"All the infections that the sun sucks up
From bogs, fens, flats, on
Prosper fall, and make him
Prosper fall, and make him
By inch-meal a disease!"- Caliban, The Tempest
<-- this is an ad for Sunless Tanner from Brussels. Get it, Snow-NOT-so-White!? I'd buy that product.
This is a story about my adventures in tanning salons. I ask that you do not judge me to unkindly. And, don't tell me all the harsh realities because, frankly, I don't want to know.
One dreary-gray afternoon, when the sun in Pennsylvania hung hidden under a smudge of dark clouds, I felt a bit down. Instead of blogging about life's problems I turned on Oprah. As you may know, I love me some Oprah Winfrey, so it was no uncommon that I was watching Oprah on this afternoon. That day a Gyno-guest-expert was discussing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which a lot of people in Eastern States acquire due to a lack of sunlight. SAD victims feel horribly depressed during the winter months when they recieve less Vitamin C (or D...or B...really I have no clue. This is the last I will pretend to be a scientist). That dribbly day, in front of my television, and with the eyes and ears of only my dogs to attest to this incident, I proclaimed "I MUST have SAD!" Torn , and feeling more depressed that I now had a true disability, I waited to hear how to solve my deeply troubling problem. The specialist on Oprah enlightened me that by sitting near a higher frequency lightbulb I, a SAD victim, would feel better about life.
"What the $%&^!?" I yelled at the television scorning both the expert and, my love, Oprah.
Frustrated, and wondering how much of an expert this lady was, I now felt more depressed. Where would I get a higher frequency lightbulb? How much of a tool would I look if I sat, at home, near a lamp for the suggested 20 minutes) sticking my head close to the rays of the lamp hoping, without hope left in me, that the lamp would make me feel happy.
I toiled with asking my father to buy an extreme lamp to leave in my bedroom. I would tell him it was for reading. Only true SAD victims, like myself, feel the need to cover up their disorder. Then it came to me.
"Ah-HA!" I yelled to no one except the dogs who, at this point, wanted me to shut the fuck up. I had realized, much like Edison himself, where the real lightbulbs were at; Tanning Salons. There, in the mother-ship of lightbulbs, the hub of Vitamin C (or D, who knows) I would get a proper, if not excessive, amount of lightbulbage (words made up in blog are based on personal preference and are not to be used in daily life).
Through the dreary day I drove like mad to the nearest Tanning Salon. Past grey buildings, mud-colored roads, and deep-depressing leaflesstrees I flew in my Volkswagon searching for a bit of sun in the middle of January. Finally, it blinded me. There it was glowing in the middle of the gloom beckoning me to its rays of joy and tan-acity.
The girls at the front desk greeted me and gave me a tour. Past stand-up beds, coffin-like beds, and sleep number (just kidding) beds I gazed admiringly. Which would I chose to help me beat my affliction with SAD? In the heat of the moment, I chose the stand-up tanning booth based on it looking less like a coffin and more like a box o' happiness.
The glowing beauties who ran the Tanning Salon offered me lotions showing me how wonderfully they had tanned them. I pushed past their keen salesmanship wanting only to get, as fast as possible, to my cure of SAD. I also avoided their lotions noting the front-desk ladies had streaky-chocolate faces. I didn't need a mocha tan, I didn't need my tan to endure, I didn't need to tingle whilst tanning, I didnt need any of the various products they tried to sell me; including nipple gaurds, nail gaurds, hair hiders, jock socks (weird, huh?) or anal gaurds. Not really the last one but, what if? Ew.I disregarded why all these "gaurds" might be warning me to stay away from the booth and, instead got inside and pressed "START."
For the next five minutes I listened to the music playing in the booth, held tightly to the rails for, as I was told, a more "even tan," and repeated with clenched teeth and eyes "I'm getting skin cancer, I'm getting skin cancer, I'm getting skin cancer...."
Something did happen that day. I didn't feel happier and I didn't feel less SAD or sad. All I felt that day, after my five minutes in the sunshine-happiness booth, was the deep burn that comes with staying out in the sun too long but, in places the sun hath never seen before.
Let it burn,