When the weather starts to warm up and I start to see shorts and short sleeves that can be legitimately worn, my thoughts turn to....tanning. I know, I know. That's almost akin to admitting that you smoke these days, but old habits die hard. I don't do it anymore, but there's a part of me that still wants to.
I have Cherokee Indian in my blood and I've always tanned well. In fact, other than my nose and an occasional light burn on my shoulders, I've never really burned at all. As a teen, getting the deepest, darkest tan possible was my mission in life. And I could do it, too.
I used to lie out in the baking heat of my back yard, no water within miles, sweltering, dripping, getting faint with heat, all in my quest for the perfect tan. If it was really hot I would run an extension cord from the house and set up an oscillating fan by my chair. If I had a book, I could (and did!) stay out there for hours.
Once I went in search of some camping equipment my brother owned -- a foil blanket, used to conserve heat. I had the brilliant idea that if I "laid out" on that it would speed up the process. I never found it and it's probably a good thing I didn't. It probably would have cooked me through.
Every spring I would make my appointments at the local tanning salon, building my base tan, getting some color for prom. It's so much easier to wear bright spring colors when your skin has some color to it. There's nothing worse for me than peeling off those winter wools and blacks and seeing the expanse of fluorescent white skin exposed. And everybody knows that tan fat looks better than white fat!
BUT, the tanning days are over for me. As a child I did get a really bad burn on my nose one summer and now I have some permanent damage there. I feel like I'd be playing Russian roulette if I actually sought out damaging rays. That and the fact that Mr. Daddy uses my fear of actually losing my nose to keep me untanned. I still go out in the sunshine, but I slather on the sunscreen like a good girl. So, even though I'm hearing the siren song of the tanning beds, I'll just lash myself to the ship's mast and try to make it through the spring.
But if I blind you with my whiteness, don't say I didn't warn you!
5 years ago