Nine Out of Twelve Women Agree…

… That most men are lousy when it comes to using sunscreen.

Except for this guy. He uses it all the time.

During our recent foray to the wilds of Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo Mike and I had a little ‘discussion’ about the use of protection… sun protection that is.  Not that we see the sun on a regular basis around here. We should probably call the stuff ‘UV Rays protection’ because whether you have cloud cover or not, those UV rays are just hammering the skin doing their best to cause wrinkles. Oh, and skin cancer. That, too. I try to be really aware of it, especially the wrinkle part because since I was a lifeguard every summer for many years in my ignorant youth, I’ve already damaged my skin pretty badly. Ah, the 1970’s, the days before science took the joy out of laying out in the sun and getting blistered.

Regardless of the skin cancer risk, we’re in our 50’s now and I want both of us to preserve whatever semblance of unwrinkled complexion we have left. So I invest in large amounts of sunscreen. And even though Mike is a grown man who clearly knows how to take care of himself, this fact is only lately becoming evident in his skin protection routine. For years I’ve been the pestering wife, harping on him to slather on the cream, sometimes to the detriment of his delicate eyes. Lord, how he would whine about putting that stuff on. The looks I would get, looks that were completely wasted on me as I bought one kind after another until I found one he would wear without complaining.

Frankly I just could not understand why he resisted my efforts so much. Was it a control thing? Was it denial? I mean, I don’t have to tell him to brush his teeth, or take a bath, or shave, or any of the other many things grown people do without being told. He’s one of the most grown-up people I know.  Could it just be a ‘man’ thing? (I have to tread very, very carefully here lest I be accused of ‘stereotyping’ which, in the political correctness category, is identical to profiling.)

So we had our little ‘discussion’, very politely, of course, while sailing under leaden skies, on our way to the raft up with other cruisers. One of us (me) said we bet that when couples sailed together, it was mostly the wife who insisted on using sunscreen. I don’t remember who said it, probably me (yep). Words like ‘harp’ and ‘nag’ were thrown around without landing on any particular person. We agreed it would be fun to do a little research project to find out. And I thought the raft up would be a perfect place to do it. So I did.

The protection afforded by this life vest is not enough. There must be sunscreen on that tender face!

While we were all gathered for the hor d’oeuvres competition I did an informal poll of the women present. I asked the women who was most concerned about the use of sunscreen while out on the boat: the women, or their husbands (mates, ‘boyfriends’, partners…..whatever)? As the title says, 9 out of 12 women, which includes me, said it was the women who were most aware and concerned about it. Out of the three women who answered it was their husband who was most aware, one of those husbands has had skin cancer which was treated surgically. His awareness level skyrocketed after that.

I had to laugh as several of the women almost rolled their eyes at the question.   “He won’t use it even when I nag”, one woman said. “I’ve given up trying to get him to use it”, said another.  “I don’t even try anymore”. And those were the polite responses that did not include incredulous laughter.  And then there was the interesting gentleman who doesn’t use it himself, but he does remind his wife to wear her hat because he’s concerned for HER skin. You know what’s unfair about that? His skin looks great! How exactly does that happen? There are some things in life that are just not fair.

Mike, getting ‘the treatment’ from me. Photo is by Lee Youngblood. Thanks, Lee!

Apparently I am vindicated, based on the completely scientific and irrefutable methodology I used in this survey.*  I learned how to do this in college, where I majored in science.

No animals were harmed in this process, to my knowledge, and only a few men were insulted. I beg their pardon and remind them to use their sunscreen.


* Not really. I mean, yes, I am vindicated, but certain people who are sticklers for the scientific process might take umbrage with some of my conclusions.  I stand by them regardless of such umbrage because I was there and I recorded each answer on my scratch paper. Also, I counted all the answers personally and I’ve been able to count to 12 since I was 5 years old.

Oh, and also Mike is pretty good at using his sunscreen now. I hardly ever have to use it for him.

5 thoughts on “Nine Out of Twelve Women Agree…

  1. I hate sunscreen. And I mean HATE it. Though I hate lotion too. Anything slimy and greasy I have to put on myself that smells I get upset about. I have a great sense of smell and let me tell you, almost all lotions and sunscreens stink!

    Dani has fits trying to get me to wear sunscreen. I’m okay with trying to protect my skin but I’ll literally sit inside on a sunny day rather than go out and have to wear that slimy mess slathered on my body. It squicks me out.

    Our compromise is sun resistant clothes. I wear wide brimmed hats, pants, and long sleeved sun shirts rated at SPF 50 even when wet. I have a feeling most men would be less adverse to “Honey, put on your hat” than “Lets wipe this disgusting stinking tube of horrible feeling crap onto your skin.” (Thats what I hear).

    As another side note… Most women I know shave or aren’t very hairy. Guys are hairy. It SUCKS putting sunscreen on hair. Just trust me.

    • Well, I remain vindicated! Yes, who among us likes to smear on greasy, smelly stuff, hair or no hair? Since you are still young and are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, though, might I suggest you try the sunscreen I mentioned in the post? Mike really likes it and actually puts it on without me reminding him. It doesn’t run, and it doesn’t feel greasy. Skin feels soft and actually like you’ve put on powder. It’s actually quite good, although there is probably a scent. Hats are great, but they are not enough and they don’t stay on that great when sailing in good wind. Fast forward 30 years when Dani still looks young and beautiful, not a wrinkle in sight, skin smooth as a baby’s bottom. How will yours look? HMMMMM? Hey, don’t I remember a post on your blog wherein your back looked a little lobsterish and you had to stay inside for awhile?

      • hahaa..I knew Tate would respond to this one. He hates sunscreen yes. I have tried in so many ways to get him to wear it.

        I’m ok with the spf clothing, and for the face I have some that is very mild and easy to apply. It also lasts all day.

        He is getting better about putting on face sunscreen. I started thinking yesterday that we are going to need to have more canvas in the cockpit to shield poor Irish Tate from the sun.

        Good thing my mom is a canvas worker.

  2. Jim will put it on without reminding. I use it sometimes. But I constantly nag our middle son who is very fair, has worked many summers as a lifeguard, and likes to get very tan. When he was younger, at the pediatrician’s suggestion, we had a mole removed from his back because the doc said it was the kind that could turn cancerous as he aged. So I am always concerned about that child, nag him to death, and he hates it! Hopefully he’ll end up marrying a woman who can convince him to use sunscreen.

  3. Pingback: U is for Ultra Violet Death Rays | Little Cunning Plan

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