Sean Howard Boggs

So, I guess I’m really depressed, and it is awfully strange because I feel fine. I have no idea how this depressing thing happened. You would think I would have realized I was depressed, but, according to the obvious, I had no idea I was.

Wait a minute, let me start from the beginning.

I was sitting next to a girl in one of my classes last week, and she said to me, “You must be really depressed.”

“I must be,” I asked, “why must I must be?”

“Well, because you are really pale.”

Okay, in case you didn’t read that last sentence, or have already forgotten what it said, let me repeat it.

“Well, because you are really pale.”

Why do I have a feeling that this phrase hasn’t gotten to you yet? It is definitely worthy of repetition. Does what she said make any sense? No, it doesn’t – and it never will.

So, back to my first point, I must be really depressed. Even though I am happy, I must be saddened inside. Oh, woe is me, and so on.

This girl, who was very, very tan, in the fake kind of Oregon way, thought I was depressed because I lacked fake color in my real face. She, on the other hand, was a happy little girl, prancing down the halls with her brown face all full of smiles. The thought of her happiness made my imaginary depression seem almost pretty.

But I am not depressed. I am merely uninterested in getting cancer.

Before this girl talked to me, she was talking to another girl who happens to also get cancer, uh, I mean tan. They both were discussing why they felt so depressed in the winter when the sun is never out.

“God, it’s like, when it’s not sunny, it’s not warm, and I feel so unhappy because my face doesn’t match the bark of a tree.” End quote.

Then she turned to me. I am surprised that she didn’t need sunglasses in order to protect her eyes from my hideous pale complexion. My face is like the snow, you stare at it too long, and you will get burnt.

Not really.

So, I must be really depressed, but I feel fine. I don’t even know why people tan in the first place, and I don’t really care. But I don’t like to be called depressed. Who really would? Well, other than people with depression fetishes. Just because I am not like you, all paper-bag colored, doesn’t mean that I am depressed.

We hate to admit it, but tanning is a drug. We know it is unhealthy, yet we do it anyway. “It makes me look all pretty and stuff.” So, you are spending money, time and a cancer-free life to make society happy that you aren’t pale? Do you think others really care?

“Guys like it.”

Well, guys also like girls who aren’t fake, well, “real” guys do, anyhow. When you turn 30, you will realize that you have been stupid all along. And then, you will see guys like me, who don’t care what random strangers think, walking down the halls with big ol’ smiles on our pale faces.

You think I am depressed? Just wait 10 more years after tanning. Then, when the doctor tells you that you have skin cancer, and all your friends comment that you are getting a lot of wrinkles at the age of 30, we will see who is really depressed. I am willing to put money on dying of cancer and looking wrinkly as more depressing that living pale.

As I have said many times before, “I don’t get tan – I get even.”