It's springtime and for a small-town Southern girl, at least one who hit her teen years in the 80s, that means it's time to tan. As spring break and the prom drew near, that meant it was time to don last year's swimsuit, spray oneself liberally with the awesomeness that was Hawaiian tropic and head out the back yard. Where, if it was still a little early in the season, one could just as eaily be covered by chill bumps as the rays of the sun. Or if later in the season, you could hook up an oscillating fan to an extension cord and keep yourself somewhat cool while the rays baked your body to tanned perfection.
Or if you were really serious about your tanning, you'd jump in your car and head to one of the many, many tanning salons and there you'd don those little glasses (or not, depending on whether or you valued tan eyelids over protecting your vision), maybe your swimsuit or maybe, if you didn't want any of those pesky tanlines, just the lower half of your swimsuit.
And though I haven't been in a tanning bed in nearly 15 years and I don't set out to get a tan (much!) anymore, I have been hearing the siren song of the tan for a couple of weeks now. I look at my pasty winter flesh and remember how much better it looks with a tan. I can still remember how absolutely wonderful a tanning bed nap is. I posit that there is no better nap. It's the perfect length and you're toasty, toasty warm the entire time.
I long for the smell of Hawaiian tropic. When you open that bottle childhood memories of the beach pour out like a genie, granting me my wish of taking me back in time to simpler days. Days spent playing in the waves, building sandcastles, heading back to the hotel room for a sandy lunch in the ice cold room followed by the most delicious post-beach nap, only to head back out again after the sun is no longer directly overhead. We'd stay out until it was time to get ready for dinner or until one of those passing summer thunderstorms ran us indoors.
I'm on a furlough day today and the weather has finally warmed up. This morning I sat on my back deck with a book and a cup of coffee. The sun actually felt good for my soul and I felt my spirits coming out of hibernation.
I fully understand the dangers of sun exposure , so no need to lecture me. I don't go crazy with the tanning anymore and I certainly don't get in tanning beds. But this morning as I sat there, I pulled the legs of my pajamas up and let the sun warm my shins. And it was good.
5 years ago