Monday, June 30, 2014

The Spray Tan Chronicles

Born in a more primitive time, I grew up too white. Literally too white. Madison Avenue had decided in the rocking, rolling sixties that tan was sexy and young and healthy. They advertised Coppertone suntan lotion (SPF -12) on huge billboards, with a picture of a darling baby with a fabulous tan. You could tell because a dog was pulling down the baby’s swimsuit bottom, exposing its excessively white baby butt. 

Now, no one wants to be the color of a white butt, even if it is cute and belongs to a baby. 

So we cooked ourselves in the noonday sun like mad dogs and Englishmen. Forty years later our dermatologists rejoice and buy vacation homes in the Caribbean where they use gallons of sunscreen.

I have since learned the importance of sunscreen. However, I still want to be tan, because, no matter what I do, I am the color of a butt.

But this is the 21st century, and now it’s possible before vacationing in the Caribbean to be sprayed, by a giant robot sprayer machine. It sprays a fine mist of SOMETHING over you until you are the color of a newborn starfish. I can finally look sexy, young, and healthy—for a starfish. What follows are my Spray Tan Chronicles:

SPRAY TAN, DAY ONE: I was so orange people thought I actually was a starfish and kept trying to throw me back into the ocean.

SPRAY TAN, DAY TWO: Tan has settled down a bit, although Triggerfish occasionally try to nibble on me.

SPRAY TAN, DAY THREE: I just want my top half (that looks like it was raised in an Easy Bake Oven) to match my bottom half (that looks like it was raised by reindeer—reindeers live in the snow, snow is white, so . . .) Is that too much to ask?

SPRAY TAN, DAY FOUR (In defense of fake tans): Excessive whiteness, truly a first world problem . . . the girls and I went to get a spray tan because we can. Because it's fun. Because we're not fleeing across miles and miles of God forsaken land to escape the brutal corruption and wickedness of failing nations and states and politicians—yet. For fun, that’s why, and because we still can--for now.

SPRAY TAN, DAY FIVE: Too relaxed to lift my head to check on condition of tan. Will attempt to lift head tomorrow. I call this the Caribbean vacation vortex or fake tan conundrum—get tan for vacation, then vacation causes you to cease to care if you have arms or legs or skin.

And so the tan fades. 

Oh don’t worry, I’m pretty sure that fake tans and Caribbean sun will be the least of our worries very, very soon, what with all the sensible policies proffered by our dear leaders in Washington, leading to a new era of vacationing dignitaries as they visit their dachas by the sea. 

Linda (Color Me Burned) Zern 

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