Dear Virginia, thanks for the tan legs

Dear Virginia,

We’ve had our differences, you and I. You’re a place of 55 MPH speed limits, toll gates to park at Target, and antebellum cobblestone sidewalks that less knowledgeable persons mistakenly call quaint and picturesque but which I know are the cruel weaponry with which the South will rise again. I come from a place where doing 80 in the fast lane gets you passed on the right, parking is free, and the sidewalks are evenly paved because we are true patriots.

Virginia, you have always thought it’s funny to be really humid really early in the day which is why I pretend I never hear the dog when he needs to go out in the mornings so the husband has to take him. Because the times I have taken the dog out in the mornings, you make me have Daryl Hannah hair and I’m afraid of what your squirrels–which are legion–will do to my head.

Not cool, Virginia.

Not cool, Virginia.

But there are a few things you do that deserve a tip of the hat. You’re verdant. Green green everywhere and all that jazz. You’ve made certain sartorial creations like short-sleeved sweaters and suede shoes make sense, although I’m still not convinced on the seersucker thing.

Nope, I'm not ready yet, Virginia. I'm just not ready.

Nope, I’m not ready yet, Virginia. I’m just not ready.

Still, our relationship isn’t entirely rocky. I pay your taxes. I leash-license-scoop my dog. And I felt horrible the other day when there was a spider in my car, crawling toward me on the window!, and I squashed it with a napkin and unthinkingly hurled the napkin out the window and into your lush highway grasses, although being Virginia, the napkin was biodegradable and made of 100% post-consumer materials in the first place, so really all I did was fertilize.

And there’s one major thing you have done for me, Virginia. You’re a sunny, cheeky little place and I don’t come from a land of sun. That has always been ok with me. Even now I often prefer a good rainy day to the rays of your 38th parallel. The times you have both the blazing sun and a pouring rain shower at the same time my mind is truly blown. I’m not a fan of the cancers, Virginia, so I wear sunscreen when I go out. Having the dog to walk, items to drop in the mail, and a few baby-weight pounds to lose still, I walk kind of a lot in your bright sunshine. I knew the vitamin D I was soaking up was good for me and that even with my waterproof sport UVA/UVB broad spectrum aerosol protection some of your sun’s rays would meet me where I stand.

And for that, I do thank you, Virginia. Because now, for the first time in my life, I have tan legs. Naturally tan legs. Me! And except for an unplanned incident with a paddle boat, the tidal basin, and four New Yorkers with an expensive camera, it’s all from walking around in your sunshine. I’m no bronze goddess, don’t get me wrong. But my legs have a healthy glow they’ve never had before and truly, it’s the least you could do because if I’m going to be all Steel Magnolias from the neck up, at least I no longer look like Chaucer from the knees down.

The guy on the left.

The guy on the left.

Love,

rwn

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