When I walked into the tanning salon, the lady said, "Hi, Amanda. Just go on back and get undressed."
What? No dinner? No movie? Shouldn't we get to know each other a little bit first?
She told me to put barrier cream on my hands and feet to block the color. I guess I didn't use enough becasue my feet looked like I'd been stomping grapes into wine since I was twelve. My hands looked like I built the Egyptian Pyramids all by myself - or at least that's what I told people, and I'm pretty sure they bought it.
Having a total stranger look at every inch of my body while wearing nothing but a thong and a smile was pretty uncomfortable. I felt more violated than a mammogram, pap smear and full-body dermatology exam combined. Hold out your leg. Twist back your arm. I'm surprised that she didn't offer me a cigarette afterward.
That's when she interrupted my uncomfortable silence with small talk.
I'm sorry, honey, I would love to talk to you, really I would, but it's little too late for pleasantries now that you know where all the scars are that could accurately identify my dead body.
The more she talked, the more I felt like I developed a rare but recognized form of Terests where I wanted to shout,"NAKED!" "SORRY!" "CAN'T TALK!" And she could have talked about anything, really - baseball, the weather, the Kardashians - but instead, she chose to discuss "how hard it is to spray fat rolls".
Uhmmm, can you say awkward?
Hey, lady, in case you haven't noticed, I'm standing here, like, right this very minute, in all my naked, fat roll glory. Thanks for crushing my fantasy that you are a professional who doesn't pay attention to what my body actually looks like.
She sprayed me with a freezing liquid that shot out of what Brian used to pressure wash the patio last weekend. Sunbathing on an ice glazier in the middle of the Arctic would have been warmer. Listen, forget water boarding! Spray tanning would make me tell you every government secret that I ever knew and a few that I would totally make up. This CIA needs to know about this. (Call me.)
But all the uncomfortable, freezing, awkward moments were worth it when I left the salon feeling tan and beautiful. I hardly worried at all about my fat rolls.
Hey, look at me! I'm tan. I wanted to wear a neon shirt so my eyes would pop, or stand in the middle of a group photo so I could balance it out, or accept MTV's offer to be on Jersey Shore even though I live in Atlanta.
But when I got in the car, I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. I used to wonder what I'd look like as an Oopa Loompa, but I don't have to anymore.
|This is a dramatic reenactment. (I sang a completely different song when I look like this.)|
I stopped by the gas station on my way home, and somebody spoke to me in Spanish thinking that it was my native tongue. I'm not even kidding. Can you imagine their disappointment when my redneck voice said, "I AM SOOOOO SORRY, BUT I CAINT UNNERSTAAAAND YOU".
My three-year-old, Drew, was scared to sit by me at dinner that night. Instead, he just quickly cut his eyes toward the beast he used to called "Mommy". I told him not to worry because it would wash off. But when I got out of the shower the next morning, his little voice broke as he said, "It didn't wash off, Mama. Is your face ever gonna be normal again?"
(I think that's how you know you did it right.)
Oh, and hey, did you pick up on the "next morning shower" thing? You have to let that crap sit on your skin for hours - sometimes overnight - making it nearly impossible to sleep. It doesn't just stink, it STANKS. Think self-tanner times 10 with rat feces sprinkled on top.
Let's just say that my husband offered to sleep on the couch that night. "You need your rest, baby. Why don't you take the entire upstairs floor?"
I also learned that spray tans don't fade away evenly. Check out this pic of my arm on Day 8. Nice, huh? I'm just waiting on someone to make it into the perfect pair of snakeskin boots.
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