Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Today I did something I have only done one other time in my life. The previous time I did it it didn't turn out so good, so I didn't repeat that unpleasantness. Until now.

I tanned.

Oh, not in the sun. Heaven's no! I don't like the sun enough to go sit out in it and swat sweat bees, wasps and chiggers. Nope, I climbed my fat hiney into a tanning bed and sweat for seven minutes while a fan cooled my roasting hide. Seven minutes is plenty of time to obsess over how long it might take for the skin cancer to get me. More than enough time to obsess over whether or not seven minutes is long enough to cook a human liver even though the heat has to go through a lot of fat first. And plenty of time to obsess over that farty noise I just made I wiggled around and my sweaty back sucked up off the bed and wonder how loud it was to the women outside in the salon and if they really honest and for true thought I farted that loud. 'Cuz I didn't. Swear.

A few years back when Tater and I were stay-at-home moms and really had nothing to do other than raise our children to not be axe murderers, we came up with the most scathingly briliant plan. The plan was to go around to all the salons and tanning places that offer your first tan free and take advantage of the promotion. We figured that if we did enough first tans free then we'd get a fairly decent tan without being out anything more than gas money (back before gas required you to give up your first-born child or a fatted calf in exchange for a fill-up). The first place we visited was one of those places that offer the ultra tan in 1/3 the time of regular tanning and there was a guarantee not to burn. Considering my lily white, transparent skin, I was on board. In the sun I don't tan - I burn, freckle and peel pathetically, so anything guaranteeing I didn't have molt I was on board.

Nope, I didn't burn. But for two solid weeks after that fateful tan I itched. It was a deep-down, burning itch straight from the bowels of Hell itself and I was certain that every place I itched I was going to just spread the cancer cells that I was certain had been implanted by the government or perhaps the aliens that owned that salon. It was not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

Kady was a baby when that took place. She's 6 1/2 so I figure it's time to get back in the saddle again and tan like a man. I kept telling myself that when I got my next BlogHer check I'd go buy an unlimited tanning package and work on becoming a plus-size Coppertone model. I got the check out of the mailbox yesterday, called the salon this morning and this afternoon I tanned.

I declared my newbiness to my stylist and she was sweet as pie, showing me how to turn on the bed, where the cleaner, shades, lotion, etc were. I'm pretty sure that she thinks I'm a moron, but that's okay because she does kick-ass hair. I stripped down to my bra and panties and started to just go that way because heck, the only one who sees my business is Paul and he's used to all of that being retina-burning white, but then I decided that since I was taking giant strides to step out of my comfort zone I stripped down to my birthday suit, pushed the Start button twice like she said, climbed in the bed and waited. Nothing happened. Hmh. I waited a few seconds for my flesh to start melting then decided I hadn't hit the button twice after all. And it was a good thing, too, because I forgot my little peeper covers. I grabbed some funky mad-scientist mini-shades, hit the start button and oh yeah, the bed looked like the skies over Hiroshima that fateful day. I nearly screamed, but held it in, squeezed my eyes shut, climbed in the bed and covered my eyes.

I wasn't comfortable, so I shifted and that's when my back made that farty noise. Yeah, I'd only been in the bed about 7 seconds at that point, but it was already so hot I don't think it was sweat that adhered me to the bed - it was the fat of my body melting into Crisco. I finally got comfortable, tried to position myself so that I wouldn't have white armpits and began trying to relax. Everyone out in the salon assured me that it was going to be the most relaxing seven minutes of my life, but I wasn't feelin' it. I kept hearing the bed pop and creak, certain that I had exceeded the maximum weight for the bed and that when I fell through the glass onto a bed of white-hot burning light bulbs the volunteer fire department was going to be talking about me to years to come. I felt like I needed to shift again, but made sure to do it slowly so as to break the suction of my back from the glass before I ripped off another mega fart noise. I took deep breaths. I counted. I made a mental shopping list. I dared to open my eyes and when my eyesballs didn't melt onto my cheeks I spent the remainder of my time reading the words on the bulbs.

Tater always tells me that she falls asleep and the bed kicking off wakes her up. I never fell asleep and when that bed shut off I was up and outta there so fast I'm surprised I didn't fall or break something. I dressed, cleaned the bed, made sure I hadn't forgotten an important part of my wardrobe, took a deep breath and unlocked the door, ready to face the folks in the salon and try to discern if they thought I had a raging case of gas. I decided that I was entirely too traumtized and that I didn't ever want to tan again.

Yeah. I made four more appointments.


Robin said...

Okay I just have one thing to say...always make sure you tan correctly!! This one time I went to Branson with a friend and we hadn't seen each other in 15 years...she tans in the tanning beds....I do not tan...I freckle...no point to try to tan....But anyway... we were gettin' ready to go to the pool so we were changing into our swimwear when she bent over and showed me a side of her I wasn't ready for....I didn't have my camera ready...but she smiled at me with her behind!!!!! she had this tan line where her butt cheeks had squished in the tanning bed to live an untanned line of her butt cheeks!!!!!

As I don't tan....so I have no clue to keep that butt smiley from happenin'....you on your own on how to use this information to your own benefit.

Good luck!

Sam said...

To keep the butt smile from happening put your feet down and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle for part of the tan. Also? PUT ON LITTLE PANTIES YOU HUSSY! Do you want to burn your lady bits? And moisturize your nipples. Yes, I said nipples. Lotion 'em up after because if they get overdone and dry THEY ITCH and it will never, ever stop. That is all.


Have you ever thought about the srpay on tans? Yeah, me neither. I am a tanning want to be...I go for a few days one week, the next I don't go at all. My husband hates for me to go...but, I do it anyway..the price we pay to be beautiful.

Kellyology said...

The neighborhood pool has forced me to the tanning beds. I've never fallen asleep either. I'm always in a claustrophobic state of panic when I'm in one. And I usually only go about 5 times right before the pool opens.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...