Yes, when I wear sandals it looks like I still have socks on. I swear I don't.
Yes, when I wear shorts that are shorter than the Bermudas I wear at work, there is a sweet-looking white stripe between the tan part of my legs and my shorts.
Yes, if I take my shirt off, from a distance it looks like I'm still wearing one. A white one with nipples on it, but a shirt nonetheless. It's even a V-neck.
No, I do not wear a hat all the time while I am in the sun, even though I am completely bald. This is a huge disappointment to all of my elderly customers, but, honestly, the only way I could make my tan lines any funnier is to have the top of my head be completely white. They say I'm going to get sunstroke, but I'm still not doing it. Hat on for a while, hat off for a while. Deal with it, people.
None of this is my fault. I am a mailman, and I have to dress like one. I work outside every day, but I have to wear, as Emilio Estaves said in "The Breakfast Club" (that was for all you movie buffs) "the required uniform". Unlike Emilio, my required uniform is not tights (thank God!) but the uniform that you see mailmen across the country wear every day. We all have the same affliction: Mailman Tan.
For some of us, Mailman Tan is more ridiculous than for others. Take me, for example. My ancestry is Irish, English and Scottish; if my skin isn't tan, it's translucent. In the wintertime I make milk look dark.
So please, those of you out there with good tans, or amazing natural coloring, remember this the next time you see a guy who's sandals show off his tan legs and starkly white feet. Remember this when you see a man cutting the grass wearing a tank-top, but you can plainly see that for the rest of the week he was wearing a shirt-sleeved shirt. Remember this the next time you are about to point a finger and laugh, or call out "look at that guy's tan!" Remember, and refrain.
We know we look ridiculous. We know people are staring. We know people want to point and laugh. But please, Mailman Tan is not our fault. We see the rest of you, with your beautiful, even coloring, and all we want to do is fit in with your 'normal' society.
We don't have good tans. We don't have good natural coloring. All we have is our small shred of dignity.
Please, leave us that much.
Talk to you later!