The nice kids called me Caspar (as in Caspar the friendly ghost). The mean kids said things like, "You're so white!" And trust me, it wasn't a compliment.
My roommate in college had the most amazing naturally tanned skin, and there were many times when it was hard to be her friend. On spring break in Palm Springs one year, I was determined to get a tan... but my face ended up looking like a swollen porcupine when I got sun poisoning instead. That's when I gave up on being brown.
Several days ago, I was visiting a new property in Panama city, and another very light-skinned woman said, "We need to get out of the sun, or we're going to lose our exotic whiteness." Wow, I'd been called a lot of things before, but exotically white? Yep, Caspar could get used to this change in nickname.
Ladies, for those of you who suffered as a child because of your whiteness, let me tell you what being exotically white means in Panama. It means that people will stare at you like you're a movie star. It means that you'll get declarations of love from perfect strangers. It means that you'll get preferential treatment in stores and restaurants.
If I had realized as a child how much better my life would have been as a whitey with freckles in Panama, I probably would have packed my bags and moved to Panama at the age of 10. Yes, every dog has its day, and that day is today for this whitey.
Just in case you're curious, I haven't thrown away my self-tanner, though. Being exotically white is one thing. Glowing in the dark is something completely different.