My friend Karen told me “Brown fat is better than white fat any day” and I totally agree. So before I go on vacation, I buy a tanning package. I figure if I am ridiculously brown I’ll blend in with the sand and no one will notice my muffin belly. Works like a charm. Until recently.
I went to a dermatologist. He told me that I am 100% at risk for skin cancer because of my tanning booth use! “What? I don’t abuse it!” Seriously I don’t. I go once or twice or three or four times a month to maintain a base coat and I go a little more if I am going down South and during Christmas so I don’t look too pasty in that low cut party dress. But I don’t abuse it. It’s not like I’m going every day.
He gave me a stern talking to about how he just attended the funeral of a 36 year old patient who died of skin cancer and explained how I was playing Russian Roulette with my life. He ended it with “The 80’s are over. Let them go!” That was harsh.
So began my quest to find the perfect self-tanner.
The problem with self-tanners is they are a lot like over-sized fake boobs. Once your back is turned everyone will point at you and laugh but no one will tell you how ridiculous you look…. Except your children.
My first self-tanner turned my bathroom in to a spray booth. It was the kind you sprayed all over your body and waited until it dried before you got dressed. It took a long time and left a thin film of orange all over my bathroom floor and walls. After ten minutes I was convinced it was dry so I put on my pajamas. The next morning I got out of the shower excited to see my golden glow in the mirror. Except it wasn’t the golden glow promised on the tin. I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry and it wasn’t even. Now I looked like an orange zebra. I had to get back in the shower and scrub my stripes until they came off or bled.
I decided that I would retry the spray but this time outdoors. I waited until dark and ran out in my back yard where no one could see me. I dropped my housecoat and stood there in only underwear (ugly ones of course, I wouldn’t ruin a good pair). I sprayed myself from head to toe and figured the wind would dry me in a hurry except that night there was no wind. So I jumped up and down trying to get the paint to dry. Hubby came to backdoor wondering why it was open so late at night and almost locked me out. I yelled “Don’t lock that door!” He looked out to see his mostly naked wife jumping up and down behind a tree in the backyard and all he said was “Oh it’s you. If this is another menopause thing I am going to bed. I don’t want to see how this one ends.” It didn’t end well. The next day in the bathroom light I realized that the front of my legs where extremely brown. The backs where white. My arms were brown but my chest and back were white. I looked like a menopausal panda bear. I spent another half hour in the shower trying to get back to my original colour.
Back to the drug store. I found a rub in cream. That night I rubbed every inch of me with this “guaranteed natural tan” cream. When I got out of bed the next morning I was shocked to see my shadow still laying there. The tanning cream had rubbed off my body onto the white bed sheets. It had left a perfect outline of my body on the bed. It was like a tanning crime scene.
I was surprised that my tan was perfect. After my shower it looked even better. I was delighted with myself until later that day when my son asked if I was running for president. “What are you talking about?” I exclaimed. “You look like Donald Trump. You’re orange.” I looked towards hubby who was trying desperately to avoid eye contact. “Am I orange? I am not. I look good right?” All I got was “Oh no the BBQ is on fire” and he ran out of the house. The BBQ wasn’t even on.
I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror again. Maybe I was a little orange. I had to think back over my day and who I met with. How many people were laughing at my big fake boobs, I mean tan.
It took a good three days to scrub the orange off. It took months to stop my kids from constantly reminding me about it.
After some research and lots of trial and error I discovered St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil. It’s about $50 at Shoppers Drug Mart. But spend the extra $10 and buy the application mitt to put it on right. It’s a mousse that rubs in and the results are instant. It’s so convincing that when I went back to my dermatologist he started to lecture me again about tanning beds. He couldn’t believe my colour was a fake-bake.
There’s nothing funny about cancer. I stopped smoking over 20 years ago because I didn’t want lung cancer so I would be foolish to continue to use tanning beds after all the information that is available on them.
I still believe brown fat is better than white fat any day, except now my muffin belly is a painted on brown. But the boobs… the boobs are real so don’t laugh.