The summer before my senior year in high school I went with my best friend to Ocean City, NJ, a typical New Jersey shore town. It was nowhere near as nice as Wildwood, where I spent many a summer at my grandparents’ house, but it was still a good, relaxing place.

During this particular trip, our first trip to the beach together, I ran into some problems as the day went on. I should state here that my best friend at the time was a female and was also an “ex” (a label I don’t much care for). Because of that fact, I was a tad distracted and not really thinking about things like my fair skin and sunscreen. I figured, “Hey, I need a tan. How much do I really need sunscreen?”

Do you see where this is going?

We spent plenty of time on the beach that day, more than I usually did at one time. Around dinner time, we left the beach and drove to a nearby co-worker’s beach house for a little get-together. As the party wore on, I felt my back starting to get a little sore and tender. When it was time to leave, about 9 at night, I was in absolute agony.

My back was burnt. Big time. So my friend put aloe all over my back and we made the drive home. I was grouchy and couldn’t even let my back touch the seat.

Sunburnt back

Click through to feel the pain.

Now imagine this: the next day I left with my family for a trip to New Hampshire. Anyone who’s ever had serious sunburn knows that it takes a few hours for the pain to start, but the real hurting doesn’t start until the next morning. The drive to New Hampshire (yes, the drive) almost drove me insane. By the time we got to our destination, my back was in such bad shape that I couldn’t even wear a t-shirt because any contact on my back sent seering pain through my nerves.

So, here I was, at my dad’s friend’s house in New Hampshire for the first time, walking around all weekend without a shirt on and a severely burnt back. But wait—it gets better.

While there, my back began to blister. And you know what happens to blisters eventually, right? They pop. And when they pop in mass all over your back, the pain is unbearable. Each night I had to lay on my stomach and someone would pour aloe on my back to help ease my suffering. It didn’t help, though. I was miserable for the whole trip. My dad decided it would be a good idea to take a picture (see right, be sure to click through) to remind me to never forget the sunscreen again.

So, now, I pass along to you this extremely gross picture to remind my fair-skinned friends out there on the web: don’t forget the sunscreen. Ever.