Looking tan just feels good. It makes you look healthier and skinnier. I feel as though I've come full circle when it comes to achieving a tan. As a teen I would lay-out in the backyard with the baby oil and tin foil. I never sprayed sun-in in my hair because I didn't think that looked natural. You know, like sunburn does. One time I even went up on the roof because it was so damn hot up there it had to be a great place to catch some rays. I was right. My mom didn't like that idea and made me come down.
As I got older, I started to frequent tanning salons to get that fresh orangey glow I so desired. I put an end to that about 10 years ago. Only a year before that did I start covering my face because I was worried about getting wrinkles. But I'm sure the damage is done.
When I decided perhaps the experts are right and tanning might not be the healthiest thing to do, I bought some lotion that promised to make you glow. And it did. In a very strange sort of way. But it turns out I had some sort of reaction to it and it made me itch uncontrollably. That doesn't mean I stopped using it.
Nowadays it's all about the spray tan. I mean spraying God-knows-what all over my body has to be healthier than a tanning bed, right? The first time I got one I was 9 months pregnant and standing up in my brother's wedding. I still feel bad for the girl who had the unfortunate job of spraying me. Like a beached whale. But it did look great and made me feel better. The only problem I have with it is the way you look and feel right after you get sprayed.
I recently got sprayed again. For no reason other than it was a long winter and I needed to do something to make myself feel better. I was treating myself for my birthday. I made the appointment for 1pm. I figured OK, I'll get sprayed, then finish my errands and go out to dinner as planned. I took one look in the mirror afterwards and didn't even recognize the person in front of me. I was so dark! I could not be seen in public like this. I was even embarrassed to walk back to my car for fear someone would see me. On the upside, my teeth never looked so white.
Naturally, the first thing I did was take a pic and send it to all of my friends. Everyone got a good laugh and thought I was joking. Nope, no joke. They were quick to point out I looked just like C. Thomas Howell's character in the hit 1986 movie, "Soul Man". And I did look just like him. It's just an unfortunate coincidence that we actually have the same hair cut as well. Dinner reservations would have to be canceled.
When I got home my kids were afraid of me. My nephew was here and kept backing away from me. He was so confused. They kept asking me to wash it off. I just spent 40 bucks on this bad boy. There was no way I was showering until it had fully absorbed deep in my skin. My daughter was appalled. My son came into my room the next morning and the first thing he said was, "Mom do you still look weird? You said you wouldn't look like that anymore!".
After a shower, I looked like I just got home from a Caribbean vacation. I was a healthy golden bronze. And that gross, sticky feeling was gone. My kids relaxed and let me touch them again. I was all tanned up with no place to go. But I felt good, and that's all that really matters. The tan eventually faded, but I'll have this picture forever.
Thanks to Taffy Pill and Queenie Gown for inspiring this blog.
*Some names have been changed so the people I'm talking about don't know I'm talking about them.