Anne Palumbo: Yikes! Your Rochester is showing!

Anne Palumbo

You heard it here first. Las Vegas wants to complement their wildly successful “What happens here, stays here” campaign with a new slogan: “Your Vegas is showing.”

I like it. Depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with and why you think it’s so darn funny to keep stuffing dice up your nose, it could mean all sorts of things.

But, generally, I think it points to the notion that you are having a roaring good time in a wickedly fun city.

I’m not so sure that slogan would work for our fair city, especially now. To be honest, if someone said to me today, “Your Rochester is showing,” I would take it as an insult.

They would be referring, of course, to my pasty northern skin. Buried since October under multiple layers of polar fleece and down, it is the color of dough and has the texture to match. Let’s put it this way: It would not be in my best interest to walk by a pizza parlor right now.

The good thing is, I’m not alone here. Everywhere I look these days, I am blinded by squinty-eyed ghouls emerging from their winter lairs with skin that could pass for tofu.

I don’t see any way around it. There are tanning parlors, to be sure, but all those phony rays that turn people into bronze statues scare me. There are trips to warm, sunny locations; but, honestly, how many Speedo sightings can one person handle in a lifetime? There are brisk walks on glorious days; but, gee, who wants to miss a PBS special on the shedding cycle of snakes?

What I’m trying to say is: Skin as pale as a carp’s underbelly is our northern destiny!

Even so, and because we do not want our Rochester to cause mass pandemonium, we must expose our sallow selves cautiously and with utmost regard for the viewing public. While we cold-weather diehards are comfortable with our washed-out complexions, not everyone finds them as agreeable as we do.

So how should we proceed? First, we must remember the golden rule of fashion – No White before Labor Day – and refrain from wearing shorts in public until late September. By then, our translucent hides will have picked up some color. We can do what we want on our own turf, but we need to be sensitive to the well-known fact that “seeing a pasty thigh” is the number one ulcer-inducer in adults under 100. 

Second, we must reach for items cautiously, whether we are groping for the best bulbs in a garden-store bin or yanking out some gnarly weeds in our own front yards. The innocent act of reaching for anything at this time of year – and exposing even a sliver of skin – can cause a tidal wave of emotional upset, especially if that act (deep breath, deep breath) involves (gulp) bending. 

Third, we need to take extra precautions with our feet. Not only have they been buried in socks and boots for months on end, they have also been marinating in them. A pasty thigh is one thing; but ugly white feet with colonies of yeast multiplying between the toes? No. Just, no. We must contact an excavation company before we expose those babies to the light of day.

Do I ever want my Rochester to show? Of course! I am proud to let it all hang out, whether I’m dodging a pot hole, gulping down a garbage plate or inhaling the intoxicating scent of a lilac bush. I just make sure I’m wrapped tighter than a mummy when I do.

Anne Palumbo writes this weekly column for Messenger Post Newspapers.  E-mail: