When I was a teenager, every year when the weather started to get warmer and the days started to get longer, I just KNEW that that would be THE year. The year when I too, would have "it".
Remember the days before thoughts of skin cancer, wrinkles and all the other sun related traumas were on anyone's mind? I would see those girls, who would start laying out in the sun as soon as the temperature raised above 60 degrees, and I would make up my mind that I was going to have it. What was "it"? The PERFECT TAN. THE COPPERTONE TAN.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
I tried. At about 11:00 AM, I would gather my lawn chair, towel, radio, book and water. I would go into the back yard, check out the best direction to lay where the sun would give me that perfect tan, position my chair, find the perfect radio station, lay down, and wait for the sun to turn me into the golden goddess of my dreams. I would lay there and imagine how dark I was getting, every now and then checking for tan lines and sweating. After what felt like hours, my ADHD would kick in. I would reposition, try to read (which is impossible in the bright sun), take a sip of water and then decide that I had probably been out there for at least 2 hours. That would be enough for the first day. I would gather up all my belongings, go inside, look at the clock, and it would be around 11:15 AM. I MIGHT have done that twice, at the most, each year.
There had to be another way.
Then one year someone told me that Baby Oil was perfect to achieve the perfect tan. I slathered myself up, forced myself to stay outside for more than 15 minutes and the results were....well.... painful.
Then I heard about self tanning lotions. For the first few years that self tanners were on the market, they had one slight problem. Orange wasn't exactly the color I was aiming for.
Before tanning beds became popular, there was this "contraption" where you would go stand in a little booth and it would zap you with somewhere near a zillion times the strenghth of the sun in just 4 minutes. You had to wear these googles that looked like they were straight out of the movie Alien. Well, this was great. Now I had the "baby oil" tan with racoon eyes.
Then I discovered the tanning beds. They worked like a charm. You would lay there for 10-15 minutes at a time and after a few visits you would have a golden beautiful tan. The Coppertone Tan. The "Perfect Tan". And yes, for a few years I did that. Being someone that does everything to the extreme (bet you never guessed that about me), I would go to the tanning booth every day or every other day and I had The Perfect Tan.
As the years went by, people got wiser to the dangers of too much sun exposure. Now that I had finally achieved The Perfect Tan, it was no longer en vogue. That is when the "Spray-On Tanning Booths" started to show up. You stand in a booth and it sprays you with a fine mist of coloring that lasts about a week. The problem with this is, you must heavily slather certain parts of your body, (palms, ankles, elbows) with lotion or you will not tan evenly. I never could get that "just right". Even with the new and improved self-tanning lotions that you do at home, I still got the same effect.For a few years after that, I went back to the tanning booths. I did it in moderation and it looked like things were going to work out great from then on. MODERATION....what a novel idea!
As the years went by, everything seemed fine. Then, quite unexpectedly (and horrifyingly) I noticed the tanning beds weren't tanning me the same way. As I lay there on my back, imaging the golden tan I was getting, gravity took over. GRAVITY. A four letter word!
Because of gravity, as I laid there on my back, there were places that were not getting tanned. Suddenly "something" was causing shadows. If I have to explain that to you, well, you're too young and I'm going to let you find out for yourself.
What's a woman to do?
If you think about it, what's the big deal?
So what if my legs glow in the dark?
I've noticed as I've gotten older that it really doesn't matter.
Yes, my skin is very white.
I suppose it's my Irish ancestry. We tend to be fair skinned...except for our red noses.
I say "Stand Proud!"
Who needs the hassle?
Then again, it is a beautiful day out today. I wonder where that baby oil is?