check on stuff every now and then. Needless to say, when I floated the Frio River for 8-hours this weekend I got a slight sunburn.
Okay slight may not be the right word. Now I am no idiot, I put on sunscreen before we even got onto the bus, and I reapplied sunscreen while we were on the river. But no matter how many times I reapplied or my friends reapplied sunscreen on me I still managed to burn. A burn that is bad, but nowhere near the worst burn I’ve ever had. Young Thomas was too naïve to put on sunscreen.
Nevertheless, it looked bad to people that do not routinely get sunburns, and by the next morning every girl in our floating group went full mom mode, telling me I had to wear a t-shirt for the rest of the trip. However, I had different plans.
My whole body was burned, including my fingers. Which even with my experience with sunburns, burned fingers was a new one for me. So I knew that a t-shirt would not be enough and came up with a better plan that would give my body full coverage. I was going to buy a pair of footie pajamas and wear that to float the river.
Making a pit stop at Wal Mart we searched the store for footie pajamas. But apparently they don’t carry winter pajamas when its 105 degrees outside. I had to come up with another plan. Strolling around the men’s department trying to find a suitable plan b, I stumbled upon some old school classic plaid pajamas. Now I am a tall guy and with most clothes at Wal Mart, as the size increases the waist increases by 6 inches and the length by 1 inch.
I was not going to risk buying a pair that was too small and expose my ankles to the roasting sun. Therefore, I did what any one would do, grabbed the 2XL pajamas, opened the packaged and tried them on in the aisle.
They were big enough in the waist to fit three people, but long enough to fit one Thomas. I bought the pajamas and we headed to the river.
On the bus ride to the river I almost died of heat stroke wearing long sleeved pajamas in the Texas heat. But once we got to the river and I soaked my plaid PJ’s in the cool water, and was in heaven for the rest of the trip. I never got hot, and was free of further burning.
Throughout the float we would pass various groups of people. One person would see me, the weirdo wearing pajamas in the river, nudge their friends, and then the entire group would look at me and occasionally take a picture or two. I embraced this having fun and making jokes with them as we floated by. There were a lot of laughs shared that day, but the top three things I heard on the river were:
1- A group of people thinking that my friends drug me out of bed while I was asleep and dumped me in the river
2-“Hey that is the kid that got burned yesterday.”
3-Multiple small children asking their parents, “Mommy why is he wearing pajamas?”
Yes, the burns are not pleasant at times but they did bring about a great story for me to share. And more importantly a ton of laughs for not only my friends, but also the hundreds of people that we encountered on the river. Even in not so pleasant situations there is always a positive perspective to view the cards that you’ve been dealt. Choose that perspective.
As always, make good choices, share if you like what I said, comment if you have something to add, give that follow button a hit, and I will see you on Tuesday, hopefully a little less red.