February 05, 2011

Ring of Fire

About once I year, usually near the end of winter when I've lost any residual traces of summer tan, I partake in what I'm going to call Reckless Tanning. I get tired of of being all pasty and since I even pre-paid for like 15 tans three years ago thinking "One tan is $10 but 15 is only $75, what savings! I'll use those up in 15 weeks or less!" So I go in after not seeing the sun for weeks and weeks and weeks and say Yeah! Gimme the MAXIMUM TIME!

She's also very excited.
Some how I've forgotten that I haven't seen ultra-violet rays since August and I walk into my designated tanning booth and get into the tanning bed.

Yay tanning!
As I lie there blissfully ignorant of what is about to happen, I sing along to whatever music they have playing and think about how great my new tan is going to look. As 20 minutes go by I get hotter and hotter but I stick it out because I want the most for my money and I want to be as tan as possible as soon as possible. I get out and I'm already a bit reddish but "That's just from the hot lights....?" And as I dress, and pulling on jeans hurts my skin, I realize what I've done.
Then I realize AGAIN that I've done this every year for the past few years because the mindless college student employees are too dumb to say "Uh, you look like a ghost, maybe you should go for 1/2 the time, and work your way up." And I have gone to tanning salons where I grew up with employees (high school students who are thrilled to have a job as opposed to the college students who stand there begrudging their parents for making them get a job) who point out my lack of a tan, regardless of how they may or may not insult me, and I say, "Oh, right, I'm just used to going for the max time. Thank you for saving my life!"

For the next week or so I go about my life popping Tylenol like tic-tacs so that sitting down or lying in bed don't cause me to go into shock with pain. Eventually my bright red (the illustration is barely exaggerating) skin starts to fade and then peels, and I am left with my original skin color only one layer down. 

Sometimes I go back and try to have enough self-control to go for less time or do I not go back due to the trauma of the past three weeks. 

The time is coming this year for me to once again embark on a tanning adventure. The only question is: Will I remember to plan to go a few times, dialing back the time until my skin can take a stronger dose of UV poison? Only time will tell.

This video got cut pretty badly but it's the best I could find for you to enjoy a TV tanning adventure which is amazing. There's a better non-embeddable one here.


  1. I'm so albino that the very first time I ever decided to tan they only let me go for 4 (possibly 6, I can't remember) minutes. I still burned. 20 would have literally killed me. I finally decided to embrace the pasty. :)

    Btw, the unwritten text rule she broke (one she breaks frequently) is texting me, and if I don't respond in a timely fashion, texting me back "r u there??" I want to be like, "Dude I'm obviously busy. That, or I didn't want to talk to you in the first place." But whatever. I'm being happy now, Lauren! ;)

  2. That would drive me crazy! That's something thats allowable on instant messengers, cause you're not always at your computer or you left and came back and didn't see the IM, but on text... that's so weird. That's good tho if you can just ignore it, it's not worth losing a friend over.

  3. LOL... this post just reminded me of a certain episode of 'friends'. Hope its not *that* bad :P

  4. Sad to say...I'm black and I tan every once in a while to even out the ROAD MAP ON MY BELLY aka stretch marks from hell! I got them from eating not from kids...wtf???

  5. I do the exact same thing!!! For some reason I always think "maybe this time will be different..." but inevitably I still end up tomato red and am left in agony for the next few weeks. I wish you could buy it by the minute so I wouldn't feel obligated to get the most for my money! :)

  6. I'm very, very pale and I've tanned a couple of times. I finally gave up because I burned my butt. That was enough for me.

  7. Maybe you should get a spray-on tan. Then you'd be orange instead of red.

  8. upasana: I only remember the Friends when Ross got the spray tan gone wrong. It wasn't that bad cause at least it looks like a sunburn.

    Thundercat: I got stretch marks from GROWING when I was younger. I know how you feel.

    Cotton Couple: There actually is a place in my town that does that but you have to sign up and put a deposit down on a key to let yourself in the building or something and they're only open to do that for like 2 hours a day and I kept forgetting and completely forgot until now. Thanks for reminding me :)

    Ashley: Yep done that.

    robofthesky: I feel like you're mocking both kinds of tanning but...spray tanning is expensive and I want to be brownish not orange so, no dice.

  9. I hate taking the time to work up to the longest setting. I always burn myself. Oh, and LOVE Always Sunny.