Bronzed (365th new thing).

March 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

My Inspiration…

I am a naturally pale person. I burn far more easily than I would tan. Instead of bronzing under the sun, I freckle. My only hope for an all over browning is if all my little freckles merge together into a beige coat of armor. On Day Three Hundred Sixty-Five I was originally scheduled to take a trip in a hot air balloon, but due to high winds it had been cancelled (for the fifth time). Instead, I opted to combat my paleness with a visit to a spray tanning booth.

I was excited about the prospect of, for the first time in my life, walking out looking as though I had returned from a real beach vacation (minus the sun damage). I knew the most likely end result of the fake tan would be an orange sheen, but as my year of new things was coming to a close I figured it would at least be an entertaining experience. At least for people who had to look at me.

The super orange attendant led me back to a tiled room. He pointed out the wall-mounted instructions and emphasized pre-lotioning all the body parts I didn’t want sprayed. Toenails, fingernails, knuckles…between my toes and fingers too. And try not to squint. He left and I stripped down to the shower cap provided, entered the tiled room, and pressed the big red “start” button.

There was a count down, then tiny jets of pigmentation began to move up and down my body. I squinted. It was difficult to breathe as I stood with my arms held slightly away from my sides. The jets moved down and up, side to side, over my front.. There was a pause after twenty seconds for me to take a breath. Then I turned so the tan could wash over my back. I moved my arms above my head, positioned like I was going through the airport scanner and held my breath again.

Then it was done. I wiped off my hands, feet, elbows, and knees. I cleaned out my ears while I waited to dry enough to garment myself. I smelled slightly chemically, but it was a sort of warm odor, like cocoa butter crossed with dye.

On the thirty minute drive home I could see the “tan” developing on my arms. If I cropped my vision to just my forearm, I felt pretty good about the experience. Then looking down at my hands I clearly saw the delineation between pre-tanning lotion application and orange. My knuckles and wrists had accrued far more pigmentation than the white space between my fingers. There was no debating the fact that my tan was F-A-K-E.

Most people didn’t notice my increased coloring (it’s what happens when you are forever pale), and the orange wore off in a few days so there weren’t any lasting effects. Well, maybe a faint orange line at all my body’s creases, but those were gone within a week.

I’m glad I tried it out, but there’s no way I will fake tan again. Sorry beachcombers, I will continue to reflect the sunlight off my blue-tinged legs and cause you to shield your eyes.

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