Friday, May 29, 2009


Image found here.

Those who read Reasonably Well frequently know that every summer, I end up posting about an ongoing battle of wills between myself and those fake tan products. 

I can't help myself. Once the sunshine season hits, and here in the Pacific Northwest that's a real reason to celebrate, I unpack the summer clothing boxes. Out come the short sleeved shirts, the capris, and even the dreaded, seldom worn swimming suit. Shudder. 

I put on the capris and my legs - even though just the day before seemed somewhat normal - suddenly take on a ghastly ghostly shade of doughy white. On goes the t-shirt and I'm horrified to see that my arms match my legs. 

Makes a woman want to run screaming from the mirror. 

Once I take a deep breath and drag myself back into the bathroom, I pause and let my brain do it's analytical job of rationalizing my pathetic skin tone. 

This is your brain speaking, Julia. You know why you can't go out and get a tan. We've been through this a zillion times. If you go out in the sun, you break out in a decidedly unattractive and uncomfortable red rash. You feel like you want to toss your cookies. You end up crawling back to the couch for the next two days. I get enveloped with a brain-dead fog. You become extraordinarily cranky. Don't go there, girlfriend. 

OK, OK, already, Miss Crabby Brain. All right. I won't throw myself out on the deck, scantily clad, traumatizing the neighbors, in a search of a golden tan. 

Which leaves only one more option. Those enticing products that every grocery and drug store and even convenience stores for goodness sakes - have priced inexpensively and placed prominently on their shelves. 

Last week, as I was rambling through the grocery store, I caved. Someone else's hand - certainly not mine - plucked a tube off the shelf that promised a gradual and completely natural looking bronze glow. It went back on the shelf. Then off the shelf. Then back on the shelf. 

After I cruised the produce aisle and mopped up my drool in the cookie aisle, my cart drove itself back to that self tanning tube. The little stinker hopped right into the cart. What's a girl to do? 

I let it sit in the bathroom for two days before I tentatively cracked open the tube and applied a miserly layer on my legs, arms, neck and face. Every time I walked past a reflective surface that day, I was certain that I was looking more tan. 

After several days and applications, I was feeling confidently tan. I sauntered into a coffee shop to meet a friend. As we sipped our mochas, I noticed her examining me a little more intently than usual.

Yes, yes......I thought. Yes, I am a glowing woman. Tanned. You may bask in my fabulousness. 

She cleared her throat and said, "Julia - I've been looking at your arms."

She's a good friend, I may share my glamorous tan secret with her.... 

"Are your moles I mean, do you think you should have them checked by a doctor?"

Three days later, and after three lengthy baths and loofah scrubbings, my fabulous tan is gone, taking with it the orange hue over those traitorous moles and any trace of dignity. 



ConnieFoggles said...

I am a bit fairer than pale. When I go outdoors my skin is like a mirror and can cause blindness if precautions are not taken. I am going to try spray tanning for my daughter's wedding so I can look a bit like I'm from Florida! Love your post as I've done the same thing and keep trying too.

Vicky said...

Oh yes...been there many times! I have thought getting a professional spray tan too. I wonder if it looks more natural? I can't seem to get over the "odor" it leaves...maybe I am just weird...but it stinks! LOL

maria said...

Throwing in my two cents here -

The spray ons are only guaranteed for a day or two and can be more orange than the over the counter stuff! Also, you're at the mercy of whoever is prepping you, so think 360' view - raise your arms and move your legs in diff positions or you will find yourself with lines in the most obvious places.

I was using the lotion that had tanner in it - Jergens?...much more subtle and really not bad. I had to stop all tanners, though, with my new journey into discoid after all the years of no trouble. I'm getting lesions on my lower legs and the tanners were highlighting the scars -big orange circles - similar to your moles. In fact, I have plenty of those, too. LOL!

Ah well, que sera sera :)